Safari Wildlife February, world’s best safaris

Elephants crossing Ewaso Ng

Elephants crossing Ewaso Ng’iro river in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. Photo by Mark Draper

Wildlife safari February. Months/locations are chosen on the strength of :

• The weather,  as wet weather often means animals will shelter while long spells of rain stimulate growth of vegetation that hides to creatures, especially out in the great plains of East and South Africa. In Namibia rain means the wildlife does not have to rely on waterholes near to rest camps. So…dry seasons are best for safaris!

• The frequency of animal sightings generally, especially the Big Five in Africa (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros),  the tiger in India and so on. Bugbog crew has been to most of these locations.

Self-drive or guided tour?

Note that in some locations you can get along pretty well by yourself, whether it’s walking or self-drive (e.g. Kruger in South Africa, Etosha in Namibia). But in some places you need not just a safari guide but a good safari guide who is pleasant, informative and knows where the beasts are/will be. Preferably without dozens of other tourists in the same place (e.g. Kenya, Amazon, Borneo).

Marine life

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
This distant group of bleak, volcanic islands groans under the weight of weird and wonderful animals unaffected by human visitors. Best January-March. Avoid July/August and September, October, November.

Butterflies

Mexico
February is (normally, and possibly right from the month’s start) the month when 600m or so monarch butterflies arrive in the Michoacan province of Mexico for their annual convention, shrouding forests with shimmering, gaudy cloaks. Head for the El Rosario butterfly reserve.

Polar wildlife

Antarctic and South Georgia cruises.
Seals, penguin, albatross, whales and more await tourists who can handle the choppy seas. Best December-January. OK November, February, March.

Serengeti and Ngorongoro, Tanzania.
Monster safari parks with a huge diversity of animals. Best December-February, June-September with Serengetti wildbeeste and zebra migration around July/August. Worst time: March-May (rains).

Big game safari

Masai Mara, Kenya.
Huge numbers of animals scattered across a spacious savannah. Too many tourists, but very good wildlife access. Best July-September for wildebeest migration or for great weather December-March. Avoid April-June ( heavy rain).

Tiger safari

Ranthambore National Park, India.
This park gives tourists the best possible shot of a wild tiger from elephant back as the monsoons have not yet arrived and the grass will be short. Likely sightings of: leopard, rhinoceros, jackals, bison, boar and monkeys. Open November-June, but Best February – April.

Wildlife and plants

Various wildlife parks, Costa Rica.
This small central American country embraces 70 parks hosting a vast variety of wildlife – especially birds – and flowering plants, volcanoes, beaches and mad activities. Best from December-April. Avoid May-November (rains)

Rwanda – Parc National de Volcans and Uganda – Mgahinga National Park.
Mountain gorilla hikes, damp environment and a maximum one hour visit with the hairy chaps but it’ll be unforgettable. Best in January, February, June, July.

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