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Pros and Cons of an Off-Season Safari

Heading out on an African safari adventure during the off-peak season is a less common option among travelers. This is especially true of Kenya and Tanzania where their peak seasons offer some of the best game viewing and outdoor adventure experiences. In these countries, peak season is usually the dry season which falls between June to November. While most people opt to travel during the peak seasons, travelling during the off-peak season can also be an excellent option and provide some surprising benefits, such as:

Save Money

Save Money. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

As the traditional heartland of wildlife, Kenya and Tanzania safaris tend to be above budget for the average traveler. During the off-season, however, the prices drop. You can save between 20 to 40% on safari tours by booking them outside of the peak season. And it’s not just the price of the safari packages that drop; the accommodation rates drop as well, saving you money on pre and post tour accommodation. Most activities are also offered at reduced prices and if you are travelling independently in Tanzania or Kenya during the low season, you also have a leverage for negotiating better deals. Transportation costs like flights also become cheaper due to low demand during this period. 

Escape The Long Lines and Large Crowds

Avoiding Crowds. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions


The major drawback of going on a safari in Kenya and Tanzania is that these world-renowned safari destinations are often crowded during peak season. The legendary Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya are considered Africa’s ultimate safari destinations, which means the tourist traffic is quite high year-round, more so the dry season. By travelling for a safari during the off-season, you avoid getting stuck in a game viewing traffic jam and having to compete for space at wildlife sightings. Travelling in the less-crowded off-season makes for a more authentic experience that allows you to connect more closely with the wildlife and local people of Kenya and Tanzania.

Ideal For Watching Baby Animals

Baby Animals. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

Food and water are plentiful during the wet season and many animals in the wild give birth during this period. This is a great time to see playful cubs and pups, and wobbly legged fawns, foals, and calves of both predators and prey. 

Ideal For Birdwatching

Birdwatching. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

Flocks of migratory birds arrive during the off-peak season. The great lakes attract a bright and diverse array of birdlife during the off-peak season, making the low season a magical time for avian enthusiasts in Kenya and Tanzania

Perfect Photographic Time of The Year

Perfect Photography. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

The off-peak season offers excellent conditions for photography in East Africa’s top game parks. In the off-season, the light is moody and intense and the dramatic sunsets are spectacular, making the parks in Kenya and Tanzania come alive. The grasslands are green and the skies dramatic with a surge of rain clouds when the showers settle. It also settles the dust, leaving the air, landscapes and vegetations crisp, fresh, and vivid. During the wet season, the scenery is at its most stunning and beautiful as the dusty plains are transformed into lush greenlands. Photographic opportunity abounds during the off-peak season with frolicking young wildlife and migratory birds amass, as well as predators taking advantage of the abundance of prey.

Superb Game Viewing and The Great Annual Migration

Great Migration. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

Game viewing in Tanzania and Kenya is all year round event with destinations like the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. There’s a possibility of you being able to witness the Great Migration during the off-peak season, as the dates and duration of the seasons vary from year to year, and so does the timing and course of the wildebeest migration. In the Serengeti in Tanzania for example, a part of the Great Migration can be seen at almost any time of the year, so catching a glimpse of the spectacle just depends on knowing where and at the right time. The massive herds of the migration have been arriving earlier and staying longer in Kenya over the past few years, which means that the migration has also been witnessed by off-peak travellers.

Cons Of Doing A Safari During Off-Season

While traveling during the off peak season has its perks, it is not without its drawbacks. Some of which include: 

Risk Of Contracting Malaria

Malaria. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

You would probably need to take antimalarial medicine if you want to travel during the off-peak season. While hippos are responsible for more human fatalities than any other large animals in Africa, Anopheles mosquitoes are a far more serious threat.

Limited Game Viewing      

Limited Game Viewing. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

During the off-peak season, thicker vegetation makes game more difficult to see clearly. More water sources scattered all around means animals wander further away, making them harder to find. 

Poor Weather 

Poor Weather. Pros and Cons Safari Off Season. Leadwood Expeditions

Kenya and Tanzania rarely get long hours of rainfall, but that doesn’t mean the sun will be shining all the time. The weather can get humid and muggy, while the ground becomes muddier and wetter, which may prevent you from participating in certain outdoor activities during your safari tour. 

While travelling during the off-peak season has its disadvantages, the pros outweigh the cons and  travelling during the off-season offer more than just saving cost and escaping the crowds. The different weather patterns makes for different photographic activities and you can catch a glimpse firsthand of the offspring season and the lush green vegetation in Kenya and Tanzania. Travelling during the off-season is exciting and should never be a reason why you choose not to make that trip. 

Check out some of our Kenya and Tanzania safari tours below:


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