Safari in July
As you gaze out into the cracked, arid plains focusing your lens on a pack of elephants that you have tracked for the past hour, you realise that this is that classic David Attenborough moment you have been waiting for. With so many animals to see in Africa in July and unique cultures to discover, we narrow down the countries that offer the best safari destinations in July.
Best safaris in July 2020
Africa in July: What to expect
Weather & climateWith warm 18°C (64°F) days and cool nights, travelling to Africa during July is a favourite for many travellers. In South-East Africa, the beaming sunshine and clear blue skies create idyllic conditions for game drives and the dry season presents excellent visibility for trying to spot those elusive animals.
With cracked arid grounds, withering vegetation and limited water resources, wildlife sightings are at their prime this month. The scenery is that classic African desert that you have always imagined and the beaches are pristine and inviting. Meanwhile, the monsoon season has welcomed the tigers of Ranthambore in India so consider avoiding this area in July.
Dry season: Masai Mara (Kenya), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda, Namibia
Wet season: Ranthambore (India)
WildlifeHaving a face-to-face encounter with the king of the plains should be on everyone's bucket list. There's no better feeling than gazing into the eyes of one of Africa's most stealthy predators, obtaining a front-row seat for the Great Migration or watching a performance of flamboyant birds on the waters of Lake Victoria.
At Botswana and Zimbabwe, the Big Five roam the plains so add a sighting of a prehistoric rhino to your must-do list, or maybe a family of silverback gorillas from Uganda or Rwanda? As a country full of countless creatures, there's no better place to experience that natural thrill of a wildlife encounter.
Big Five: Botswana, Zimbabwe (Not Victoria Falls)
Great Migration: Kenya
Bird watching: Uganda (Lake Victoria)
Gorillas & Chimpanzees: Uganda (Bwindi National Park), Rwanda
Peak seasonRegardless of the season, a rewarding and gratifying experience is pretty much guaranteed on a safari, but escaping the crowds and discounted rates sure are attractive. The low season in Thailand brings torrential rains, drawing wildlife to trees for shelter but also provoking unique animal activities that don't occur in the dry season.
However, on the other side of the world, the peak season is here! With the Masai Mara wildebeest migrating, optimal gorilla trekking conditions and the wildlife in Botswana and Namibia thriving, there's no better time to witness the circle of life on the quintessential African plains.
Peak season: Masai Mara (Kenya), Gorilla trekking (Uganda & Rwanda), Botswana, Namibia
Low season: Thailand
Best safari destinations in July
Why in July?
With sun-drenched plains and animals escaping the heat of the day by congregating at water sources, a boat trip of Mana Pools should be on the cards. July presents prime conditions for wildlife viewing and ideal conditions for water activities and photographing the out-of-this-world spectacle of Victoria Falls as the powerful spray starts to settle.
What to see?
Zimbabwe is a trending destination for those in search of the Big Five without the crowds. With vast herds of elephants and buffaloes roaming the Hwange plains under the watchful eyes oflions and leopards, and black rhinosquenching their thirst at watering holes.
Adding to Zimbabwe's unmatched natural beauty is the notorious gushing waters of Victoria Falls. The sheer grandeur of this iconic waterfall is breathtaking and a true gem to any African adventure. For an adrenaline rush, why not go white-water rafting or enjoy an optional helicopter flight for those astonishing views.
Why in July?
A good gorilla trek is determined by the experience and satisfaction of finally gazing into the eyes of these humanlike creatures. With cool nights, mild days and minimal rainfall, July presents idyllic trekking conditions as the dry grounds are sprinkled with shafts of sunlight from the canopies above.
What to see?
Spot species of native birdlife dancing in the skies, play hide-and-seek with monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees and even follow in the tracks of forest elephants and antelopes. Apart from the famed mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a wildlife hub that creates the perfect climate for creatures to flourish.
One of the most important aspects to remember if you are planning a gorilla trekking safari is that you need to obtain a permit to see the gorillas. There are limitations on how many people are allowed into the national parks and they tend to sell out months in advance, so be prepared and book in advance!
Why in July?
With clear blue skies and an equatorial humidity, July officially marks the start of the peak season and attracts many tourists, from those who want to relax on pristine beaches to those who want to delve into culture and explore rich temples. With such diverse, blooming scenery, Indonesia thrives as a true gem of South-East Asia.
What to see?
Home to some of the most fascinating marine life in the world, Indonesia is a hot-spot for diving enthusiasts and promises a lively underwater world full of colour. The incredible biodiversity and endemicity of wildlife and birdlife make a safari to any of the islands a real treat, from orangutans and Komodo dragons to turtles and monkeys.
Secure your belongings! Monkeys are pretty much residents and can be seen lurking on the sidewalk of many streets around Indonesia. They love to say hello, snoop around and will take anything they can get their hands on, those cheeky rascals!