After all, Gene Kelly already sang in the rain, so imagine how good a safari is in the rain?
In all likelihood, you won’t get rained on, but a safari during green season is Africa’s best kept secret. We often see rain as bad, not wishing to get ourselves or our belongings wet, misinterpreting the benefits of travelling during the low season, aka green season.
But let us tell you this (not so secret) secret, that a safari during this low/green season can be the most spectacular experience of your life!
Almost every travel guide we read, suggests that the high/dry season is the best time to view wildlife. This is primarily based on animals being “more visible” around watering holes and with less foliage to see through to various animals such as leopards and birds.
But this is 100% wrong and simply terrible travel advice. We will outline just why in this blog…
…hold on to your safari hats!
When is the low/green season?
Typically from November to March for many Southern African countries like Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda see their green season between November-December and again from April to May. Tanzania likewise sees a green season from December-March.
Reason 1: Low tourist crowds
As if you have Africa all to yourself!
Part on the reason why high season is high season with higher rates and less availability at accommodations, is due to typical holiday schedules, with many people, schools, students and work places obtaining leave between July-September and this coincides with many of the high/dry seasons in Africa. To an extent, some travellers simply cannot avoid this time of year for their travel plans.
Green season equals fewer tourists and fewer tourists equates to a far more natural experience, within nature, just you, your guide and those elephants. It’s times like these when we truly feel part of our planet, because quite simply, it’s not quite the same surrounded by too many fellow travellers – whether you’re visiting a museum, art gallery, city or safari – less people around you counts towards a better experience.
Can you imagine driving across the African terrain with nobody else around?
Reason 2: Lower camp rates, special offers + no single supplements
If you are able to travel in green season, out of this main high (and more expensive) season, then you’re in luck. Due to the lower levels of tourists, accommodations generally offer a range of benefits to travellers;
- Reduced rates
- Special offers become available, such as free nights, honeymoon offers & more
- No single supplements for solo travellers
It’s bonus on top of bonus, on top of bonus, when you travel in green season.
Reason 3: Wildlife doesn’t disappear, it blooms
The false notion presented when online, book or magazine travel guides suggest that the best time to visit Africa is in the high/dry season (July-September), is that because wildlife congregate around watering holes, that the wildlife then disappears into the bush, never to be seen again. Nothing could be further from the truth and indeed, some of the very best wildlife sightings can be had during the low/green season.
For example, the Great Migration begins in the Southern Serengeti, Tanzania, as thousands of migrating wildebeest and zebra congregate in the lush green pastures between December-March to give birth to their offspring, before heading North up the Serengeti towards Kenya’s Masai Mara. It’s a continuous journey that takes until July to reach Kenya, before they turn around and head back South from October. Making the green season in the Serengeti a stunning spectacle to witness on safari.
Take lions, the majority of lion cub births, and indeed any animal birth such as wildebeest and zebra, occur in the early part of the year from December-March. Why? Green season. Safety is a factor, with small baby animals being hidden in the taller grasses and difficult to see for predators. the young are then old enough and strong enough to take on the dry landscape of summer and in the case of wildebeest and zebra, strong enough to make the long trek North – isn’t nature amazing?!
Reason 4: Birds, birds, birds
When it comes to birding; the spellbinding colours, sounds and array of species spring to life in a stunningly beautiful chorus sung by Mother Nature herself. It’s this time of year during the green season when both resident birds and migratory birds show off their calls and breeding plumage. Water sources are abundantly fresh, creating a watery haven, ideal for birds (and bird photography).
Water sources from this green season will stretch into May and beyond, particular in fantastic wetlands as Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the great lakes of Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Ultimately keeping these destinations pristine towards the high season of July-September.
Reason 5: Lush landscapes, a photographers dream
Wildlife, landscapes, night skies and even the smallest of subjects – Africa is a photographers paradise. From the vastness and little light pollution perfect for star trails and galaxy shots, the odd rain shower that provides dramatic photographs of animals, the tiny creatures surrounded by mountainous water droplets, such is the magical scenery brought to life by the rain.
All matched perfectly with the rain’s ability to clean the air ready for your capture, creating beautifully clean photos.
Water brings newfound waterways perfect for exploring by boat, canoe, kayak and mokoro. They are an excellent opportunity for photographers to gain unique perspectives of Elephants drinking or playing in the water, Kingfishers and Pel’s fishing owls springing to their next meal, or picturesque waterlilies floating gently by.
Landscape photography also takes on a new meaning in Africa, as vistas spring to life with fresh green foliage and spectacular sunrises & sunsets. You’ll be left in awe if you are fortunate to experience a rain storm on the horizon. Magnificent.
Read: Why Shooting in the Rain Can Give You Great Landscape Photos
Reason 6: Environmentally friendly
That’s correct. Travelling in green season is more environmentally friendly compared to travelling in high season with “everyone else”. Why?
- Lower crowd numbers, you’re often the only people around
- Less footprints and vehicle tracks on the earth, helping nature
- Fewer safari goers, equals fewer game drive vehicles around animals
- Delicious vegan food (always)
- Contribute to conservation efforts through park fees & conservation levies (which can often be negatively impacted due to lower traveller numbers in low/green season)
- Fewer international flights, reducing emissions
- Utilise our chosen safari camps that use electric game drive vehicles in Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia
Grab a bargain with no tourists around
Plan your ‘green season’ safari today with Better Safaris. We can curate your ideal safari itinerary to include various camps, number of nights AND all ethical & sustainable.
Email us or drop Paul a Whatsapp: +1 438 764 2684
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