7 Reasons Why You Should Travel in Emerald Season

The Emerald season is a safari aficionado’s best-kept secret. Offering an exclusive experience, this Emerald season is perfect for birders, photographers and anyone who likes baby animals. The skies put on a display of short yet captivating thunderstorms, cooling down the hotter days. The rain brings beautiful bright shrubbery and foliage, which in turn, brings breeding migratory birds. There is a feeling of renewal in the air as it is the main birthing season, and with baby animals everywhere, it is a perfect time for family travel. We have created special prices to show you the best offerings during this Emerald season.

Calvet Nkomo, our professional guide at Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park Zimbabwe, has almost 20 years of experience in guiding; his favourite season is summertime, between November and March. The whistling of the Levaillant’s cuckoos takes him back to when he was growing up in the village on the outskirts oh Hwange, his grandfather would hear the call of the cuckoo and his eyes would light up. He explained to Calvet that this meant that rain was around the corner and that they could start preparing seeds and ploughing fields. Calvet still feels the same excitement today when he hears them, as he did when he was a boy.

Interestingly, he also finds that in Hwange National Park more cheetahs and wild dogs come out during the Emerald season because of the dispersal of the elephants, giving them more of a chance to roam the area. The rains change the landscape completely, making the colour bright and remarkable for photography.

1. Dramatic Landscapes

The Emerald season in Southern Africa can offer some of the most dramatic and breathtaking landscapes of the year. During this time, the rains transform the dry and brown savannahs into lush and green landscapes, dotted with wildflowers and blooming trees. The rivers and waterfalls are also at their fullest, creating stunning natural scenes and providing an abundance of drinking water for wildlife.

The Emerald season can be a particularly good time to visit areas such as Victoria Falls, which can be more impressive during the wet season when the Zambezi River is at its peak flow. Other areas, such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana, also come to life during the Emerald season, with lush vegetation and an explosion of wildlife activity.

2. Dazzling Birds in Breeding Plumage


Southern Africa is home to a diverse range of bird species, with some of the best birding destinations including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. During the Emerald season, many migratory birds also visit the region, adding to the diversity of species that can be seen.

Some of the notable bird species that can be seen during the Emerald season in Southern Africa include the Southern carmine bee-eater, the African hoopoe, the African fish eagle, the Grey crowned crane, and the Lilac-breasted roller. The lush vegetation and abundance of water also provide ideal conditions for many bird species to breed and raise their young, providing opportunities to observe bird behavior and nesting.

3. Baby Animals

Increased rainfall and lush vegetation during the Emerald season provide ideal conditions for many species to breed and raise their young.

Some of the notable species that give birth during the Green season include impalas, zebras, wildebeests, warthogs, and many species of antelopes. Predators such as lions, hyenas, and leopards also tend to give birth during this time, as they take advantage of the abundance of prey and favorable conditions for raising their young.

Watching baby animals interact with their mothers and other members of their herd or pack can be a heartwarming and rewarding experience, making the Green season a great time for wildlife viewing. However, it is important to remember that young animals are vulnerable to predators and may need to be protected by their mothers and the rest of their group.

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4. Baby Animals Usually Mean Dramatic Predator Action


Predators such as lions and leopards do take advantage of the increased availability of prey during the Emerald season, and they may target young or weak animals. However, this is a natural part of the ecosystem and has been happening for thousands of years. It is important to remember that predators play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, and their actions are necessary for the survival of many other species.

That being said, many game reserves and national parks in Southern Africa have measures in place to protect vulnerable animals, such as providing areas of thick vegetation where young animals can hide, or monitoring predator activity and intervening if necessary to prevent excessive predation. So while the Emerald season can be a challenging time for young animals, it is not necessarily a cause for alarm.

5. Emerald Season is Perfect for Photography

Lush emerald greens contrasted with bright blue skies, and yellow, pinks, and purples from the beautiful birds floating in between. The bush is alive and vibrant, the rain composes abundant beauty, and, if you are a passionate photographer, you can frame this beauty in the way only you can, through your rose-tinted glasses. From the big to the small, baby animals, exotic birds, predators, dramatic cloud formations and sunsets, opportunity is what photography is about, and during this season, you will have a kaleidoscope of opportunities.

6. Fewer Tourists & Vehicles

One of the biggest advantages of visiting during the Emerald season is that there are usually fewer tourists and vehicles compared to the high season, which generally occurs from June to September. This means that you can enjoy a more peaceful and intimate experience with nature, without the crowds and the noise of multiple vehicles. Additionally, since the Emerald season is considered the low season, many lodges and safari operators offer discounted rates, making it a more affordable time to visit.

7. Emerald Season is More Affordable

Emerald season in Southern Africa is generally considered the low season , which means that travel and accommodation costs are often lower than during the high season. Feel free to contact one of our safari experts to find out more about our Emerald season special at our camps.