When to visit Africa

by SmarterTravel Staff

Since Africa makes up an extremely large geographic area, it's difficult to determine seasonality for it as a whole. The continent touches the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean, and has diverse climates that can be tropical, subtropical, arid, or semiarid, depending on region. Its geography is also varied and can include mountains, grassy plateaus, lowlands, and deserts. Africa also straddles the equator with winter and summer seasons differing from north to south. Some countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo are split between the two.

In general, the weather remains warm year-round and most regions have separate dry and wet seasons. In deciding when to go, most travelers prefer the dry season, which tends to be less hot and humid but varies by country.

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Weather Information

Temperatures in the desert can reach well over 100 degrees. Countries in the north, including Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt, among others, tend to have a significant amount of desert. Countries in the more tropical middle typically have mountains and plateau areas with plenty of vegetation and wildlife. These include Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, plus Zimbabwe which is further south. These areas have distinct dry and wet seasons with year-round temperatures in the 80s, 70s in the mountains. South Africa remains temperate year-round.

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