Some great suggestions where to have the best safari experiences in November
Operations & Marketing Development
30 Sept 2020
13 Feb 2023
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November needs some careful thought and planning when travelling to Africa. It is the start of the rains around mid-late November but it’s one of the best times to visit Botswana and Zimbabwe, especially Mana Pools in early November being a real hidden gem to travel to. November is a good time of year for those looking to save a little on their safari experiences as quite a few lodges and camps will reduce their rates to encourage more visitors during the start of the quiet safari season.
As you go through the dry seasons in Botswana - May-October the game viewing gets increasingly better as the water holes dry up and wildlife congregates. The rains often fall middle to end of November so the first two weeks of November can result in the best game viewing but shoulder season prices. Be wary it can be warm at this time of year, but you will be rewarded. November also combines well with Cape Town and the Garden route.
Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Zambezi River
Mid-November does see the coming of the rainy season in Zambia and Zimbabwe, but if you time it right and head earlier in the month, you could be rewarded with phenomenal sightings as the wildlife will be very much concentrated around the precious water sources and the Zambezi River itself. A trip to Victoria Falls is also rewarding at this time of year as the water levels are reasonably low meaning you can take a dip in the Devil’s Pool which is perched right on the very edge of the world-famous waterfall.
November is also when Zambia sees its famous bat migration happen, the largest mammal migration on the planet as 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats descend on the Kasanka National Park. A truly unique experience for those looking to combine their safari with something a little bit different.
Coming into early summer with spectacular thunderstorms brewing, it brings relief to the dry African bushveld which has now started to lose its drab winter colour and a carpet of greenery begins to appear.
This also the start of the lambing season, where herds of impala give birth, gathering together to form large nursery herds for safety in numbers, as big cats and other predators make the most of an abundance of food to feed their own young families. The infamous Kruger National Park with its high wildlife populations make for a great safari destination, as well as the private concessions of the Sabi Sands. But, don’t discount Kwa Zulu Natal as there are some fantastic safari options here also.
As with the rest of Southern Africa, Malawi is playing host to a whole myriad of visiting migratory birds which have flown south from the northern hemisphere winter months. If you’re a keen birder than Malawi should be considered.
Not commonly considered as a diving destination, Malawi boasts some of the best fresh-water diving in the world. The calm, clear, shark-less and tide-less Lake Malawi is teeming with tropical fish with a population of over 1000 different species make for a great diving experience. In some areas night dives are a real highlight as Malawian dolphin fish take advantage of the torchlight and feed on the brightly coloured tropical fish.
November sees the arrival of the short rains, but most camps remain open and you can benefit from lower rates. Rains tend to be short bursts so if you don't mind a little bit of mud as part of your adventure, it can be a wonderful time for game-viewing, especially in areas that can become very busy at other times of the year such as the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, which is also where the wildebeest migration is heading towards (away from the Mara) in hunt of fresh pastures brought by the rains. It is also peak bird-watching time in Mahle Mountains.
Beach add ons
If you are looking to combine beach and bush, then November can be a wonderful time to do this.
November is one of the best months to visit Seychelles, although it is also peak season. Stay on the east coast of the Islands to avoid the North West Trade winds and make the most of the chance to see Hawksbill turtles laying their eggs.
It is also peak time in Mauritius with warm temperatures and low rainfall making this a perfect time to visit these islands. Spend your days relaxing on the beach, snorkelling in the clear, warm waters and enjoying delicious freshly caught seafood.