October is widely regarded as one of the best times to embark on a safari adventure in Africa. With its pleasant weather, remarkable wildlife sightings, and cheap tourist deals, it’s the prime opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of the African wilderness.
Whether you’re seeking up-close encounters with majestic animals, breathtaking landscapes, or the chance to witness extraordinary events such as the Great Migration, an October safari promises an unforgettable experience that’ll leave you with lasting memories for the years to come.
In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need about going on an African safari in October and the best experiences to add to your itinerary.
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Is October a good time to go on safari?
Absolutely! During October, many African countries experience favorable weather conditions, making it an excellent time for wildlife viewing and being able to appreciate the beauty of the landscapei. What’s more, it’s also a lot cheaper to visit than during the peak seasons, so you’ll be able to enjoy a full safari experience on a budget.
Here are some of the key reasons to go on safari in October:
October is a cheaper time to go on a safari compared to other months of the year. It’s always hot in sub-Saharan Africa and you’re unlikely to experience much rainfall at all (you may catch the occasional shower towards the end of the month, if any). However, this is a good compromise to make as prices drop significantly, meaning you can experience your dream safari for less.
What’s more, visitor numbers decline in October, which leads to more competitive pricing from safari operators, so you may just be able to grab a great deal.
Improved wildlife viewing
During the month of October, safari enthusiasts have the exciting prospect of encountering extraordinary wildlife encounters. You may just be lucky enough to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of animals giving birth and newborn creatures embarking on their very first steps.
The landscape undergoes a stunning transformation during this time of year. The recent rainfall nourishes the land which creates lush greenery on the once-dry plains and savannahs. While the increased availability of water sources can cause game to disperse across a wider area, this provides an opportunity for experienced guides to venture into lesser-explored areas in search of wildlife. Visitors, therefore, have the chance to discover hidden gems and experience a more exclusive encounter with nature.
October is a much quieter month for African safaris. With fewer tourists around, you’ll be able to enjoy the experience at a more relaxed pace and have greater chances of spotting wildlife without battling the crowds.
Guides and staff have more time to focus on individual guests by providing personalized assistance, sharing in-depth knowledge about wildlife and the environment, and customizing safari activities to your own preferences.
Where to go on safari in October
Some of the best October safaris in Uganda include:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is a globally significant destination renowned for its endangered mountain gorillas. The park’s gorilla trekking experiences offer an unparalleled opportunity to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat, which you can experience with our 3-day or 4-day gorilla-trekking holiday.
The forest is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting exceptional biodiversity. In October, Bwindi National Forest showcases its vibrant greenery and thriving ecosystem, thanks to the rains in the preceding months having nourished the landscape.
While here, be sure to take time to mingle with the local communities, particularly the Batwa Pygmies, to learn more about the region’s cultural heritage.
Kibale Forest National Park is renowned for its exceptional primate populations. It’s home to an impressive 13 primate species (including the iconic chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and black-and-white colobus monkeys), which you can observe up close during game drives. While here, you may also spot a variety of mammals, such as elephants, buffaloes, duikers, and bushbucks.
The park also boasts diverse ecosystems that host a wide range of flora and fauna. The lush tropical rainforest is a sanctuary for bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers – especially during October, with many migratory bird species having started to arrive in the park.
With so much to see and do in Kibale Forest National Park, you could potentially book a custom safari that’s tailored to your exact requirements.
Murchison Falls National Park is known for its namesake, the magnificent Murchison Falls, where the Nile River crashes through a narrow gorge, creating a breathtaking cascade of water. The park’s diverse landscapes, ranging from savannah plains to riverine forests, provide a captivating backdrop for exploration.
October is a great month for wildlife sightings in Murchison Falls National Park. The vegetation is typically less dense during this time, making it easier to spot animals as they gather around the water sources. Look out for elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and an array of antelope species.
Head off on thrilling game drives or boat safaris along the Nile to encounter these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. During October, water levels are usually good so you’ll have a much smoother ride and the opportunity for optimal viewing. Marvel at herds of elephants grazing along the riverbanks spot elusive leopards lounging in the trees, and the remarkable Nile crocodiles sunning themselves on the river’s edge.
Ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure? Discover the untamed beauty of Murchison National Park and Kidepo on our exhilarating 10-day guided trip.
Situated in the western part of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, ranging from lush forests to sparkling crater lakes and meandering rivers. As you navigate the park’s expansive savannahs, be prepared to spot majestic elephants, graceful giraffes, herds of buffalo, and the elusive leopards roaming freely in their natural habitat. You may also discover a variety of antelope species, including Uganda kob and topi.
One of the park’s major highlights is the Kazinga Channel, a natural waterway that connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Take a boat safari along the channel and you’ll be treated to the incredible sight of hippos and crocodiles wallowing in the water and colorful birds darting through the skies. The park is also known for its population of tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, which are famous for their habit of lounging high up in the branches of fig trees.
A highlight we recommend in Kenya is the Masai Mara National Reserve…
Located in southwestern Kenya, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a vast and untamed wilderness. It is named after the Maasai people – a proud and traditional community that has coexisted harmoniously with wildlife for centuries. If you have always dreamed of seeing the Big Five, booking a 4-day trip here in October should be on your bucket list. This is the key month where you’ll spot the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo roaming along the plains in full view.
What makes the Masai Mara truly exceptional is the annual Great Migration during this time of year. Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores undertake a treacherous journey from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in search of greener pastures. Witnessing this natural spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the vast herds cross crocodile-infested rivers and brave predators in their quest for survival.
What is the weather like in October for a safari?
The weather in Africa during October can vary hugely depending on the specific region and country you plan to visit.
In East Africa, (Kenya and Tanzania), October marks the end of the dry season and the transition to the short rainy season. The weather is generally warm with daytime temperatures ranging from 25-30°C (77-86°F). However, the weather can be unpredictable, with occasional showers or thunderstorms, especially towards the end of the month.
In Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe) October falls during the spring season. The weather is typically pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F). It’s considered the transitional period from the dry winter to the wet summer season so, you may encounter sporadic rainfall from time to time.
In Central Africa (Rwanda and Uganda) October is characterized by a mix of dry and wet weather. It can be a good time for gorilla trekking, as rainfall isn’t as heavy compared to other months. Temperatures are generally moderate, ranging from 20-25°C (68-77°F).
Book your safari in October 2023 and get a FREE Chimpanzee Trek!
Thinking of booking your dream safari for October 2023? Book now we’ll give you a FREE chimpanzee trek to add to your itinerary while on your trip. Claim this limited-time offer today.
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