African country travel calendar for photographers

When is the best  season for wildlife photography? It’s always a good time to be on safari, but certain times are better for certain areas depending upon your interest. Of course weather is variable and particularly with global changes, and also special interests are a consideration. Therefore many photographers and other travellers generally should look to the shoulder times which often offer interesting skies with the coming of rain. Rain often means game and birds but it does bring with it challenges such as muddy roads and sometimes more insect activity.

Wildlife seasons in Southern Africa

The best season for wildlife photography in Southern Africa ( Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa) is from July to October in the the dry winter season.  Game viewing is best from August onward as animals congregate in large herds and the grass is short allowing best viewing of predators.

November and December is a great predator season. Although there is a chance of thunder storms the photography is impressive and if you choose your area carefully you can enjoy excellent game viewing — and shoulder season rates.

December to March is the wettest season.  Some camps close during the period but others stay open and you can explore by vehicle and boat. I do river trips in Zambia each February and love the cloud build ups and colour at this time of year. It is also at this time that you see the most birds.

April and May are beautifully clear months weather wise with wonderful temperatures. There are always plenty of animals about but the grass can be quite high. Game viewing improves towards June which is a great time to get shoulder season rates.

Wildlife seasons in East Africa

The game viewing in East Africa is great all year round particularly in the Mara and the Serengeti where the plains are open and its easy to see animals. There best season for wildlife photography if you want the migration is February to July in Tanzania and July to September in Kenya. Travelling out of these busy periods is also recommended if you want to get good deals and see fewer people. Many camps are closed in April and May during the long rains. But April can also offer very good game viewing in some areas.

South Africa — why we love it

  • sophisticated lodges
  • excellent guiding
  • dependable viewing of Big 5
  • excellent infrastructure

 

 

 

Botswana – why we love it

  • least people, best wilderness
  • excellent birding and wildlife
  • Okavango is a world heritage site
  • water and land activities

Botswana, Okavango, © David Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namibia – why we love it

  • desert scenery
  • great landscapes
  • cultural diversity
  • desert adapted animals and plants

Namibia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zambia – why we love it

  • excellent wildlife and birding
  • great walking safaris and night drives
  • authentic seasonal bush camps
  • stunning rivers and scenery
  • excellent leopards in Luangwa
  • very good value
  • some of the friendliest people in Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zimbabwe – why we love it

  • excellent wildlife and birding
  • stunning rivers and scenery
  • iconic Zambezi landscapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya & Tanzania – why we love it

  • wide open vistas make it easy to see game
  • great predators
  • culturally diverse
  • most predictable game viewing of cats in the Mara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rwanda and Uganda – why we love it

  • best for primates including gorillas
  • Uganda game viewing

Bwindi Forest Lodge