Africa. Let’s face it, this continent is bloody huge – and each country is different from the last: offering not only their own unique cultural experiences, but infinitely varied landscapes. Even the weather changes depending on where you go! Whilst the sands of the Sahara are scorching, it’s probably humid across the equator and there’s always the chance for a cooling sea breeze down south. You could visit Africa a hundred times and still have an entirely new experience each time you go, now that’s enough to make Africa a winning destination in our books! The key is finding the best time to go to suit what you want to get out of your adventure. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy little guide, so you can link up your #holidaygoals with the best times to visit. Thank us later.
Best for? Kicking back at the beach.
Vibing a beachy, sandy, sunbake-y kinda Africa holiday? We hear you. Banish those winter blues in favour of blue skies, warmer-climes and sun-soaked good times! Get in the festive spirit of things (and by that we mean enjoy a beachside cocktail or five), kick start the new year with an African adventure or celebrate (or escape) Valentine’s Day in true Topdeck style. Lock in a trip for Dec, Jan or Feb and gear up to meet the African sun at its biggest and brightest.
Where to go: ZANZIBAR
Best for? Taking a hike.
At this time of year, the birds are out, the flowers are poppin’, the days are warm and the nights are cool. These amazing mountains are just waking up after their winter powernap but things haven’t started hotting up for the summer months yet (definitely not the best time to undertake a mountain hike, unless you like the sweaty tomato aesthetic). Translation? There’s no better time to get out there and explore.
Where to go: DRAKENSBERG
Bushfire Festival, Eswatini (29-31 May 2020)
If you needed another reason to visit the captivating kingdom of eSwatini, besides all that uh-mazing natural beauty, this tiny landlocked nation plays host to a pretty awesome yearly music festival. Named as the BBC’s ‘Top African Festival’, Bushfire Festival is a colourful 3-day celebration of all things African: from music to art and more. Bonus points for being socially responsible too. What’s not to like?
Best for? Checking out the Great Migration. And Sharks.
Depending on what you want to see, you’ll need to plan your destinations accordingly, but June through August is a great time to go all Nat Geo and start ticking some big critters off your ‘must-see’ list. Fancy catching the awe-inspiring wildebeest migration (seriously, more furry beasts than hairdressers waiting room)? Then kick on to Kenya and Tanzania. Or, for the brave/crazy amongst you, South Africa’s got all the sharks you can shake a stick at. Pro tip: don’t shake sticks at them, they’ll probably get mad.
Where to go: MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, CAPE TOWN
Eden Festival of Action (29 June-6 July 2020)
The Eden Festival of Action is perfect for those of you looking to see a side of Africa often overlooked in pursuit of all that stunning natural beauty: its fantastic cultural and rich artistic offerings! Head over to the scenic Garden Route (who’s name becomes pretty apparent once you get there) for a week of meeting people from all around the globe, getting active and discussing real-world issues, including the environment. An impactful week on the Garden Route = the best way to reconnect with nature.
Best for? Whale watching.
Fact: there’s no more spine-tingling experience than watching southern right and humpback whales blowing, breaching and lobtailing (aka slapping their tails on the water). If big mammals are your thing, then head to Hermanus for the experience of a lifetime. Bonus: if you manage to get a pic of these truly magnificent creatures then you officially win Instagram, forever.
Where to go: HERMANUS
Rocking the Daisies (2-4 October 2020)
Secure your spot at Cape Town’s BIGGEST outdoor gathering, which has been going off at the superb Cloof Wine Estate every October for the last 10 years. Three days of music, hedonism, outdoor parties and making new mates amongst the tents: welcome to South-Africa’s premier eco-friendly festival!
With a sh*t load of departures ranging from January to November, now’s never been a better time to leave ordinary behind and get your ass on a Topdeck Overland trip in Africa. Hakuna Matata.