Due to the heat and sporadic rain, November can be considered a tricky time to safari in Africa. However, with some planning, this month can be one of the very best to move through the region. Both east and southern Africa see low visitor numbers and supplier rates drop once again, meaning there are some great deals. Wildlife sightings remain as spectacular as during the peak dry season with the rain offering a welcome relief to the high temperatures. As an added bonus, the accompanying thunderstorms and sunsets are spectacular.
During November Zambia is a very special place in southern Africa, as two unique wildlife events take place. The second largest wildebeest migration in Africa occurs in Liuwa Plain National Park from November onwards. Animals are enticed to migrate by the promise of short fresh grass and the fear of rising waters on the Zambezi floodplains. This spectacular movement sees animals scattered all across the open plains of this remote park and dramatic clouds and thunderstorms make for a spectacular backdrop and a photographer’s paradise!
Even more exotic is the largest mammal migration in the world… the bat migration at Kasanka National Park in the north-west of Zambia. An incredible 10 million fruit bats congregate in a very small parcel of land and viewing platforms are placed high up in the trees. This ensures you can be immersed in this spectacle in the early mornings when the bats return from their nightly foraging. This is an amazing, must-do experience for the seasoned African traveler. In other parts of Zambia, many bush camps close for the wet season but in South Luangwa, various camps are still open making for a great combination with Kasanka.
November in Botswana is also very special, particularly across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and in the Kalahari Desert. It’s a time of new life after the rains and the layer of fresh grass attracts animals from far and wide. Baby animals are aplenty with predators in attendance too.
All over southern Africa, migratory birds arrive and for the seasoned safari traveler and twitchers amongst you, that is always a special time to be in the region.
The small rains continue in east Africa and ease off towards the end of November. With fewer travelers around at this time of the year it is definitely worth considering for those not worried about getting a little wet and seeking some solitude and adventure.
The table below indicates the locations which we rate as the best and good in November.
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