Travel Tips

5 min read

May Marvels: Essaouira & Africa's Best Spots to Visit

May's the perfect time to explore Africa's stunning spots, where the weather's just right—not too hot, not too cold. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves or wild animals, far from your everyday life. Sounds cool, right?

Tobi Miles
April 4, 2024
May Marvels: Essaouira & Africa's Best Spots to Visit

From the vast deserts to lush jungles, Africa's got it all. Whether you're into adventures or just chilling by the beach, there's a spot just for you. Let's dive into some of the best places you won't want to miss.

Key Takeaways

  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania is ideal in May for less crowded safari experiences, better costs, and the chance to view the Great Migration in pleasant weather.
  • Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe offers magnificent views after the rainy season with fewer crowds and a variety of activities like bungee jumping and boat trips, all at lower costs due to off-peak season pricing.
  • Cape Town, South Africa is a hidden gem in May, with mild weather, fewer tourists, unique festivals like the jazz festival, and cost savings on travel expenses.
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya provides a serene wildlife experience before the busy season, with cool temperatures, fewer crowds, and affordable prices for various activities including hot air balloon rides.
  • Essaouira, Morocco is perfect for enjoying mild weather, fewer crowds before peak tourist season, water sports, and cultural experiences like camel rides on the beach, with the added benefit of lower accommodation and flight costs.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Exploring the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a dream come true for many. It's one of the best places to visit in May, thanks to the pleasant weather and the unique experiences it offers. Let’s dig into why May is such an ideal time to venture into this extraordinary part of Africa.

First off, the weather in May is simply perfect for safaris. It’s right after the rainy season, so the park is lush and green, offering stunning views. Plus, it’s not too hot, making those game drives from dawn till dusk much more enjoyable. You're out there to see the breathtaking wildlife, not to get baked under the sun, right?

Avoiding crowds is a big plus in May. Since it's considered a shoulder season, fewer tourists are around. This means you get those epic views almost to yourself. Imagine watching a pride of lions or a solo cheetah without jostling for space with dozens of other tourists. That’s the kind of experience May can offer in the Serengeti.

Let's talk about what you can see. May is smack in the middle of the Great Migration, one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles on the planet. Millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles make their way across the plains, and you can be there to witness it. It's like nature’s own action movie, live and unedited.

Cost is a factor that can make or break a trip, and here’s some good news. Since May isn't peak season, prices for safari tours and lodging tend to be lower. You can experience the wonders of the Serengeti without the peak season price tag. It’s one of the best times for a balance of cost and experience.

In terms of fun activities, aside from the game drives, there are hot air balloon rides that give you a bird's eye view of the park. Early morning balloon rides treat you to the Serengeti waking up, a sight to behold and a photographer's dream. And with the clearer skies of May, your chances of spotting distant wildlife from the sky are even better.

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

When you're plotting out the best places to visit in May, Victoria Falls should definitely be on your radar. Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this massive waterfall is one of those sights you've got to see to believe.

May is pretty much the goldilocks month for visiting Victoria Falls. Why? Well, it's right after the rainy season, which means the falls are at their most impressive. The rain stops, but the water is still gushing down like nobody's business, making for some killer views. Plus, the best weather is in May. You've got those clear, sunny days that aren't too hot. This means you can spend all day admiring the falls and exploring the area without feeling like you're going to melt.

Another big plus about May is that it's kinda the sweet spot for avoiding the crowds. The peak tourist season hasn't kicked in yet, so you can enjoy the majestic views without having to elbow your way through a sea of people. You'll get to take in the falls, snap some amazing pics, and maybe even find some quiet spots just for yourself.

One of the best things about Victoria Falls is that you're not just stuck looking at the waterfall. Don't get me wrong, the falls are epic, but there's a ton of fun stuff to do around there too. You're looking at boat trips, bungee jumping for the daredevils, and even safaris in the nearby national parks. And if you're lucky, you might hit the town during a local festival. Imagine enjoying vibrant dances, music, and getting a real taste of the local culture.

As for the cost of travel, you're in luck. Since May is outside the high season, you'll find some of the lowest prices for flights and lodging. This means you can treat yourself to some extra adventures or nicer digs without breaking the bank.

Here are a few local insights to make your trip even better:

  • Grab a meal at a local eatery and try some traditional dishes.
  • Early mornings are the best time to see the falls in all their misty glory.
  • Chat with locals to find those hidden gems that most tourists miss.

Cape Town, South Africa

If you're eyeing the best places to visit in May, mark Cape Town, South Africa, on your list. May is like a hidden gem for travelers here. It's autumn in Cape Town, which means cool mornings and warm afternoons – pretty much the best weather you could ask for.

Since it’s not peak tourist season, you'll get to explore the city with fewer crowds. This means shorter lines at Table Mountain, less packed beaches, and more room to roam around Kirstenbosch National Gardens. You'll get to see the city more like a local than a tourist.

Speaking of locals, they know May is the sweet spot for festivals in Cape Town. The city’s jazz festival is a big deal and brings together artists from all over the world. There’s also the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival, where you can taste some of the best olives, wines, and artisanal foods the region has to offer.

Activities? You'll have plenty to choose from. Cape Town's outdoors are unmatched – hike Lion's Head early in the morning for a sunrise you won't forget. If water's more your speed, surfing at Muizenberg or kayaking with penguins at Boulders Beach could be the day's highlight. And don't forget, shark cage diving is available for the brave.

