Some great suggestions where to have the best safari experiences in October
Operations & Marketing Development
30 Sep 2020
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October sees the beginning of respite from the long, dry winter months with some rains coming to Africa. Without the dramatic storms which take part in different times of the year, the wildlife benefits from these lights, refreshing early rains.
October is still a fantastic time of year to go on safari with Uganda and Rwanda being excellent ‘shoulder’ seasons to visit the magnificent mountain gorillas. October also sees the beginnings of migratory birds arriving in East and Southern Africa, making it an excellent time to visit if you are a keen birder.
October is one of the driest months of the year with very little rainfall with day time temperatures warming up with night times being particularly pleasant.
Between the months of September through to February are usually the best times to see giant whale sharks as they migrate north along the Mozambiquan coastline with Tofo and later Bazaruo Archipelago presenting some fantastic opportunities to see these magnificent and peaceful creatures
After a long, dry winter, October sees very little water and scarce vegetation. Etosha National Park sees concentrations of wildlife congregating around permanent waterholes. This is by far the best time to see critically endangered species such as black rhino and cheetah. Other areas of Namibia will also offer fantastic experiences such as the dunes of Sossusvlei and the seal-hunting lions of the barren and dramatic Skeleton Coast.
One of the largest if not the largest mammal migration occurs in Zambia between the months of October and December. Each year, one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife secrets occurs Kasanka National Park in Zambia. Over 8 million straw-coloured fruit bats arriving from the Congo to feed on the wild musuku fruits in Kasanka National Park in. This phenomenon of nature is unique only to Kasanka and the park also enjoys prolific bird and other wildlife. It may be off the usual safari routes but that’s all part of its charm and this works perfectly when combined with a visit to Kafue, South Luangwa National Park or Lower Zambezi National Parks.
October sees Zimbabwe at its driest before the rains begin to threaten in November. In Mana Pools National Park the wildlife stay close to permanent water sources with an abundance of predators, large prides of lions and packs of African wild dog lie in wait to take advantage as herds of Cape buffalo, impala and other antelope make their pilgrimage to the life giving waters. The flood plains in the north of the park are the main attraction as the mighty Zambezi river flows east towards Mozambique… however, for those looking for more adventure, there’s a hidden gem deep in the heart of the now dry park. Chitake Springs. This permanent spring is the only water for miles around and is a constant draw for wildlife. Sightings here can be phenomenal, and you get a real sense of being in virgin Africa territory.
October is shoulder season in Uganda with rains looming. Short downpours usually occur during humid afternoons so it is still possible to do mountain gorilla trekking and visit the plethora of national parks such as Murchison Falls, which is home to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in East Africa as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park which has gained fame for its population of tree climbing lions. It’s far less busy than previous months so there are some very good deals to be found when looking for quality accommodation in the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
Madagascar in October has lovely ambient temperatures, jacaranda tress in full bloom, lychee fruit is plentiful with many road side venders selling these delicious little treats and… lemurs have had their pups. Lemur pups will generally stay with their mothers, clinging adorably to their mother’s back, gradually gaining confidence. At this time of year, lemurs are generally on the ground foraging for food, socialising with each other, playing, squabbling and sunbathing so it makes for an easier time to find them in the thick rainforests.