Hot on the heels of August, September is widely regarded as one of the best months to travel to Africa. Spring is approaching which means temperatures are rising across the continent, and the parks and reserves become increasingly drier which makes for phenomenal concentrations of game animals around the last few waterholes and rivers. This is the heart of the dry season and the best time of year for big game viewing. High-quality safaris are on offer at most locations making your biggest problem deciding where to go!
In the Indian Ocean temperatures are also rising and with the high humidity still weeks away, the climate is sublime. Cape Town is also warming up and there are still whales migrating along the coastline.
It is still peak season, but with the European school holidays over, most areas are a little quieter than before.
In east Africa the migration is still in full swing in the north and although the river crossings can never be guaranteed September is widely regarded as the ‘safest’ time of the year to experience it. This is also a wonderful time to combine the northern Tanzania circuit with the southern circuit, notably Ruaha National Park. This safari can be combined with some ocean activities with stay at Zanzibar and Mafia Island making for one of the best ‘bush and beach’ holidays!
If you’re looking for a broad-ranging African experience, another one of the best bush and beach combinations is Zambia and Lake Malawi, and September is the ideal time to do this. In Zambia, large mammals can be found wallowing in pools of the Luangwa River to keep cool, and the big cats are easy to spot along the riverbanks. Traditional Zambian bush camps are open to their surrounding wildlife and an intimate walking safari is a great way to explore the area. At Lake Malawi, the temperatures sit at a pleasant 28℃ making it the ideal location enjoy local water sports and amazing freshwater snorkeling.
If you’re exploring Namibia, consider expanding your itinerary beyond large game viewing in Etosha. For extra adventure add an expedition to the remote Kaokoveld and Damaraland regions in the country’s north, before heading south to the dunes of Sossusvlei. These all offer world-class landscapes, scenery and photographic opportunities. It will be hot during the day, but not unbearably so, and the dry, clear days are ideal for exploring.
In Zimbabwe, the sight of Victoria Falls is not as dramatic as the raging torrents of water witnessed during its peak flow from May to July, but it’s still impressive. Hwange is also in its peak season making it a great time to combine a safari in Hwange with the Falls. A major drawcard in Victoria Falls for the adventurous at heart, is the adrenaline activities at this time. The Zambezi’s water levels are low making for some of the world’s best whitewater rafting. The ‘Devil’s Pool’ is also now open for swimming and thrill seekers can swim to the waterfall’s edge and peer over the cliff to the river 100 meters below!
The table below indicates the locations which we rate as the best and good in September.
Where to go in September
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