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BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

What is the best time to travel to South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho?

An often asked question. Should your budget be limitited, then May, June, July, August and September are the best month for you. These months are the 'winter months' and nearly everybody is offering low season tarifs. Hotels and guesthouses offer within this period (mainly May to July) promotions such as pay for 4 nights and get 1 night complimentary. Car rental is also cheaper in winter.

October is concerning the rates the best summer month as the tourism industry has its annual/seasonal revised rates from 1 November which includes a possible rates increase.

The weather in the Cape is fairly stable in May and can still reach up to 25°C, nights however are getting cooler with temperatures up to 15°C. From June to July, rain can spoil things a little, however it does not rain for days. There are often welcome interruptions with lots of sun and temperatures between 16 and 20°C, nights are cold up to 8°C. The nothern provinces such as Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and the coastal region of Kwazulu Natal is compared with the average European and American summer pretty cosy with temperatures up to 30°C in the Kruger, nights however are much cooler and temperatures drop from 16h00 fast to a low of about 8 to 10°C. What many travellers seems to forget is that winter is the best period to do safari. Winter is dry season and this means a water shortage, good game viewing and very active predators but also an excellent time for photography.

Snowfall is common in the Drakensberg and parts of the Eastern Cape in winter, especially in July. This offers a beautiful scenery. There is even possibility to ski in Lesotho.

The table (Kruger Park central) below gives a good idea of average rainfall and temperatures on annual basis.

Climate in Swaziland and Lesotho is quite similar with its big neighbour South Africa. Logically temperatures in Lesotho are lower in summer and winter due to the country's altitude.

What is the best time to travel to Namibië?

Namibia is without a doubt one of the most sunny destination on earth with an average 300 days sunshine.

Summer runs from October to April and temperatures can reach up to a very hot 40°C plunging tot a 20°C at night or lower. The average day temperatures are between 20 and 34°C. Winter is from May to September offering very cosy temperatures during the day which is in contrast with the cold nights, even below freezing point. The winter period is the most popular period to travel.

Namibia is not really a large groups destination (35+ pax) as hotels and lodges usually do not have enough capacity. Should you wish to travel, then early blocked bookings are unavoidable should you wish to get enough rooms. The country is however a wonderful destination for small groups up to 25 guests and for self-drives. Hotels and lodges are in comparison with South Africa much smaller and as result more expensive.

What is the best time to travel to Botswana?

Botswana's climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and transpiration.

Summer runs from November to end March and bring usually hot temperatures. Winter begins in May and ends in August, there is hardly rainfall during this period. Temperatures are lovely during the day but can drop below freezing point during the night, especially in the southwest region of the country.

The best period to travel is between April, beginning May and September/October as temperatures are cooler compared with summer and nights are much warmer than in winter.

Rain occurs between October and April while January and February are regarded as the peak rainfall months. The annual rainfall is around 650 mm in the far northeast from the Chobe District to less than 250 mm in the southwest of the Kgalagadi District (Kalahari Desert). Nearly all rainfall drops in summer while winter is only 10% of the annual rainfall.

What is the best time to travel to Mozambique?

Mozambique offers quite some regional variations in climate but is on average the warmest between November and March with average day temperature of 31°C.

The dry season is from April to September with an average of 27°C in the coastal areas and cooler temperatures inland.

Tropical cyclones are common during the rain season and can caused the past years a lot of damage.

 

What is the best time to travel to Mauritius?

Located in the southwest Indian Ocean, Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate that is greatly affected by southeast trade winds. The weather in Mauritius is warm and pleasant the whole year long. You can also swim throughout the year in the Indian Ocean due to the water temperature.

The warmest weather occurs during the month of February while the coolest temps tend to hit during July. Once can say that in general, the western and northern regions are warmer and drier than those in the east and south.

In fact, Mauritius is a year round destination. Each of the seasons/periods has some advantages and disadvantages which is always the case at any other destination.

The Mauritian summer months October to Easter are ideal for a Mauritius beach holiday.
Accordingly, for those looking for having a warm tropical climate and spend most of the day on the beach or at sea, this period if great time to visit Mauritius. When you visit during this time the days are long, hot and sticky humid making swims in the Ocean more refreshing and the breeze more welcome.

During its winter months (winter occurs from July to September), the temperature is much cooler and on most days you will not even have to use the air conditioning in your room, also it rains less and even when it does rain it's mainly in the evening or just a passing shower during the day.

The cooler weather during this period with less humidity makes this is the time to engage in many of the inland activities offered on the island such as hiking and quad biking.

Most likely that during the winter you will still have some strong sun during midday so a tan can still be achieved. It is a bonus that time of the year to see less tourist and hotels offer a low season rate and even very attractive last minute specials. Winter is also the time of the year when there are no tropical cyclones around to spoil your holiday.

