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September safari - dry season action

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September safari highlights

September provides ongoing prime safari-season action throughout Africa. Very little rain is expected (this is the late dry season), and temperatures are increasing in Southern Africa. Tourist numbers and lodge prices are higher from July to September than other months - early booking is essential.


Southern & East Africa - epic dry season safaris

September heralds amongst the best wildlife encounters of the year. The dry season is nearing its peak, and water is hard to find - making it easier to predict where the wildlife will be. Your safari choices are endless, from the vast wilderness of Kafue in Zambia to Botswana's arid Mashatu and Mozambique's endless white-sand beaches. You could head out to tick off the Big 5 in South Africa's Greater Kruger or in Maasai Mara (Kenya) and Serengeti (Tanzania) in between enjoying the spectacular Mara River crossings (see below). Or consider combining a visit to the spectacular Victoria Falls with a wildlife safari in nearby Chobe (Botswana) or Hwange (Zimbabwe). The options are many and varied - we can help you select those that suit your preferences.

Great Wildebeest Migration - river crossings

During September, the herds move around the northern Serengeti (Tanzania) and southern Maasai Mara (Kenya) region, recrossing the Mara River repeatedly in search of grazing. This fast-moving river flows through the Maasai Mara into the Serengeti. Sometimes the herds plunge en masse off steep banks in their desperate attempts to get across the river, and the fall alone will kill many individuals. Others drown as they are crushed by the sheer volume of panicking wildebeest trying to scramble up the equally steep banks on the other side. Every death means dinner for crocodiles, birds and fish – such is nature’s bounty. And amidst the panic, the dust and the noise, the big cats and hyenas pick off the stragglers and the injured. Find out more about the Great Migration here.

Beaches, islands and bush-and-beach combos

Africa's coastal and island beaches are baking in excellent warm weather with low rainfall. From Mozambique's Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos to Seychelles, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe (it's humpback whale mating season), Kenya's Lamu, Lake Malawi and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia - all offer excellent water sports and toes-in-the-sand relaxation. Combining any of these paradise destinations with a bushveld safari makes for that superb bush-and-beach combo.

Victoria Falls

September offers excellent views of Victoria Falls - 'the smoke that thunders' - because the Zambezi River water levels are low, meaning less spray obscures your view. Courageous visitors to Livingstone Island (Zambia) can swim out to Devil’s Pool (late August-December) to enjoy a thrilling view from the lip of the Falls. The main river-rafting season (August to December) is in full swing, and thrilling adventure beckons. Read more about Victoria Falls seasons and other useful info.

Gorilla and chimp trekking

Despite early rain season showers in September, this is a good time for primate trekking in Rwanda, Uganda, Congo-Brazzavile and DRC. Trekking for mountain and lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and other primates is a life-changing experience, and this is a good time to enjoy the company of our closest relatives. Read more about gorilla trekking and chimp trekking.

These are just a taste of our ready-made September safaris

If none of the above meets your needs, why not discuss your requirements with one of our safari experts?

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