The best time of year for your safari

If you’re planning a safari holiday, you may be wondering when to book your trip. The best time varies according to where you go and which animals you’re particularly keen to see out in the bush. If you would like to witness the incredible scenes produced by the annual wildebeest migration, for example, you’ll need to make sure that you visit either Kenya or Tanzania during the period when the wildebeest leave or return. If you are designing a personalised Tanzania holiday, here are some tips to help you decide when to book your once-in-a-lifetime safari holiday.


When to visit

Many visitors choose Tanzania as their preferred safari holiday destination because this is where the annual wildebeest migration occurs. Every year, enormous herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope make their way from the Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara, resulting in one of the world’s most spectacular sights. The thronging crowds of animals start to make their way from the southern parts of the Serengeti to the central, western and northern areas from May onwards. By July, the intrepid nomads have reached the rivers and they’re ready to brave the crocodile-filled waters in search of pastures new. By August, most have arrived in the Masai Mara where they will stay until late September. When the rains dry up, the herds embark on their long return journey in pursuit of verdant grasslands.

To see the migration, you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time. The best time to visit Tanzania and see the masses moving through the Serengeti is June and July. If you’re not desperate to see the wildebeest on their epic journey, the early part of the year is a wonderful time to visit, as this is birthing season, and you’ll see the plains bursting with new (and wonderfully cute) life.

If you’re on a budget, visiting out of season can save you a lot money. Low season runs from the end of March to May. This coincides with the wrath of the wet season, and you can expect heavy downpours. The dry season, which runs from June to October is generally preferred by most visitors. You can usually dodge showers, and the watering holes are packed, which makes for wonderful wildlife spotting opportunities.


Packing for safari

Once you’ve booked your trip, it’s time to turn your attention to packing. You’ll need light layers, comfortable shoes and a waterproof jacket, a good camera, some binoculars and some sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to bring sunglasses, a water bottle and some warm clothing, as temperatures drop significantly at night.