Secrets Of The Green Season

Secrets Of The Green Season

Secrets Of The
Green Season

Reading Time: ±7 Minutes

“Throughout most of Africa, peak safari season has traditionally coincided with the dry winter season (roughly from July to October). Old wisdom holds that this is when game viewing is ‘easiest’ because of the lack of vegetation and animals gathering at what remains of waterholes….”

We love the Green Season however. It’s something of a secret season! Usually the green season does not coincide with the summer vacation period in the northern hemisphere meaning reserve, lodge and park numbers are low, which means lower rates. It’s also a very special season for game viewing experiences. Here are just a handful of highlights:

BOTSWANA

The Green Season in Botswana starts with the December summer rains. The rains down here are characterised by heavy showers and thunderstorms, intersperse with breaches of sunshine. It’s spectacular.

With the abundance of water in the Okavango Delta, and elsewhere, the entire ecosystem flourishes. It is during this time that most of the antelope species give birth which with it brings a proliferation of predators and scavengers.

In addition, the green season in Botswana triggers one of the largest (if lesser-known) migrations in Africa. Some 20 000 zebras and blue wildebeests leave the Chobe area and traverse north to where the Makgadigadi and Nxai Pans are covered in new growth.

TANZANIA

Tanzania has two distinct green seasons—the long rains (known as the masika) from around mid-March to May, and the short rains (called vuli) from November to January. Visiting Tanzania during the green season makes for some spectacular wildlife sightings.

From around May the Serengeti’s wildebeests are on the move with the area around Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera choked with classic scenes of hundreds of thousands of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles.

Being just south of the equator the ‘wet’ season doesn’t mean that it gets cold, on the contrary, days can reach into the high 30’s (celcius). You could easily luck into a week of sunshine for a coastal holiday on low season rates.

Namibia

Namibia is a land of contrasts, with the dry season being exceptionally dry, while the green season is a study in abundance.

The country is famed for its desert-adapted elephants and rhinos. And, while it is special to experience them in their stark, dry surroundings, it is when the banks are green and the desert rivers flowing that make for truly once-in-a-lifetime sightings.

In early 2021 Namibia experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in 20 years. The country was transformed with carpets of green. Life abounded and those who managed to travel there saw the famed desert-adapted elephants and rhinos with unique backdrops.

During the green season we’d also combine the trip with a few days down south in Sossusvlei, for the chance to see the desert in its finest green attire.

ZAMBIA

Zambia’s Luangwa Valley is green and lush from November to May. The forests are thick and the plains are covered with tall grasses. Rain showers usually afternoons with the time in between being warm and sunny.

Few of the lodges stay open, but those that do see returning, discerning bird watchers who come to witness the influx of migratory birds and to tick the big list of endemics.

As with the other areas, there is also an abundance of new life on the ground as the herbivores give birth. May is also the prime time to see packs of wild dogs – one of Africa’s rarest predators.

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