Endless wildlife, entertaining cultural festivals, lively streets, and scenic landscapes are characteristic of East Africa in July!
The weather in July is dry and night-time temperatures can go up to negative 15 degrees Celsius. Day-time temperatures can go up to 25 degrees Celsius, although the exact temperature varies from place to place!
July marks the driest month in East Africa, which means wildlife is easier to spot because most of it is concentrated around water bodies. Moreover, the vegetation is also low, making less space available for the shy species to hide away!
Here’s why July is the best time to visit East Africa:
1. Observe Grumeti River Crossing at Serengeti National Park
Witness the Great Migration of Serengeti at one of its most interesting points in the year! The Grumeti River crossings usually occur in July. Watch as Nile crocodiles jump out of the river and prey on the crossing wildebeests. There’s confusion and panic among the migrating herds and the event depicts nature in its true essence!
Serengeti River Wildebeest Migration, Image Source: Exploring-Africa.Com
2. Attend the Serengeti Cultural Festival
The Serengeti Cultural Festival typically takes place in the 3rd week of July. Combining traditional dances, local music, cultural attire and arts and crafts exhibits, Serengeti Cultural Festival is a huge festival that takes place at the Serengeti National park each year. Plan your trip around this festival to get the most out of the local culture and traditions!
3. Spot the Big 5 at Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a beautiful caldera that hosts diverse wildlife, including the Big 5! July marks the dry season here, which means wildlife is easier to spot and is congregated around lakes and bodies of water!
Apart from the Big 5, you can also spot hippos, zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs, hyenas, and jackals!
Ngorongoro Crater National Park, Image Source: AndBeyond.Com
4. Hike up Mount Kilimanjaro
July marks the driest month of Kilimanjaro, which means hiking and trekking at Kilimanjaro is a lot easier in July than the other months! Climb the Roof of Africa and witness beautiful sceneries from its peak and slopes!
If you’re not up for the strenuous climb, you can also choose to take a hike to the base camp and then back!
5. Chill at Zanzibar’s Pristine Beaches
End your East African Safari by relaxing at Zanzibar’s beaches! Blow off some steam as you go on a sunset dhow cruise and let the waves of the Indian Ocean relax your mind. Nungwi, Paje, Stone Town, and Kendwa are some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Zanzibar!
You can go for watersports activities like fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kitesurfing. The winds in July are strong and reliable, making kitesurfing possible!
Zanzibar Beach, Image Source: Youtube.Com
6. Zanzibar International Film Festival
The Zanzibar International Film Festival calls out filmmakers from around the globe! The best films are displayed at the Old Fort in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It’s one of the biggest art events in East Africa!
It attracts a huge audience of about 100,000 every year! The Festival usually lasts for 8-10 days with musical concerts, gala shows and other fun events to keep you entertained!
7. Spot Tree-Climbing Lions at Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park features unique tree-climbing lions! It’s easier to spot wildlife here in July as they congregate around the lake. You can also find large herds of buffalos, zebras and elephants here!
The Lake is also home to thousands of flamingoes, which gives the Lake a pinkish hue. Moreover, you can spot many hippos here chilling and bathing in the water at the hippo pool!
Tree Climbing Lions, Image Source: SouthernDestinations.Com
8. Observe Tribal Rituals at the Mwaka Kogwa Festival
The Mwaka Kogwa Festival is celebrated at the beginning of the Persian New Year, in the third week of July. Persian influence over the Swahili culture is evident by this Festival. It’s thought to bring good luck in the new year!
The festival is filled with tribal rituals including the burning of a thatched hut especially made for the festival. It is believed that the direction of the smoke indicates which area will become the most prosperous!
Singing, dancing, and drumming continue throughout the 4 days of the festival and tourists are welcome to join the festival.
9. Visit Tanzania’s Predator Paradise
Ruaha National Park is a hidden gem in Tanzania with the third-largest population of African wild dogs in the world! Other rare wildlife species you can spot here include roan and sable antelopes, greater kudus, lesser kudus, and striped hyenas! Ruaha is a predator’s paradise where you can spot cheetahs, lions, and leopards. You can also observe elephants, buffalos, zebras, gazelles, elands and jackals! Ruaha is never crowded and July is the best month for spotting wildlife!
You can also go on a hot air balloon safari here to get a panoramic view of the beautiful National Park.
Tanzania's Predator Paradise, Image Source: TripSavvy.Com
10. Have an Authentic Safari Experience at Selous Game Reserve!
Selous Game Reserve offers you an incredible off-the-track safari experience. It’s the largest game reserve in Africa and it is here that you can get some exclusive time with nature. The Reserve is so huge that you’re going to spot more wildlife than humans!
You can also take a canoe safari on River Rufiji and spot giraffes, wildebeests, buffaloes, lions, and zebras!
11. Spot the Big 5 at Masai Mara NR, Kenya
Spot the big 5 along with cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas, wildebeests, and zebras at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya! July marks the dry season so the animals will be concentrated around water bodies and the vegetation will be low, making it easier to spot them!
Tourists Taking Photos of Giraffes, Image Source: AsianTravelGuide.Us
12. Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is known for its Rhino Sanctuary, which is home to over 70 white rhinos and 20 black rhinos! These critically endangered species are rarely found elsewhere in such a high concentration.
Lake Nakuru attracts thousands of flamingoes each year and the numbers often cross a million too!
13. Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park boasts of having the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The park itself is home to a diverse range of wildlife species including elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, and hyenas. Spotting these wildlife species with a backdrop of Kilimanjaro is an interesting experience!
Elephants at Amboseli National Park, Image Source: TheTravelBrief.Com
14. Witness the Samburu Special Six at Samburu National Reserve
Spot rare northern wildlife species, explore the culture of the Samburu tribe and witness breath-taking views at the Samburu National Reserve. The Samburu Special Six can be spotted here – Beisa Oryx, Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, Guenther’s dik-dik, long-necked gerenuk, and reticulated giraffe! Apart from these, you can also observe elephants, hippos, leopards, and hyenas!