Birding: anywhere is good from
November to April! Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania,
Zambia, Botswana and South Africa offer amongst the best safari
habitats for birders. Absolute best is late
October to mid December.
Gorillas: permits for mountain gorillas in
Uganda/Rwanda are easy; lowland gorillas in Gabon need
time/patience/tolerance; options in CAR/Congo are good and as yet
not mainstream. Any time of year. [...see
Chimps: Kibale in Uganda, Mahale in Tanzania
offer totally different experiences. Any time of
year. Expect some tough tracking in June and
Big game: Luangwa, Mana Pools, Hwange, Moremi,
Linyanti, Chobe, Katavi, Selous, Ruaha – dry season peaks in
Lions: Lower Zambezi, Okavango and Linyanti from
May to November; Queen Elizabeth NP’s Ishasha area for tree-climbing
lions; Katavi’s Kapapa River in September to November; Kidepo Valley
in north Uganda.
Elephants: Mana Pools, Linyanti, Chobe, the
Luangwa, Selous, Katavi, Amboseli.
Wild dogs: Moremi and Linyanti in June; Selous
in July/August; South Luangwa in green season.
Leopards: the South Luangwa and southern
Kafue anytime between May and
Cheetah: go to Okavango/Linyanti, Namibia or
Kenya’s Mara from June to October
Wildebeest migration in East Africa: use a
mobile camp or take a walking safari and go late October/early
November to northern Serengeti.
Wildebeest migration in southern Africa:
join a small group and go to Liuwa Plains in western Zambia in
December, May or June; visit the Makgadikgadi Pans around March.
Bats! Visit Zambia in November for the
convergence of millions of “straw-coloured fruit bats” as they
descend on Kasanka National Park
History and culture: visit Ethiopia and the
historical sites of Axum, Lalibela, Gondar and Bahir
Dar; explore Lamu or Stonetown for Swahili culture; explore some of
South Africa’s recent past through battlefields and
Safari-Beach combinations: go to
Kenya or Cape Town in February/March; Zambia and Mozambique in
September/October; Seychelles in May to September; Madagascar in
October/November; and for fresh water beaches combine Katavi with
Mahale or the Luangwa with Malawi between May and October.
Active safaris: canoe the lower
Zambezi anytime of year; take a walking safari in Mana Pools, the
Luangwa or Selous between June and October; go trekking in
Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains for the Rwenzoris from Uganda.
Educational encounters: go to
Victoria Falls to walk with lions and take an elephant back trail;
do work as a chimp caregiver on Ngamba Island; spend some time
anywhere in the company of the best guides
Family safaris: get the kids
active in the Kenyan bush and beaches; combine Victoria Falls with
Botswana or Zambia; take a malaria free safari to the Kruger and
Secluded spots: seek out some real
gems in Tanzania’s western corridor; venture further north on
Kenya’s coast or the northern Frontier District; visit the Kidepo
Valley and Semliki in Uganda or Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.