For most of us going on a safari in Africa is a once in a lifetime experience.
So, you want to make sure you go on the best safari in Africa, that is, the one that offers what you are looking for.
Apart from of course reading a lot of reviews about the companies you are considering booking with, there are three main experiences that can make it the best safari in Africa. And which of these three experiences you value the most will help determine where you should go and what time of year, to create your best African safari.
Therefore I wanted to write an article about what exactly these highlights of African safaris are, hoping that it will help you decide where and when you should go on a safari.
1. The Great Migration
There’s nothing quite like the Great Migration.
Every year, millions of zebra, wildebeest, and other antelope gather up their young to migrate across the plains of East Africa. They move from Tanzania’s Serengeti Park to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, in search of better grazing.
Some of the best African safari opportunities are found here, across a landscape made up of volcanic grasslands and vast plains interrupted by rocky outcrops, rivers, and forests.
Where & When to Go to Watch the Great Migration?
The Great Migration generally moves in a clockwise motion through the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, and then back again forming one big circle.
The exact timing and route of the migration changes from year to year and are entirely dependent on the rains.
The herds head towards Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve in June or July. This is where most people witness the sight of thousands of animals galloping across the plains and crossing the notoriously, crocodile-infested Mara River.
In Tanzania, there are two different areas and times of year to best witness a specific part of the migration. In the Southern Serengeti, it is February and March. The animals are grazing and can be seen in their immense numbers. And, this is also when the animals are dropping their young. In contrast, river crossings are best seen between July and September in the northern Serengeti.
The Green Season
Green season is low season, but it has its perks!
Green season is called this because of the amount of foliage that rises out of the dust and mud due to the increased rainfall. It turns the dry Savannah into lush rolling grasslands.
This sudden abundance of food means that it’s the perfect time for animals such as antelope to breed – meaning that, further up the food chain, lions and cheetahs have got the perfect meal waiting for them.