When to visit East Africa?

wildlife photography tour south africa

Some months are better than others so plan accordingly!

Many people ask about the best time of year to visit East Africa, specifically the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.   Great question and we have answers!   Visiting all of these countries is wonderful year round.  Some months are better than others depending on location.   Here are some things we believe you should consider.

You are just north or south of the equator in any of these countries so no matter what time of year you visit bring plenty of sunscreen!

The seasons in East Africa are opposite of North American seasons.

Summer is December through February

Autumn is March through May

Winter is June through August

Spring is September through November

Mountainous areas are cooler and wetter, while savannah and plains are hotter and drier.  The short rains arrive in November (although animal viewing is still good), and the long-rains (or main rains) are typically in April and May.

The temperatures and rainfall will fluctuate with the seasons.  Visiting during the dry season (Summer, Winter and most of Spring) ensures you avoid floods, mudslides, and downpours.  The animals tend to congregate around predictable water sources during the dry season offering the best viewing opportunities.  Temperatures are warm year-round with the hottest months in January and February and coolest in June and July.

Animal births are an exciting time in East Africa.  Watch thousands of new babies being born each day during Tanzania’s calving season from January to April.  Wildlife like lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetah are most active during these months as they stalk for prey.  But rest assured that even if you visit during a non-calving month you will see plenty of animal activity!

Check out the chart below describing the best months to visit East Africa’s National Parks and Reserves.  We hope you find this helpful as you plan your trip!  (Click the chart for larger view.)

If you want more information on the specific locations we visit, check out our DESTINATIONS.

If you have questions about best months to travel or want information on our tours to these locations





  1. Megan Scott
    August 12th

    Wonderful information! Thank you CAT!

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