Safari in September
You're out on a game drive when, slowly, your guide picks up binoculars and scans the dense thicket and you finally gaze into the piercing brown eyes of a lounging leopard. No one knows what to truly expect in Africa in September, but with wildlife easier to spot than ever before and the best safari destinations in September, we'll help you prepare for an adventure you'll never forget.
Best safaris in September 2020
Africa in September: What to expect
Weather & climateSeptember marks the last of the dry season throughout most of Southern Africa, as sporadic showers start to occur next month. With an average of 18°C (64°F) throughout the continent, most September days start to heat up again whilst the nights remain pleasantly cool. With next to no rainfall this season, the dry grounds are optimal for outdoor activities such as trekking and those safari game drives we all love.
Meanwhile, the exotic wildlife of Costa Rica and the Philippines are well-hidden under canopies due to the heavy downpours of the wet season, making Africa the prime destination for a safari in September.
Dry season: Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania
Wet season: Costa Rica, Philippines
WildlifeThe Big Five should be on everyone's bucket list. These incredibly fascinating creatures roam the plains of South Africa and Botswana in plain sight as the visibility is at its finest due to scarce vegetation. Further north, the Great Migration is venturing from Kenya's Masai Mara back to the Serengeti in Tanzania presenting an out-of-this-world spectacle.
It's worth looking up in the Okavango Delta and in South Africa this month as endemic and nomadic birds are abundant. For sublime whale-watching experiences, the coastal waters of South Africa and Australia are teeming with migratory marine life.
Big Five: South Africa, Botswana
Great Migration: Kenya, Tanzania
Whale watching: South Africa, Australia
Birdwatching: South Africa, Okavango Delta (Botswana)
Peak seasonAnimals are in plain sight competing for remaining water sources creating prime game viewing opportunities and signalling the peak season. The plains of South-East Africa are sparse in vegetation and the weather is pleasant attracting crowds and higher rates due to the easy animal sightings.
There's no better time to embark on that classic African safari you've always dreamt of. However, if the tropical beaches and giant tortoises appeal to you, you may want to consider the humidity and scorching temperatures before you set your eyes on those low season rates in Mauritius and Seychelles.
Peak season: Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia
Low season: Mauritius, Seychelles
Best safari destinations in September
Why in September?
Nearing the end of the dry season, September is prime for wildlife viewing as watering holes are diminishing and vegetation is sparser than ever. The days are warm and the nights are cool creating great post-safari relaxation on the sun-drenched beaches. With humpback whales swimming in the cobalt waters, there's no better time to soak up the sun of the dry season.
What to see?
The Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra roam the plains as predators scour the herds for their next meal. The Masai Mara is a grand stage for a performance on the plains, and is essential for any safari enthusiast or avid photographer! Meaning while the waters of Lake Nakuru are painted pink with the much-loved flamingos offering a truly wondrous sight.
September provides idyllic conditions for climbing Mount Kenya. Often named the younger brother of Mount Kilimanjaro, this sublime wonder offers pristine wilderness, abundant wildlife and stunning mountain lakes. The panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and savannahs make a trek on this mountain an unforgettable experience.
Why in September?
The days are getting warmer and the nights are getting brighter, with cloudless stardust skies creating a magical exhibition. The dry season attracts wildlife herds to water sources at Etosha and the Ongava Reserve. Although a popular month, Namibia never gets crowded so you are guaranteed a front-row seat to a performance on the plains.
What to see?
Although to the naked eye this dry and desolate country seems uninhabited, it has one of the largest concentrations of cheetahs in Africa. Full of animals that have adapted to the desert wilderness, from the elephant herds of Etosha to hyenas that prowl among the seal colonies of the Skeleton Coast, Namibia is home to some of the most uniquely fascinating animals.
Hidden in plain sight amongst the remote desert sands of Nambia lies the second largest canyon in the world. Fish River Canyon is an impressive ravine carved by a river that moulded the dry rocks into plunging canyons liberating its breathtaking natural beauty. September is the last time you can hike this beauty before the blazing Summer heat returns.
Why in September?
Escape that humid Australian heat this month as September offers pleasant temperatures throughout most of the country. Whether you wish to fall in love with the natural wonders of the Nullabor or strap on a wetsuit and admire the colours of the Great Barrier Reef, there's no better time to discover this fascinating country.
What to see?
Learn secrets of ancient Aboriginal tribes, swim with dolphins at Monkey Mia, admire the striking formation of the Twelve Apostles, witness kangaroos jumping on a 4WD adventure, drink sundowners as you watch the sunset behind Uluru or cuddle a koala under a eucalyptus tree. This vast country offers experiences you won't get back home.
Lined with endless kilometers of white-sandy beaches, a visit to this colossal island would not be complete without taking a dip in the azure-blue waters of Bondi Beach or checking out the white waves of Surfers Paradise. You may even see humpback whales gliding in the warm Queensland waters!