Worried about costs? May’s a winner here too. Since it’s off-peak, you’re likely to snag lowest prices on flights and accommodations. This means you can save money or maybe even splurge on experiences without breaking the bank.

Here are a few tips to make your trip unforgettable:

  • Try local eats like bunny chow or malva pudding, Cape Town's food scene is amazing.
  • If you're driving, Chapman's Peak Drive offers some of the most breathtaking views of the ocean.
  • Always have a light jacket. Evenings can get cool.

Don't just rush from one tourist spot to another. Chat with locals, find those hidden cafes, and maybe discover a secret beach. Cape Town in May isn’t just a trip; it's an experience waiting to unfold.

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

When you're thinking about the best places to visit in May, Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya should be high on your list. This time is magical in the Mara. The weather is just right—not too hot during the day and pleasantly cool at night. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to stay outside all day, exploring.

May falls right before the busy season kicks off. So, you get to enjoy all the beauty without bumping into too many other tourists. It's like the reserve rolls out its vast, open plains just for you. Imagine driving through the grasslands with nothing but the wild around you. That's the kind of experience you get when you avoid crowds and visit in May.

One of the biggest draws to Maasai Mara is the wildlife. Although it's before the famous wildebeest migration, there's still plenty of animals to see. Lions, giraffes, elephants, and cheetahs are just a few of what you might spot. The best part? With fewer people around, you get to see these magnificent creatures without interruption. For an even cooler experience, try a hot air balloon ride at dawn. The views are unforgettable.

For those looking to dive deeper into local culture, visiting Maasai villages is a must. It's not every day you get to learn about the traditions and ways of life of such an iconic community. Plus, the Maasai people are incredibly welcoming to visitors.

Let's talk costs. Traveling in May can be easier on your wallet. With the peak season not quite started, prices for flights and accommodations can be more reasonable. That means you can either save some money or splurge a bit more on fun activities. And speaking of activities, apart from game drives and cultural visits, there's plenty to do. You can go on nature walks, visit the Mara River, or even enjoy a picnic right in the middle of the reserve.

Here are some tips to make your trip unforgettable:

  • Wake up early for the game drives. Animals are most active in the morning.
  • Pack layers. Mornings and nights can be cool, even if the day heats up.
  • Don't forget your binoculars. You'll want them to catch all the wildlife action.

Essaouira, Morocco

When you're thinking of the best places to visit in May, Essaouira, Morocco, should definitely be on your list. This charming coastal city is known for its amazing weather in May. The temperatures are just right, not too hot during the day and pleasantly cool at night. This kind of weather is perfect for exploring the city without worrying about getting too sweaty or having to bundle up.

May is also a fantastic time to enjoy Essaouira without the hustle and bustle of large crowds. Since it's just before the peak tourist season, you'll get to explore its beautiful streets, markets, and beaches more freely. The city has a laid-back vibe that's even more enjoyable when it's not overcrowded.

Let's talk about fun activities. Essaouira is a paradise for wind and kite surfers. Even if you're not into surfing, watching the surfers ride the waves is quite a sight. The city is also famous for its horse and camel rides along the beach. Imagine riding a camel at sunset along the coast. Sounds amazing, right? Plus, the Gnaoua World Music Festival often happens in June, so being there in late May might give you a chance to catch some early performances.

Cost is another reason to visit Essaouira in May. With lower demand compared to the peak months, you'll find some of the lowest prices on accommodations and flights. This means you can stay in really nice places without breaking the bank. Local markets also offer great deals on unique items like handcrafted jewelry, argan oil, and colorful pottery.

As for local insights, don't miss trying some fresh seafood. Essaouira's port is always bustling with fishermen bringing in their daily catch. The seafood here is among the freshest you'll find anywhere. Enjoying a meal at a local café with views of the Atlantic Ocean is something you won’t forget.

Finally, a pro tip: take some time to wander through the Medina of Essaouira. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. The beautiful blue and white buildings, along with the friendly locals, make for a truly authentic Moroccan experience. Don't just stick to the main paths; the real magic is found in the quieter alleys where you can see everyday life unfold in this enchanting city.


So there you have it! Essaouira, Morocco, is your go-to destination for an unforgettable May getaway. With its perfect blend of pleasant weather, exciting activities, and cultural richness, you're in for a treat. Whether you're riding camels along the beach at sunset or getting lost in the music at the Gnaoua Festival, you'll find that this city offers a unique experience that's hard to match. And let's not forget the added bonus of saving on travel expenses. Don't miss the chance to wander through the Medina and dive into the heart of Moroccan culture. Trust us, Essaouira is a place that will capture your heart and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Essaouira, Morocco?

May is the ideal time to visit Essaouira due to its pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and cost savings on accommodations and flights.

What activities can I enjoy in Essaouira?

In Essaouira, you can enjoy wind and kite surfing, camel rides at sunset, and experiencing the Gnaoua World Music Festival in late May.

Why should I visit Essaouira in May?

Visiting Essaouira in May allows you to enjoy its laid-back vibe, save on travel expenses, and participate in unique activities such as the Gnaoua World Music Festival.

What makes Essaouira a must-see location?

Essaouira is known for its charming coastal setting, historic Medina, vibrant markets, and opportunities for adventure sports and cultural experiences.

Where can I find authentic Moroccan experiences in Essaouira?

For an authentic Moroccan experience, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Medina, where you can shop for unique items in local markets and enjoy fresh seafood.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 4, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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