Close to the equator sunset and sunrise happen almost instantaneously. The daylight is a regular dozen hours year-round, and temperatures do not vary widely. This does not mean that wildlife sightings, weather patterns, and general Safari experiences will not be very different from one month to another in different areas.
Summer in East Africa brings river crossings with crocodiles and herds of wildebeest and zebra clashing in the heat. Big cats are highly visible as the migration arrives in the western Serengeti, and Grumeti Reserves and animals also move from the northern Serengeti to the Masai Mara which remains flooded with plains game until early October.
In Rwanda, December and the beginning of the year are the driest months which makes for the most comfortable gorilla trekking, and once the rains start and the fruit ripens in March and April, the chimpanzees become more accessible to see.
Do you dream of packing light cotton and a good hat to take Africa on at its most verdant? Can you see yourself cooling down at the pool, African sun sparkling on the water in between your game drives… birds singing through leafy trees and the heat of the day lingering long enough to let you enjoy the stars until late at night?
Summer in East Africa is a little lazy, very lush… and waiting for you.
The most incredible views of the Virunga Volcanoes, the Musanze valley, Lake Bulera and Ruhondo lie at your feet. The food is delectable, and the service is personalized. It is an elegant lodge from where the luxury traveller can track the endangered mountain gorilla, meet with them in their own beautiful jungle home and experience the privilege of their company with highly trained guides.
Authentic tented camps in Northern Tanzania, this is the classic Safari experience in one of the most celebrated wildlife areas in Africa. The isolation is juxtaposed with incredible comfort and respect for the natural environment, and guests are guaranteed fabulous game viewing throughout the year.
Set within an ancient acacia forest, the tents are carefully positioned and appointed with all the little luxuries that can make all the difference. Close to the Ngorongoro Crater rim with access on the eastern side from the Lemala crater, Lemala guests arrive at the centre of activity an hour before other travellers in the morning. Photographers can be on the floor within 10-15 minutes and escorted walks along the crater rim with an armed ranger, and Maasai guide are popular.
A traditional East African camp, deep within the Masai Mara National Reserve, this is a spectacular location from where you can watch the Great Migration. Elegant tents, sweeping views, warm hospitality and world-renowned game-viewing guides guarantee an incomparable Masai Mara experience in Kenya. The camp is a tranquil oasis above the mighty Talek River which can become a stage set for drama as the herds move through an area that supports some of the highest concentrations and diversity of wildlife in Africa.
Woken before the crack of dawn and whisked away to be carried with the clouds, silently above the African plains. Flying miles above the landscape for a couple of hours with only the occasional roar of the gas to pierce your bubble of peace. The wildlife seems entirely oblivious to their aerial audience and the sights you will see you will never forget. It might be a blessing that your return to earth is a little bumpy as you might welcome the gentle reminder that the dream has come to an end. Also, breakfast, complete with champagne does help to ease one back into the real world.
IMAGES VIA VIRUNGA LODGE, LEMALA MARA, LEMALA NGORONGORO, REKERO CAMP, BALLOON SAFARIS LTD.