For diving enthusiasts, the clearest waters are between December and March due to favorable ocean currents.

Surfers are advised to visit Mauritius go between June and August. During this period you are sure to have amazing waves along the west coast of Mauritius, especially in the area of Tamarin and Le Moren.

Anglers will be happy for big game fishing from October to April.

 

 

What is the best time to travel to the Seychelles?

The Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.
Many of the granitic Inner Islands have dramatic terrain; Mahé boasting hills rising to 900m. The rainfall increases with altitude, though it is the trade winds that really dictate the islands' climate and name its seasons.

From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a relatively dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C, though seas can be a little choppy.

By November (pre-Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially in December and January, though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, though only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt.

This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (Pre-Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction.

What is the best time to travel to Kenya?

Kenya can be considered as a year round destination…however it is best to see what kind of holiday you are expecting.

Most people choose Kenya as a safari destination between January up to the end of March, the climate is mild, mostly dry and game viewing is at its peak. This is regarded as the best time to visit and usually it is very busy. It is well worth considering a visit between mid-March to June and between October and December, yes it is off-season and rainy season but accommodation rates are much lower plus you will be avoiding the crowds!

The famous Masai Mara wildebeest migration is at its peak between mid-August and late October when the herds have returned from their months in the Serengeti (Tanzania).

When having beach in mind, the best time to visit is simply…year round due to the humid and warm Indian Ocean. However try to avoid the coast during mid-March to late May when both temperatures and rainfall are at their highest.

 

 

What is the best time to travel to Tanzania?

The best time of the year to visit Tanzania is the dry season from late June to October. The famous wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February.

The southern and western parks are best visited during the dry-season (June to October), with little to no rainfall, unlike the more popular northern parks that can be visited year-round. Tarangire is here the only exception, since its wildlife observations is considerably better in teh dry-season as well.

Low season is April and May (northern parks are still quite busy during this time while the southern and western parks are much less busy, however some of the lodges close down).

Keep in mind that March and April is the peak of the wet season, thought Africa needs very much its rainfall!

 

 

 

What is the best time to travel to Uganda for Gorilla Tracking?

Uganda is known as a whole round travel destination to any tourist planning to travel. This is due to its climate and location to the equator. The other factor making Uganda a travel destination throughout the year is Lake Victoria and its unique weather patterns to the climate. Uganda mainly has two rainy seasons; the short season starts from October to November and the long rainy season starts from Mid-march to the end of May. The best time to  visit Uganda for gorilla safari tours.

The average temperatures of Uganda are at 21.5 C and 71 F, these also drop at night time to around 54 F which affects the altitude. Rainfall in Uganda ranges between 1000-2000mm every year. However, throughout the year the skies in Uganda are clear which supports most safari vacations. These climate changes have brought about changes in weather patterns hence making it harder to predict the seasons of the tourism year.

With the best months to visit Uganda, many tourists choose to travel from May to September to February since in these months, the amount of rain has reduced and it’s sunny in most of the destinations. December is one of the busiest months of the year in most national park and it’s advisable to book the accommodation in time to avoid disappointments. During the charismas season, most Uganda plan to take vacations to national parks so it’s always a peak season in the month of December.

Visiting in low season is okay to many tourists since the gorilla permits are cut from $ 600 to $ 450 to encourage many tourists to travel even though it’s a rainy season. Visiting in this season also means that you will enjoy the jungle with relatively low crowds. It’s also said that February and September are good months for a safari vacation in Uganda since there are less tourists visiting and the lodges are not fully booked as such in the high season.

The rainy season in Uganda affects people’s travels but that doesn’t mean that they don’t completely travel since this season is combined of both rains and sun shine. This means that the sun comes out as soon as it has just rained and most safari activities are able to be carried out without any disturbance. Mountain gorilla trekking as well as chimpanzee trekking goes on even during the rainy season and the national parks are fully in operation.

During the low season of March to May and October to November, most of the lodges reduce their rates to attract more tourists to book with them and this is an added advantage since even the gorilla permits are reduced to attract more tourists to Uganda.

More so, Uganda has got a raised topography and this means that its climate is cool, however, if you are planning to come for a gorilla trek, it’s really important to notice the easiest trekking conditions despite the low rates in the low season, this means that the best time to come for gorilla trekking is during the two dry seasons of January and February and from June to September.

Game viewing in all the national parks of Uganda is perfect in the dry season; from February and March, September and beginning of October.  This is mainly because the wildlife species are concentrated around water bodies within those parks. Bird watching as an activity is best carried out between November and April when the migrant birds are present in the country but can also be carried out all year round. Tourists are however advisable to avoid taking vacations during the heavy rain months of April and May to be able to enjoy their vacations in Uganda.