Early mornings and late afternoons are generally the best time to spot wildlife
during an African safari
. In the mornings, the air is cool, and the animals are quite active after a long night of hunting. In the late afternoon, predators, such as the big cats, begin to stir from their afternoon of slumber to escape from the heat. Prey animals prepare to be on high alert as dusk falls.
Follow the great migration, also known as the Great Wildebeest Migration, between July and September in the Serengeti in Tanzania, and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, for one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth. Thousands of wildebeest make the incredible journey in search of fresh grazing lands and watering holes. You can also witness thousands of gazelle and zebra, closely stalked on and by lions, whilst hungry crocodiles lie in the rivers waiting as the wildlife makes the daunting river crossings.
Spot lions in the early morning or late afternoon. The king of the jungle hunts at dawn or dusk, spends the hot afternoon hours resting in the shade, and is therefore difficult to spot.
Leopards are usually easy to spot in parks where their lion rivals are few. They spend most of the daytime hours escaping the heat in large tree canopies or under rocky outcrops, so the best time to spot them is during a night-time game drive. See them in Kruger National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, or Masai Mara National Park.
There are about 30,000 rhinos left in the world, with most of them found in South Africa. On the endangered species lost, rhinos can be extremely hard to spot, so if you do, consider it your lucky day! Rhinos typically move more at night when the air is cooler. During the day, you may find them resting in the shade or a mud wallow.
The best way to see elephants is by boat at Chobe National Park in Botswana
, where you can watch them swim, wallow, and spray themselves with water. Chobe is known as The Land of The Giants because it’s home to Africa’s largest elephant population. It also has an abundance of bird and other animal life through the 10,000 square kilometres of diverse landscapes and rich ecosystems that surround the Chobe River. Evergreen Tours offers a Chobe Princess River Cruise––an absolute must for anyone travelling to Africa
In Kenya, Masai Mara is a good viewing place for Cape buffalo. Behold the classic image of an African safari while you watch these giant animals munch on the Mara grasses. Dry season forces buffalo to gather elsewhere in search of water, so July to October is the ideal time to observe these wondrous animals during the morning or early evening hours.