“Green Season” is the term given to the rainy months of the year. When this occurs varies from place to place. In Southern Africa the rains occur between November and March whereas further north in East Africa there are actually two green seasons, a long rains season between April and May and a short rains season in November.
In an effort to avoid these rains, many people choose to go on safari during the drier months when the weather is more predictable. However, I don’t believe you should ever rule out going on safari in green season. There are many fantastic reasons to take the plunge and make your next safari during this completely underrated season. Here are just five of them.
As mentioned above, the rains deter many visitors to the parks during this period. However, this means that those who do visit typically encounter few other tourists and can therefore often spend longer at sightings. Fewer crowds really help to make you feel immersed in the magic of the African bush. Not only that, as a result of the smaller number of visitors, many lodges will offer discounted rates during this time. Win win!
2. Stunning Scenery
Unsurprisingly, the rains tend to drop a lot of water in a very short period of time. This sudden increase of water causes the bush to burst into life, showcasing lush greens and vibrant colours, making for truly epic photographic opportunities. The additional contrast of your surroundings will really help your subjects stand out when compared to the pale yellow tones of dry season.
3. Migratory Birds
If you are a bird lover, this could be the perfect season for you to travel in. Many migratory species such as woodland kingfishers and Southern carmine bee-eaters will also arrive with the rains. In the South African lowveld for example, they say summer has truly arrived once you hear the call of the woodland kingfisher. Utter bliss and the perfect time to check a few new species off your bird list!
4. Babies, babies and more babies
Many grazing species such as impala, wildebeest and springbok will calve in the early rainy season as food is so abundant. This creates many photographic opportunities for adorable images. On the flip side, predators also make the most of this season too as the multitude of young mean an increased food source for them as well. This can lead to some incredible sightings and action.
5. The Rains!
Not only will the rains reduce the amount of dust around (which your camera will thank you for – just remember a waterproof for it!), but they will also afford you some of the most dramatic sunsets and incredible skies Africa has to offer. A must for landscape lovers!
Naturally, this isn’t to say there are no disadvantages to travelling during this season…the days are incredibly hot for one thing! However, there are also disadvantages to travelling during the peak dry season so don’t necessarily let these put you off. I truly believe there is no bad time to go on safari with each season providing its own magical enchantment. It simply comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
Hopefully this article has given you a bit of an insight into what green season can offer. Perhaps you’ll even consider it for your next photographic trip. At RAW Photographic we believe in putting the experience first and will work with you to create your ultimate safari. We would love to help you with your next trip, whether you join our Kenya and Botswana off-peak adventures or even create your own bespoke safari, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Photographs by Sophie Brown and Samuel Cox