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September
 
The big cats of the Masai Mara are very active as the plains are filled with the Great Migration of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest. September is absolute prime time for a safari anywhere in Africa, from Etosha where rhinoceros mingle with a host of plains game to Mana Pools where you can safari by boat, canoe, vehicle and on foot in this World Heritage Site. KwaZulu Natal also offers exciting safaris alongside a chance to experience zulu culture and relax on deserted beaches.
Tanzania’s dry season begins to show in September and October, vegetation is dying down, water levels low, and the wildlife moving to the deeper watering holes. Game viewing conditions are excellent at this time and as it’s dry you’ll have easy access to the remote southern reserves by plane. Katavi, Mahale, and Ruaha are all reachable by light aircraft. It’s also the perfect time to climb Kilimanjaro.
The dry season is at its climax, but though the landscape at first looks dry and empty, soon the trees open into bud in anticipation of the forthcoming rains. Game viewing is relatively easy as the drought forces animals out of thickets to find water along the rivers. Guides know exactly where they’ll be. Sightings of elephant, antelope, and hippo are guaranteed, and there’s a good chance of big cats.
By September Zimbabwe’s groundwater has largely disappeared and temperatures are increasing. Vast numbers of animals move to the banks of the Zambezi River and permanent water holes. Game viewing is easy, as guides know exactly where the animals will be. With lower water levels also comes the possibility of rafting the rapids below Victoria Falls. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but there are few things on earth more exciting.
Throughout September the sun is shining and the skies are clear, but temperatures aren’t too high. This month is better than any other for visiting Lake Malawi, swimming and snorkelling in the water, and relaxing on the beach. The water is clear for diving, and there are some gorgeous nature walks along the coast. With the reintroduction of wildlife, including the Big Five, in both Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve, you can combine an invigorating lakeside retreat with excellent game viewing and safaris.
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