The green season is a safari aficionado’s best-kept secret. Offering an exclusive experience, this secret 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 secret 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 cheetah and wild dogs come out during the green 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 thunderstorms cool off the summer heat
The late afternoon thunderstorms are enthralling. There’s an energy in the air, captivating you through the power and glory of the skies. The magnetic and electrifying feeling of the quick light that fills the entire sky, followed by the rumble that permeates within your very being, and then, in a flash, it’s all over as the warmer weather moves in, bringing a contrast of calm and freshness. It truly is something spectacular to experience on African soil. It’s going to get you recreating your own ‘Toto – Africa’ music video to “bless the rains down in Africa”.
2. Dazzling birds in breeding plumage
With all the rain brings an abundance of growth and renewal. The shrubbery is flourishing, attracting migratory birds strutting their stuff in bright and dazzling plumage, trying to find a mate in the breeding season. The sounds of all these birds at this time of year is like an electrifying chorus, bringing about excitement in the air. You feel the full spectrum of the life cycle; from courting to nesting, this time of year is truly a birders paradise!
3. Baby animals!
Speaking of renewal, baby animals! Everywhere. There’s not much more to say other than “awwwww”. The synchronization of the births during this time is unprecedented and is really a privilege to witness. The tiniest of baby animals, with their mini-features and big eyes, they are destined to give you the fuzziest of feelings. The green season exhibits rejuvenation and with all this family activity, it is a wonderful time to make memories with your loved ones, we have just the trip.
4. Baby animals usually mean dramatic predator action
As Mufasa says to Simba: “Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance. As King, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures – from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope. When we die, our bodies become grass. And the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” Yes, I just quoted Lion King; that movie can be profound. Predators are opportunists, which means they will target the weaker animals, including the young, the old and the weak. This may seem harsh, but it keeps a healthy and robust gene line. And, well, it’s the circle of life.
5. Vivid colours and clear air create great conditions 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 and vehicles
Being our best-kept secret season, you won’t get bush traffic and will have almost every sighting to yourself. Everyone loves their privacy and exclusivity when on holiday, and the further you go out into the wild, the more you want to have your own space. If you are visiting for the birds or photography, you will have more freedom to take your time and revel in what you love and enjoy. The Essence of Botswana & Zambia is the perfect way to experience all the wonder exclusively to yourself.
7. Better prices and more specials