Conventional wisdom says that the best time to go on safari is during the Dry Season (May – October), when animals congregate around a shrinking number of waterholes, making wildlife-watching much easier. However, SafariBookings.com explains the many advantages of experiencing a safari during the wet ‘Green’ Season (November – April). So, don’t let the rain put you off, after all, it’s often short downpours before the glorious sun comes back out again…
- Cheaper travel and lodgings: staying in the same lovely lodges, visiting the same iconic African national parks and reserves
- Fewer tourists and reduced numbers of vehicles at sightings
- Lush and green, rather than brown and bare
- Migratory birds arrive, including a myriad of cuckoos, rollers and bee-eaters, making for excellent birdwatching
- Clean air, intense cloud formations and photogenic sunsets – a photographer’s paradise
- Breeding season for many of the animals, offering an enchanting experience of mother nature
Here are three countries that make ideal Green Season destinations for safaris in the coming months.
There are two green seasons in Kenya, in which there are ‘long rains’ and ‘short rains’. The best time to visit is during the short rains (November and December), which offer an average of four to six hours of sunshine a day. In the Masai Mara, the rain transforms the landscape into lush, green grasslands, and the plains are full of young gazelle, antelope and zebra.
Like Kenya, the long rains are from March to May and the short rains from October to December. Although many of the lodges close during the Green Season, a number do stay open, dropping their rates significantly. During the short rains you can witness the wildebeest migration across the southern Serengeti. Between November and March, this incredible spectacle draws smaller crowds at low season rates – a winning combination.
The Green Season in the South Luangwa Valley is from November to May. Many of the rain showers fall in the afternoon or at night. The rains turn the park into a lush patchwork of greens, with numerous pools and lagoons forming that are filled with water birds.
Birding is spectacular at this time of year, with carmine bee-eaters everywhere and spiraling squadrons of storks. The herbivores are giving birth, and May is a good time for spotting wild dogs. The only thing missing are the tourists.