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October Safari Forecast
29 Sept 2021


In October, you are spoilt for choice as to where to go for a fantastic safari experience in southern Africa. October is at the zenith of the dry season. The landscapes are parched and the wildlife around permanent water is bountiful, making sightings easy. Predators take advantage of easily found prey and lie in wait near the water, where exciting wildlife interactions are common. This is also high season for tourism, and we have recommended three incredible yet little visited wildlife locations.

Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia, and is also one of the least visited. The Busanga Plains, in the park's northern reaches, are teeming with animals. What you won't find are many other people! The Kafue offers an exclusive safari experience. Indeed, one of the park's main attractions is how wild and undeveloped it is. The ideal time to visit is during the dry season from July through October. The later in the season it is, the better for wildlife viewing, so October is great. The wilderness has dried out, and parched animals are flocking to water sources.

In Botswana, the vast Linyanti swamp was created where the Linyanti River meets a fault line. The remote area is over 900 square kilometres. Thousands of animals gather in and around the swamp during the dry season to drink the filtered water and graze on the lush reeds and grass. Wildebeest, zebra, tsessebe, roan, and tens of thousands of elephants make Linyanti their home. Crocodiles, wild dogs, leopards, and lions are all lying in wait. As with the Kafue, the Linyanti has low visitor numbers and you can view rich wildlife in privacy.

Finally, in Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is a vast man-made lake that delivers a magnificent combination of water and animals. It is located in the country's northwestern region and shares a border with Zambia. Matusadona National Park, on the southern banks of Lake Kariba, is home to the 'Big Five' of African animals. Although hot, October offers incredible wildlife viewing. Water-based game watching from small boats or canoes allows you to get thrillingly close to elephants and other animals and is a highlight of visiting Kariba.

Kafue National Park, Zambia.

Kafue National Park is one of Africa's largest national parks. It's an area ripe for exploration, thanks to its diverse habitats and a large number of animals and birds. A hallmark is the park's unspoiled wildness, a result of the park's lack of mass tourism. This is how a safari should be. You can expect superb game watching with a diverse range of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and rarely another person in sight.

The renowned Busanga floodplains are a massive, seasonally flooded grassland in Kafue's northwestern corner. The plains, with their palm groves, reed beds, and lily-covered lagoons, are one of the planet's few remaining freshwater wildernesses. Due to the seasonal floods, the plains are closed from mid-November to May.

Lion, cheetah, African buffalo, hippopotamus, oribi, roan, lechwe, zebra, and blue wildebeest are among the many species living on the grasslands. A huge number of elephants and 500 bird species have also been documented. It's a haven for African biodiversity, and the safari experience is unparalleled.

Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana.

The remote Linyanti Wildlife Reserve lies on the southern banks of the Linyanti River, on the boundary between Namibia and Botswana. With unspoiled grasslands, riverine forests, and serpentine lagoons, the landscape is breathtaking. Linyanti has been described as having Chobe's wildlife and the Okavango Delta's spectacular beauty in a more secluded setting. On a trip to Linyanti, you can expect exclusivity, outstanding service, and excellent guiding. The privately run concessions offer chances for game drives, night drives, boat trips, and walking safaris not available in national parks.

During Botswana's dry months, animal viewing is at its best. Migratory wildlife herds, including elephants, arrive between July and October. Wildlife watching becomes progressively better as the dry season continues, with game viewing opportunities peaking in October. The presence of numerous top predators, including lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, and hyenas, ensures an exciting safari. Carmine bee-eaters are frequently found nesting along the Linyanti River's banks.

Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe.

Lake Kariba is the 4th largest man-made lake in the world and the 2nd largest in Africa, with 2,000 kilometres of shoreline. Breathtaking sunsets, exciting fishing, beautiful landscapes, and outstanding wildlife viewing are all hallmarks of Lake Kariba.

At the very end of the dry season, October is ideal for game viewing since the vegetation is dry, leading to better visibility. It is very hot during the day, with average temperatures of 34°C/90°F. Since water and grazing are scarce inland, wildlife congregates around the lake's edge, taking advantage of the water and good grazing. As summer migratory birds begin to arrive in September, bird-watching opportunities abound. Fishing is also at its peak at this time.

​​On the shimmering shoreline of Kariba, Matusadona National Park provides superb wildlife watching in a magnificent environment. The Big Five, including the endangered black rhino, are all present. On the lakeshore, elephants and buffalo abound. In October, thousands of hungry animals flock to this lush-green, grassy shoreline, and lion prides are never far behind.

Adjacent to the park lies Bumi Hill’s private concession, with wildlife freely moving between the two. The luxurious lodge offers the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of the lake. You can beat the heat and enjoy 180-degree wildlife watching from the magnificent infinity pool overlooking the sparkling waters of the lake. ​​Bumi Hills Lodge offers panoramic views of Lake Kariba from practically every vantage point. The air-conditioned rooms are tastefully and richly ornamented with uniquely African elements, and the interiors and exteriors merge seamlessly.


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