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Where to go in Africa in October

Where to go in Africa in October

One of the best months for a safari and beach holiday

October is one of the best times to be in Mauritius or visit Seychelles, and coupled with this month falling  at the very end of the dry season in all the National Parks and reserves across Southern and East Africa - it makes a safari and beach holiday an irresistable combination. 

Quick 'At a Glance' Summary

    • The migrating wildebeest return to the Serengeti
    • Daily whale watching opportunities in Hermanus
    • Widely considered to be THE best time to visit Mauritius and Seychelles
    • Exceptional game viewing in Zambia and Zimbabwe's Nationals Parks

Mauritius

October is widely considered to be one of the best months to travel to the tropical island of Mauritius. The weather is pleasantly warm and this is the driest month in terms of rainfall, so you do not get the humidity which is prevalent in other months which have higher rainfall. 

Hammock on the BeachSeychelles

Divers and snorkelling fans will love the clear calm waters and resulting excellent underwater visibility during this month, as October is towards the end of the south-east trade wind season, and earlier on in the season the winds can churn up the waters.

Tanzania

The migrating wildebeest herds normally now start to make their way down south again, so the northern Serengeti plains are once again the scene of dramatic river crossings as the wildebeest cross back from the Mara into the Serengeti. 

In the Southern Circuit, this is one of the  best times to visit the Selous and Ruaha Game Reserves, as the wildlife congregate around the waterholes and rivers and the vegetation is dry, making for superb and easier sightings.

Kenya

The migrating wildebeest and zebra start to depart the Mara plains on their long trek back towards the Southern Serengeti plains in Tanzania, but the general game is still here, so this is a lovely time to be on safari in the Mara if you want good game viewing but with slightly fewer crowds.

Samburu has warm, sunny days and great game viewing along the Ewaso Nyiro River due to this being at the end of the dry season. Amboseli continues to remain dry, so the wildlife viewings around the swamps and marshlands remains consistently good.

October is one of the best times to visit the Kenyan coastal hotels and resorts if you are keen to dive or snorkel with whale sharks, as the seas are clear with great visibility and the first of the migratory whale sharks are arriving.

Elephants in ZambiaZambia

October is truly an exceptional time for game viewing across any of the National Parks in Zambia, as it is right at the tail end of the dry season so the wildlife around the permanent waterholes and rivers is amazing for sightings.  Temperatures can get very hot towards the end of the month, however, and can easily reach the mid to high 30 degrees C (up to 95 degrees F) - and not all camps have air conditioning!

Zimbabwe

October is right at the end of the dry season in Hwange National Park. The many waterholes are still gathering places for animals, while the now very dry vegetation makes them easier to spot.  The first rains may arrive towards the end of the month, bringing a new freshness to everything.  October can feel very hot, however, just before the start of the rains. 

South Africa

This is an excellent time to be in Hermanus for whale watching.

The daytime and night-time temperatures on safari are increasing, and the bush is becoming very dry, so game viewing around the permanent waterholes and rivers continues to dominate.  In October there may be thunderstorms, which bring a welcome relief to the dust and dry heat.

Temperatures in Cape Town continue to climb, and the chances of rain get less every day.

It can be busy in October, however, due to the half-term holidays, so early planning is advised.