A Year-Round Destination: East Africa’s Safari Seasons

Published: 9 November 2023

You’re about to embark on a seasonal journey through East Africa - a land of stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cultures. This corner of the African continent is home to countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and more, each offering its own unique experiences.

From the savannahs of the Serengeti and the Mara to the misty rainforests of the interior, East Africa is a traveler's paradise and one which we believe every adventurer should see at least once in their lives, but due to their geographical location, you could always see all of them if time allows!

Seasons in East Africa focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda:

Image showing two cheetah in Tanzania's dry season | Anywhere in Africa Safaris

East Africa experiences two main seasons: the dry season and the wet season, but these can vary slightly depending on the specific region.

  • Dry Season (June to September): The dry season is considered the best time to visit East Africa - although, it is a year-round destination and it all depends on what you want to do. During this period, the weather is generally warm and dry, making it ideal for wildlife safaris and outdoor activities. The grass is shorter, water sources are scarce, and animals are concentrated around the ever-dwindling watering holes, making it easier to spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) and other wildlife.

  • Wet Season (October to May): The wet season brings life to the landscapes, with lush greenery and blooming flowers. While wildlife is still abundant, the heavy rains can make some roads impassable and can affect game viewing. However, this is a fantastic time to visit regions like the Ngorongoro Crater, where the wildlife is active year-round.

What Makes East Africa Unique?

Image showing elephant with Kilimanjaro in background | Anywhere in Africa Safaris

The Great Migration: One of the world's most remarkable wildlife spectacles which occurs in East Africa, particularly in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Kenya's Maasai Mara. The Great Migration sees millions of wildebeest and zebras embarking on a never-ending journey in search of fresh grazing grounds.

*It's a breathtaking event, best witnessed during the dry season as they make their way from Tanzania (Serengeti) to Kenya (Masai Mara) between June to mid- September). Come early October, as the rainy season commences in Tanzania, the herds embark on their return journey back from the Masai Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Gorilla Trekking: Rwanda and Uganda are renowned for their gorilla trekking experiences. Seeing these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Find out more about one of our previous guest’s gorilla trek experiences, here.

**We recommend Gorilla Trekking in the dry season (June to September) or (mid-December to early February) as it makes hiking in the rainforests easier than in the wet season which can be muddy and rainy.

Diverse Landscapes: From the towering peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro to the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar (read more about Indian Ocean experiences here) and the incredible Ngorongoro Crater, East Africa offers a diverse range of landscapes for travelers to explore.

Cultural Richness: The region is home to numerous ethnic groups, each with their own traditions, music, and cuisine. Interacting with the Maasai, Hadzabe, and other local communities is a unique cultural experience which we can highly recommend and arrange. Of course, every interaction is authentic and the communities involved are the true beneficiaries. 

Bird-watching: East Africa boasts a rich avian population, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Lake Nakuru in Kenya and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda are just a couple of top bird-watching destinations - we can arrange a Twitchers safari if you’re an avid birder or Nat Geo-esque photographer.

What to Pack When Visiting East Africa:

Image showing Lake in Tanzania | Anywhere in Africa Safaris
  • Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing for hot days, long-sleeved shirts and pants for protection from insects, and layers for cooler evenings. Don't forget a rain jacket for the wet season.

  • Footwear: Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots for gorilla treks or walking safaris, and sandals for relaxation.

  • Safari Gear: Neutral-colored clothing for safaris (to avoid startling wildlife), a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.

  • Camera and Binoculars: A good camera and binoculars for capturing stunning landscapes and wildlife.

  • Travel Documents: Passport, visas, yellow fever certificates and any necessary permits (which we take care of on your behalf).

  • Medical Kit: Basic first-aid supplies including electrolytes, insect repellent and any prescribed medications as in many instances you are far removed from cities, although, we do understand that medical situations can happen and our ground handlers will step in to assist, should there be an emergency.

  • Adapters and Chargers: Electrical outlets vary, so bring adapters and chargers for your electronic devices.

  • Travel Insurance: Always have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations - this is a non-negotiable when traveling with Anywhere in Africa Safaris and while we do not arrange this, we can recommend some companies based on previous experiences. Remember if you take out ‘’cancel for any reason’’ you have a short time limit to book and pay for this once you have paid your initial deposit.

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Reducing plastic waste is essential, so bring a reusable water bottle for refills.

  • Respectful Attire: Modest clothing for visiting religious and cultural sites - even in coastal villages such as Lamu in Kenya, although we will advise accordingly once your itinerary has been set.

*For gorilla trekking packing lists, read this blog.

In Conclusion

Image showing leopard in tree on East Africa Safari | Anywhere in Africa

Discovering East Africa is far more immersive than this blog will ever allow, so reach out to our Kirsty Gordon either on email (kirsty@anywhereinafrica.com) or even via Whatsapp to setup an obligation-free chat where she can talk you through specifics and answer any questions you might have about traveling to East Africa.

For more information on any of the above, please do get in touch with us for an obligation-free consultation where you can discuss your budget and bucket list with us. 

Like This Blog? Here Are Some Other Ones We Think You'll Enjoy: