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I like to say that Kenya is perfect for families, culture vultures, and those looking for a more natural, rustic experience, while Tanzania is the better option for big spenders who are hell-bent on seeing some animals and anyone hoping to work Kilimanjaro into their itinerary.
Consider this: Rwanda has doubled the price of their gorilla trekking permits to $1,500 per person, per trek, compared to Uganda’s $600 per person, per trek — clearly a huge difference. The Ugandan government also offers gorilla habituation permits, which Rwanda does not. That said, it’s also much easier to see gorillas in Rwanda than in Uganda: From Kigali, it’s just a three-hour-drive to Volcanoes National Park and you’re there! Compare that to Uganda, where you’ll have to fly from Entebbe down to Kihihi and then drive at least one hour to your lodge, or another five hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
If luxury is what you’re after, then Rwanda is the obvious choice. Uganda is absolutely more budget-friendly.
Basically, Uganda is a better standalone, budget destination, where you could do a full ten-day safari and never get bored. Choose Rwanda if money is no object, you’re short on time, and have your heart set on gorilla trekking.
The best time for an African Safari will change with a specific region’s seasonal diversity and the type of wildlife you want to see. When the plains become sparse and scarce during the dry season, you can see for miles and the wildlife has nowhere to hide while also giving you the best hiking conditions in the jungles. But an African safari offers something unique in every season.
Conventional wisdom has it that traveling to East Africa is best avoided in the ‘low season’, roughly from March to June, then from October to December. Not so for those really in the know. For guests who don’t mind enduring some wet weather, the rewards are multifold. There’s still plenty of game viewing to enjoy. Plus, the air is crisp, the skies dramatic and the sunsets incredible. What’s more, it’s quieter everywhere, and the prices are cheaper. All in all, the low season is a top time to experience an authentic slice of East Africa. You are unique, so your journey must be bespoke. We promise you the trip of your lifetime. Every time.
You also need to consider who will be traveling and their age groups, and whether children will be traveling. Some safari camps have age requirements. What type of vacation will this be, a romantic getaway or a business trip? All of this needs to be considered.
Best Months: June | July | October
June, July, and October will give you the best game viewing experience in East Africa at the heart of the dry season. The weather is sunny and mainly rain-free but is also the time of year for famous game-viewing opportunities on the Serengeti, Masai Mara, or Samburu National Reserve.
Best Months: May | September
The limited rainfall in May and September will give you the best opportunity for seeing wildlife during a Southern Africa safari with typically sunny and cool days. Parks and conservancies brim with the likes of elephants, lion, and kudu while the spring flowers blossom along the plains.
Best Months: August | September | October
The best time for you to experience the Great Migration on an African safari is in August, September, and October depending on where you are visiting. The celebrated annual migration occurs between July and November when the staggering hordes of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle travel between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya. Depending on where and when you plan your safari, you can witness the spectacle in either park.
Best Months: February | March | April
The best time to witness the Zebra Migration in Botswana is between February and April during the rainy season giving you a view of the largest mass migrations in Africa. The zebras embark on a journey of over 360 miles roundtrip between the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi grasslands.
Best Months: June | July | August
June, July, and August are the best months for gorilla trekking whether in Uganda or Rwanda. The weather is usually warmer with less rain resulting in a more comfortable and easier trekking experience for you. During the wet season, the paths can be steep and muddy but also less visited.
Best Months: February | March | September | October
The best time for a family African safari is in February, March, September, and October. These months give you the best weather and therefore also maximize your game-viewing opportunities. Whether traveling in Southern or East Africa, by visiting as a family between February and March or again between September and October, you can also couple your safari excursions with other unforgettable family-friendly activities.
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