Amanda Marks

One of the most common questions that people ask when starting to plan a holiday is “when is the best time to go?”.   It’s never an easy question since it depends on so many differing factors.

Often weather is the prime factor in deciding when to travel.  If you’re simply trying to avoid rain, or perhaps go somewhere when it’s really hot, well this is simple to advise you on.

However it’s when you begin to add in other factors that things get a little more complicated.  For example, birders interested in travelling to Africa might want to be there in sunny weather, but actually the birds are best seen in the green (rainy) season.

So the kinds of things that will make a difference to getting the right place at the right time are:

  1. Climate and environmental conditions.  This is an easy thing to check if you’re just talking about whether it’s sunny or rainy, cold or hot.  On the Tribes website we have climate charts.  However the climate affects other issues such as whether roads are passable, if seas are rough, whether grasslands are high making wildlife viewing more difficult, and so on.
  2. Wildlife migrations.  Migratory patterns of birds and mammals are often key to deciding when to go where.  We have ‘Best Times to Go’ charts on our accommodation and itinerary pages which help you with this information.  For example, see our Masai Mara Big Cat Safari page and hover over the ticks on the chart on the left hand side of the page.
  3. Wildlife cycles. You might want to be around when the plains game are giving birth in the Serengeti, when wild dogs are denning, or when the waved albatross is mating in the Galapagos Islands.  Again, our ‘Best Times to Go’ charts will help you with this.
  4. Festivals.  Sometimes it’s great to link your travels with times when festivals or specific events are happening, such as Diwali in India.  It’s always worth asking if this is of interest to you.
  5. Seasons.  Lastly, another important deciding factor will be whether it’s high or low season both for accommodations and also for flights.  This can hugely affect prices, and of course you might prefer not to travel to certain places when they’re really busy.

A good place to start for advice on where to travel when is our Travel Calendar, though it’s always worth chatting to us too!

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks is the founder and managing director of award-winning tour operator, Tribes Travel. Having started travelling professionally in her mid-twenties as a tour leader in Africa and the Middle East, she set up Tribes with her husband Guy in 1998. She travels regularly both alone and with her family, and is committed to sustainable travel so we can protect the earth's diversity and beauty for future generations.