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October Safari Forecast

October is generally the hottest month in Southern Africa and for those who can take the heat, it offers the very best in wildlife viewing and exciting interactions around water sources. You can expect high wildlife numbers, hot dusty landscapes, and dramatic encounters between predators and prey. Migratory birds from Europe and Asia travel southwards through East Africa to Southern Africa in large numbers and add color to the dry landscapes.

In Namibia, as elsewhere in Southern Africa, October gets very hot and dusty. It’s a fantastic time to visit Etosha with easy wildlife spotting and iconic white clay landscapes. We recommend pairing Etosha with the breathtaking red sand dunes and white clay pan landscapes of Sossusvlei; a year-round destination.

The Eastern Cape lies at the far end of the scenic Garden Route in South Africa. It’s a beautiful area packed with exclusive private reserves offering Big Five wildlife viewing in a completely malaria-free environment. The Eastern Cape is home to some of the best beaches in all of South Africa. The weather in October is temperate and pleasant with occasional rain.

October is a wonderful time to discover the Great Rift valley in Kenya. The Rift Valley experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long, cool dry season occurs from July to October. During and especially at the end of the dry season, water and vegetation are scarce, so the animals congregate around any remaining water sources. It is also a ​​great time to combine a visit to the Rift Valley with a safari to Masai Mara to view the tail end of the great wildebeest migration.

Sossusvlei & Etosha National Park – Namibia.

Hot and dry October offers wonderful game viewing around waterholes in Etosha National Park. Etosha is known for its wildlife, with 114 animal species and over 340 types of birds and October is the best time to see it all. The park’s centerpiece is a 1,800 square miles salt pan bordered by low plants and grassy plains, providing the ideal habitat for wildlife. In October a diverse assortment of animals congregates at waterholes often in the heat of the day. This allows for excellent game viewing across the day.

In the south of the Namib Desert Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by 900 ft high red dunes in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park. Sossusvlei is genuinely an all-year destination. With few dramatic changes between the seasons, you are going to have a similar experience no matter what time of year you travel. However, we recommend October as this is the ideal time to combine a visit to Sossusvlei with Etosha National Park. 

Credit: Arne Smith

Eastern Cape – South Africa.

In a malaria-free environment, the Eastern Cape is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the “Big 5”. The Mountain Zebra National Park and the renowned Addo Elephant Park are both important nature reserves, while the Eastern Cape Game Reserves contain an amazing mix of private concessions, game reserves, and lodges. The waters near the coast are rich in sea life, with regular sightings of dolphins and whales.

October is the beginning of a pleasant warm season with temperatures between 12°C/54°F in the morning and 25°C/77°F in the afternoon. October is one of the rainiest months but it still doesn’t rain on most days. A trip to the Eastern Cape is a fantastic way to combine a safari with a trip to Cape Town.

Credit: Arne Smith

The Great Rift Valley – Kenya.

Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a 6,000-mile crack in the earth’s crust, and much of it is in Kenya. The Rift Valley boasts beautiful lakes and escarpments that provide havens for abundant wildlife. Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Elementaita are the most well-known of the Rift Valley lakes. A Rift Valley safari offers a fascinating insight into Kenya’s cultural diversity and incredible landscapes alongside game viewing.

The location is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with vast flocks of flamingos happily wading alongside hippos and crocodiles. Travelers can expect to see leopards, white rhinos, Rothschild’s giraffes, and a variety of plains species.


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