Last week's post was a broad overview of the steps necessary in planning for the best safari you'll ever take in East Africa. Topics were far-reaching, and depth of discussion really only scratched the surface - an awareness builder and teaser for what is ahead of you.
This time around, let's dive deeper into timing. Just like your current home, Africa has distinct seasons. Not only does the weather change but, more importantly, so do animal patterns.
There is no one right time to go go on safari in East Africa, so don't expect me to answer that question. There is, however, a time during which the conditions would be most optimal for each of us. These times may overlap, or they might not. The important factor is that you go into it with proper knowledge, knowing what to expect. Factors to take into consideration include: crowds (and therefore prices), weather, migrations, birthing, and scenery.
East Africa has two distinct seasons: dry and wet. The dry season runs from June - October and the wet season from November - May.
As the name would suggest, rain showers are few and far between during the dry season. Characteristics and implications include...
The wet season has its own distinct set of implications for safari-goers:
Even more importantly, these changes in weather drive animal patterns. The largest of these is the great wildebeest migration - the 8th wonder of the world. This migration occurs in a roughly clockwise manner within the Serengeti ecosystem, which covers an area of nearly 11,600 square miles in Tanzania and Southern Kenya. It's a rather intricate dance of nature and cannot be described succinctly. This page has an excellent in-depth description and visualization of wildebeest migration patterns.
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