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Where to go on safari in May

Some great suggestions where to have the best safari experiences in May



Operations & Marketing Development
Published on

30 Sept 2020

Updated on

17 Nov 2020

Baobabs At Sunrise On Kubu Island In Makgadikgadi Pans

The rains are at their peak across the majority of East Africa, including; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, which can make for a tricky safari. However, further south across Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe these destinations are starting to come in to their own as the vegetation starts to thin and the wildlife is starting to be drawn towards more permanent sources of water.

South Africa

Trees and vegetation continue to lose their foliage, meaning the bush is becoming more and more open – allowing for easier wildlife spotting and visibility. The weather is mild as the dry season starts to kick in making it a great time to explore the diversity of the Rainbow Nation. The Kruger National Park is still a fantastic place to plan a safari at this time of year as is the sub-tropical region of Kwa Zulu Natal.


This is the culmination of Zambia's wet and rainy season, with vegetation still lush and green and Victoria Falls is flowing in full force. May isn’t an optimum time for game viewing but there is an abundance of wildlife and there won’t be many visitors, making it feel like a more exclusive wilderness experience.


May is a great time to visit Zimbabwe with Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks being highly recommended. It’s the beginning of the dry season, temperatures are becoming more mild and vegetation is starting to thin, which means the wildlife is easier to spot.

Uganda and Rwanda

‘Travel to Uganda and Rwanda during the damp, overcast month of May, you must be daft’ I hear you say. But there is method to the madness. The mist and overcast conditions make for a photographers’ dream when photographing mountain gorillas. The gorillas will have also moved to lower altitudes on the mountains to feed on young bamboo shoots meaning the sometimes-demanding treks could potentially be a little easier.

Shutterstock 424490806 Copy
The magnificent victoria falls is on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe
Murchison Falls In Uganda On The River Nile Copy
Murchison Falls, Uganda
Female Mountain Gorilla With Baby In Bwindi Copy
mountain gorilla trekking in uganda and rwanda


The start of Botswana's "prime" safari season is a wonderful time of year for game viewing, with camps in the Northern part of the Okavango Delta starting to receive water from the summer rains in the Angolan highlands. Visitors can take advantage of lower prices to enjoy this amazing area to the fullest.


May is a fabulous time of year to head to Namibia, the country is still lush with colourful vegetation, rains are rare, there’s less dust and with the temperate climate, it makes great conditions for hiking especially through the Fish River Canyon region. Wildlife viewing is still not at it’s best but it is a good time to visit Namibia’s famous Etosha National Park as during the peak season, the park can get busy and accommodation is difficult to find if you don’t book early.


May sees the start of the dry season in Malawi but the country is still in bloom and the landscape is a carpet of green. The lush landscapes and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time to climb Mount Mulanje as well as combining a safari experience to some of southern Malawi’s striking national parks.


Madagascar in May brings rays of sunshine after the heavy rains and cyclone season. With such a diverse and unique ecosystem, Madagascar offers breath taking natural beauty, white sand beaches, beautiful rainforests… and of course… extraordinary wildlife. This is the only place in the world which you will see lemurs in their natural environment, as they roam through the rainforests which they share with brightly coloured birds and reptiles. The diversity is truly staggering.

With mother nature coming in to full bloom but without a huge amount of travellers visiting, it’s definitely a rewarding time of year to travel to Madagascar.

Hippos Botswana
hippos are prevalent in botswana
Mount Mulanje In Malawi Copy
Mount mulanje - Malawi
Isalo National Park In Madagascar Copy
Isalo National Park - Madagascar

For more inspiration, take a look at our 26 favourite safari holidays, our best African honeymoon ideas or our top family safari holidays.

Planning a safari holiday? Give our friendly experts a call on 01768 603 715 or fill in our enquiry form.

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  • Ben


    Africa Specialist

  • Alistair


    Africa Specialist

  • Ali


    Africa Specialist

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