African safaris are usually top of most people’s bucket list when it comes to wildlife viewing and it’s no wonder why when you consider the richness of this type of travel experience. However, people often struggle when deciding the timing and destination of their safari, as there are many exciting wildlife experiences to be had at different times of the year. This article takes a look at one of the best game viewing seasons – June to October – and highlights what is on offer at the key locations during this period.
Serengeti National Park
First on our list is a trip to the inspirational Serengeti, a classic Tanzania safari destination. This large park is considered as one of the best places for a safari for one very specific reason, the Great Migration. This annual event sees hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra pass through the park in search of food - and with the herds of grazers, come the predators. Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp moves between three different locations, literally following the migration as it travels across the Serengeti. Sanctuary Kusini is a permanent camp in the Serengeti and every year wildebeest congregate on the camp's "doorstep".
Next up we have the impressive Ngorongoro Crater, another Tanzania safari destination. The breath-taking Ngorongoro Crater is a geographical wonder on its own, with the caldera's high, steep walls looming over you. It's these steep walls that also lead to the abundance of wildlife in the crater, as they trap a rich assortment of large and small safari animals within.
With two rainy seasons, the long rains fall in April and May (into early June) and the short rains fall in October and November. The best times to travel are December, January, February or late June to early October.
Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp is a traditional safari camp, located in Ngorongoro National Park on the crater rim.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Still one of the world's best kept natural secrets, Uganda receives far less visitors than its neighbouring countries. Bwindi is home to 340 mountain gorillas, just over half the world's population of this critically endangered ape. The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best times to visit Uganda are December to March and June to September.
Known as one of the best all round safari destinations, the Okavango Delta is formed of one of the world's largest inland deltas; although rather than flowing into the sea the Okavango River empties into the Kalahari Desert. Because of its terrain, the area is home to a wealth of wild animals (including all of the Big Five) and plenty of bird life, so choose a Botswana safari for luxury and elegance combined with superb game viewing.
From June to August is 'peak season' for most safari areas in the Okavango: the land is dry so the animals congregate around the few available water sources. During September and October, temperatures climb, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more.
In the Delta we have three properties that can be either booked alone or in combination with each other - these are Sanctuary Stanley's Camp, Sanctuary Baines' Camp and Sanctuary Chief's Camp.
Mokoro at Sanctuary Chief's Camp
Our final destination, which in many ways is linked with the first, is the Masai Mara in Kenya. The Masai Mara is the Kenyan extension of the Tanzania's famed Serengeti. One of Africa's most famous safari destinations, the Mara also plays host to the famous migration. The home of the concept of safari, Kenya is a great safari destination and is a good place to experience Africa's Big Five.
The migration is usually present in the Mara between July and October. During this time, dramatic river crossings are the order of the day with crocodiles lying in wait for the wildebeest and zebra.
Mobile camping in Masai Mara