Safari in August can easily be named as busiest safari season on the African calendar – and there are many good reasons to consider a safari in August is one of the best. Wildlife sights have reached their peak, and the Northern Hemisphere holiday season is upon us.
National parks and wildlife archives have been booked for months, even years, and prices are at their highest. Forget discounted or last-minute businesses; This is when lodges and hotels make their profit.
Temperatures and humidity levels have dropped substantially from the height of the rainy summer, and dark times can be chilly – especially if you live near bodies of water and at higher altitudes.
Be sure to pack those scarves, gloves, and beanie for a game drive.
From mid-morning and most of the daylight, short sleeves are ideal, with temperatures in the mid to mid-to-late period (Celsius).
Many of these worrisome mosquitoes and other pests have largely disappeared, and even though the risk of malaria is low during the cold, dry months, we suggest you take precautionary measures during Safari in August.
The lack of rainfall and seasonal groundwater sources means that animals are collected in permanent water sources such as perennial rivers, dams and deep pools.
Many species – such as elephants, buffaloes, wildebeest, and zebras that fanned the widespread, distant backcountry during the wet months – have now returned to the vicinity of the tourist lodge – bringing with them predators during Safari in August.
This concentration of wildlife close to water sources makes their movements more predictable which means your guide will have an easier time finding them for you.
Added to this is the fact that many trees and shrubs have their leaves and grasses dry on the stalks – so it’s easier to see animals than a lot of rain.
Of course, these seasonal rituals will be the exception – including Cape Town and the Garden Route, where the Mediterranean climate brings wet and cool weather in August that lasts up to Safari in October.
A place to consider your Safari in October
August is a great time to visit the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa for all the above reasons. But be aware that even though the local school holidays are over, international visitors are at a disadvantage at this time of year.
To avoid the crowds, we recommend the private archive at the west end of the park, where the privacy enhances the experience, and great guides will increase your chances of finding the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo).
In South Africa, we also offer a safari for the Madikwe Game Reserve in August. Not only is it a malaria-free zone, but it’s also a great place to look for the Big 5 and other endangered species such as leopards, wild dogs, and brown hyenas.
August is also a great time to visit Botswana anywhere.
The annual flood boat has flooded the Opavango Delta from their source in the Ongawan Highlands, and the waters of this wonderland are breathtaking.
Rainfall throughout Botswana has dried up seasonal monsoon water sources, and wildlife feeds on northern water sources, such as the Chivi River and perennial rivers during Safari in August.
In Zambia, it is leopard-centered in the Luangwa Valley and Kafue National Park is in full safari mode.
Seasonal bush camps in the South Luangwa National Park are a special treat for weekly safari-travelers and walking safari enthusiasts.
Zimbabwe’s safari season is also in full swing, with Havaje National Park attracting large numbers of elephants, lions and other species that are attracted to pump water, and Mana Pools National Park offers some of the best elephants and wild dog breeds.
And then there is Victoria Falls for both Zambian and Zimbabwe, which are open for business all year round and are a must for any serious Africa-fanatics.
East and Central Africa
August sees the Great Wildebeest migration to the northern Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and faces one of their biggest challenges: crossing the Mara River to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.
And while the burning minimum spells are mesmerizing, they are probably responsible for transporting the largest number of dead and killing thousands of valedictorians.
Sometimes the cattle are drowned in steep shores on their creeks after crossing the river or drowned by a lion, and many people are killed alone.
They are trying to piece together equally steep banks on the other side by the sheer volume of unlucky Hollywood to sink in as others sink during Safari in August.
Every death means dinner for crocodiles, birds, and fish – that is the grace of nature.
And in panic, the dust and the noise, the big cats and the hyenas pick up the stragglers and the wounded.
Be careful that the riverside, aside from the huge sails, also attract a large number of tourists, who gather at strategic points to see this view.
There is no classification system, such as privately-operated wealthy guests in the swing of open Land Rovers to get the best view by engaging in mini-vans with pop-up roofs with budget back-packers during Safari in August.
With the end of the rainy season for Uganda’s Bibindi Irrigation National Park and Kibale National Park and Rwanda’s volcanic national park, gorillas, chimps and gold monkeys, scenes of mountains and volcanic waters are now gone forever.
For trekking lowland gorillas, head to Odjala-Kokoa National Park in Congo to catch up with these humble monsters of the dry season, as well as other specialties like bongos, forest buffalo, and forest elephants.
For bird watchers, August is plenty of time in Uganda and Rwanda. The brief rains have come to an end, and the Albertine Rift Endemics have to survive here.
Highly sought-after avian jewelers such as green broadbills and Green-breasted pitchers breed and are easy to detect during a Safari in August.
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