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Safari in February: Best African Safari Destinations to Visit

by Cris Puscas

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If you’re planning to head to Africa in February, you are bound to encounter some rain.

But even with the rainy season in full swing in the South African countries (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia), there are still quite a lot of nice destinations if you are looking to go on an African safari in February.

Thankfully, Kenya still enjoys hot and dry weather, which offers perfect conditions for game viewing. And the calving season is in full swing in Serengeti, attracting both predators and travelers to Tanzania’s most popular park.

Another plus is that the not-so-ideal weather also means you may be able to score great deals on some safaris. However, note that February is the peak season for gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda so prices will be quite steep.

Unsure which is the best African safari destination to visit in February? Here, you’ll find a list of the national parks and reserves which offer great animal viewing during this time of the year.

 

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park in rwanda

Photo credit: Kubwa Five Safaris

February is a popular time to visit Volcanoes National Park thanks to the warm and generally sunny weather. As March approaches, it may get wetter, but make sure to pack appropriate waterproof equipment regardless of when you visit.

Now is the prime time for gorilla trekking so be sure to book your safari well in advance. There are 10 habituated families of mountain gorillas here and visiting them requires a permit (that costs USD 1,500 per person).

»Planning to visit Rwanda in February? Here’s what you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip to Rwanda!

 

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

lions in Masai Mara

February is also a great month to visit Masai Mara National Reserve. It’s getting towards the end of the hot and dry season and the animals still gather around watering holes. Just like in Serengeti, the calving season is underway, so expect not only to see baby animals but also the big cats in action.

It’s a good idea to enjoy an itinerary visiting Kenya that combines the popular Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru with some time by the sea in Diani Beach to cool down.

»Planning to go on a safari in Masai Mara in February but feel overwhelmed with choices? Then read our detailed guide to visiting Masai Mara National Reserve!

 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

buffaloes in ngorongoro crater tanzania

Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is perfect for a safari in February. The calving season is in full swing in the Serengeti, but a great choice is to also head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is effectively an extension of Serengeti.

Aside from great game viewing and relatively dry weather, Ngorongoro Crater also offers some of the best cultural interactions and walking safaris on the continent. You’d be delighted to have a chance to spot all of the Big Five animals here.

»Planning to go on a safari in Ngorongoro Crater in February? Read our detailed guide to visiting Ngorongoro Conservation Area!

You can even visit three iconic parks and reserves – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire - as part of a Tanzania itinerary before heading to cool down by the sea in Zanzibar.

 

Garden Route & Cape Town, South Africa

cape town

South Africa is a lovely destination to visit in February, especially if you are heading into Cape Town.

There are plenty of reasons why Cape Town should be on your bucket list. The close proximity to Kruger National Park, as well as the many beautiful beaches within easy reach and the stunning vantage points, are just some of them. Don’t forget to stop for a sip of the outstanding local wines produced.

And you can make this trip even more worthwhile by exploring the Garden Route. You can fly into Porth Elisabeth and drive back to Mossel Bay, stopping along the route; or you can rent a car in Cape Town and drive all the way to Port Elisabeth.

 

Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

Makgadikgadi Pans Botswana

Photo credit: Michael Jansen via Flickr

Part of Makgadikgadi National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans are the legacy of a lake larger than Lake Victoria.

In February, it’s only possible to explore the area on a 4x4 vehicle as the otherwise dry lakebed has transformed into a shallow lake thanks to the rains. This also makes the area perfect for spotting flamingos.

It is also possible to witness the lesser known, yet spectacular migrating zebras that travel here in search of lush seasonal grazing.

 


Looking forward to spotting the baby animals? Book one of the Kenya-Tanzania safaris and allow the magic of nature to leave you mesmerized.

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