For everything there is a season, and in the safari world, that season is year-round. An African safari in November with Ker & Downey is a rewarding experience with lower rates, fewer crowds, and excellent game viewing.
While high season is high for a reason, low season has merits of its own. For many countries in Africa, November is shoulder season or low season. There are fewer crowds and lower rates, making it a great time to travel.
For southern Africa, it’s the start of green season. For photographers, you can’t ask for a better time to capture the African landscapes and wildlife in the bush. Green season signals the start of the rains. These refreshing rains breathe life into a dry land, turning the dry plains to a vibrant green. Set against a blue sky after an afternoon shower, the colors pop. In East Africa, the green season usually starts around December and runs through May.
To take advantage of the green season, fewer crowds, and lower rates, we’re gathered up our top five places for an African safari in November.
The weather in Kenya is pretty temperate year round. From October to November, there is a short rainy season resulting in short afternoon showers, but the crowds that were in the Masai Mara in August and September have dispersed. The grass is still relatively short and the migration is still in the area, so it’s a great time for game viewing. It’s also high season for bird watching with migratory birds in the area until April.
It’s the start of the summer season in Botswana. You’ll see short, heavy showers during the day, but it isn’t peak rainy season. November is a great time to spot big cats in the early mornings or when the temperatures drop slightly in the evenings. Keep your eyes in the trees too, as leopards tend to lounge in the trees seeking respite from the heat. You’ll get great value for your money in November as rates drop significantly in Botswana in November.
You can travel to Madagascar year-round to see lemurs, but if you want to see baby lemurs (and who doesn’t), then make plans to head there in November. It’s shoulder season in Madagascar, with warm temperatures and few visitors. Wildlife is active and birds are in their breeding season. You can expect excellent sightings of lemurs, chameleons, frogs, and various birds, as well as endemic plant life on treks through Andasibe National Park. It’s also a great time to visit Tsarabanjina to soak up some sun and snorkel to see the tropical marine life.
Storm clouds start rolling into the Serengeti in November, but so do the wildebeest. With the arrival of the wildebeest, you’ll start seeing excellent game viewing in Tanzania as predators have their pick among the plains game. There are significantly fewer safari-goers in November, so you’ll have some of the country’s best game viewing all to yourself. Bird watching is also at its best in November. There are short afternoon showers, but it shouldn’t negatively impact your trip.
The weather in South Africa is pretty nice year-round. The Cape’s popular sights – Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Boulder’s Beach – are less crowded. And if you’re lucky, you can catch a few remaining southern right whales along the coast before they migrate to Antarctica. If you’re a keen birder, it’s a great time to travel to South Africa. In the bush, the wildlife will be harder to spot as they’ve left the waterholes with the rains, but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded.