Where to safari in October

"October is the final month of the dry season, but if you don’t mind a bit of heat you will experience some incredible game viewing"

Throughout October the first signs emerge that the end of the dry season is drawing near in southern Africa.  Despite the lateness of the season, it remains a top choice for a safari in most areas, particularly if you don’t mind the warm weather. It’s a hot month, and in some place, you may notice mild humidity creeping in. Towards the end of the month, rain clouds begin to gather creating a striking backdrop for what is still fabulous game viewing.

October is the hottest and driest month in Botswana, but if you can handle the heat it is also one of the best times to visit. The higher temperatures drive the game towards water sources and predators congregate around the waterholes and rivers. Chobe and the Linyanti see vast herds of elephant and buffalo numbering into the thousands, whilst the Okavango Delta offers the herds a permanent source of water. Water activities in the Okavango are often limited at this time of year due to low water levels, but the overall game viewing is outstanding. In the south of Botswana, the Boteti River area sees large herds of zebra on its banks; an incredible sight to behold.

A great journey combination for October is the spectacle of Victoria Falls alongside a Botswana safari. By this time Victoria Falls is starting to dry out however it’s still impressive and a few days chilling out on the banks of the Zambezi is a great way to start or end any trip – especially in the heat of October. The concentration of game in Botswana at this time will leave you amazed when you arrive on the banks of the Chobe River and beyond.

Another winning combination for October adventurers is the Kruger and Cape Town combined with some time at the beach in either Mozambique or on an Indian Ocean Island. Cape Town is emerging into a sparkling spring, and you’ll find the Mother City bathed in crisp sunshine and clear blue skies. It is ideal for wine-tasting, fine dining, mountain-climbing and just about any other activity. Game viewing in the Kruger in October is excellent with animals congregating around waterholes in the dry bushland, making for epic game viewing and amazing photo opportunities. Round off all this adventure at the beach as you enjoy some rest and relaxation against a backdrop of clear calm water, magnificent skies and nice temperatures.

In Zambia, this is the last chance to experience the magic of Busanga Plains, best done from above in a hot air balloon over the vast expanse of Kafue National Park. Kafue is best combined at this time of year with Liuwa Plain National Park where the annual wildebeest migration is about to start.

October sees the start of the small rains in east Africa and the herds heads south. It is still a great time to visit the Masai Mara and northern Serengeti as the tail end of the herds are likely to still be around and off course all the usual non-migratory species are there. The southern circuit of Tanzania is now at its best with spectacular game viewing around the remaining water sources. Ruaha National Park will blow your mind!

The table below indicates the locations which we rate as the best and good in October.

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