The short answer - Now! The weather is always good in Africa ;). Africa has lots of sunshine and blue skies all year round. But... Africa is a massive continent with many different climates and regions and it differs from North to South and East to West. Have a look a the general forecast for each region below.
General weather outlook for Southern and Eastern Africa
- Southern Africa weather (South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique).
Summer: November to March
The average summer high temperatures can be anywhere between 25°C - 35°C, and average summer low temperatures can be anywhere between 15°C - 25°C.
Autumn: April to May
Winter: June to August
The average winter high temperatures can be anywhere between 17°C - 25°C, and average winter low temperatures can be anywhere between -2°C - 12°C.
Spring: September and October
The best time for a safari is between May and September. These are the cooler, dry months.
The best time for whale watching is between July and November. Whales can often be seen from the coastline between Hermanus and Cape Town in South Africa.
The northern regions of South Africa can be rainy from November to February, but you will still have lots of blue skies. This is also a good time for bird watching.
- Eastern Africa weather (Kenya, Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia).
Countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are located around the Equator, which means the seasons are not as clear-cut as let's say, in Europe or North America. Let's break it down into 3 travel periods:
December to March:
You can expect warm summer temperatures and possibly short bursts of rain. This is a great time for game viewing (safari) in the Serengeti, diving and snorkeling around Zanzibar and Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda. An average high of 28°C and an average low of 15°C can be expected.
April to June:
This is the main rainy season around Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. Safaris are still good in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and the Masai Mara, but it would be best to overnight in hotels/ lodges instead of camping. Heavy rain showers can be expected for a few hours each day or so... We also don't offer Kilimanjaro climbs during this period.
July to November
Mild temperatures and classic dry-season safari make these months the most popular time to visit East Africa. Our advice would be to book safaris and tours well in advance, especially if the wildebeest migration is your main focus. Visitor numbers peak in July and August. The 'short' rainy season is from October to December with short rains in Tanzania and central Kenya. However, these months are mostly dry and sunny forcing animals to gather at permanent water. The best weather is from July to September in East Africa, especially along the coast.
African weather map
For weather conditions right now, have a look at the live African weather map below.
Click on the map and drag to the region you are thinking of travelling to.