It is often recommended to safari-goers that they visit southern Africa, (Botswana in particular), during the months of May to October. The argument is that the dry winter season, although cold, is when animals are easier to spot through the bare-branched trees, especially when they are forced to congregate around more limited sources of water. While that wisdom is valuable it is also widely-held! This period also overlaps with school holidays in the northern hemisphere, only adding to the number of travellers looking for space over those few months. Savvy travellers might instead want to avoid the crowds and consider Botswana’s Rainbow or Green Season which runs from November through April. Here are just a few reasons to consider the “Secret Season.”
Perfect for Photographers
Although Botswana’s Green Season coincides with most of the country’s annual rainfall, most of the rain falls between January and February in the form of short but spectacular afternoon thunderstorms that leave the landscape beautifully lush and green through April. The emerald-green grass, lit with that golden light, a backdrop of dramatic, dark storm clouds and bolts of lightning followed by rainbows and crystal clear air is the perfect setting for astonishingly stunning wildlife images. (Guests wanting to learn more about photography while on safari can take advantage of personalised photographic skills programs through Great Plains’ Wild Studio program).
Northern Botswana, and the Duba Plains and Selinda concessions in particular, boast an astonishing variety of resident birdlife – many of which are highly sought-after species. When the rains arrive so do the summer migrant species that may have flown from Europe, Asia or other parts of Africa. Some of the special sightings to be had during Green Season include the arrival of scarce wattled cranes, the colourful bee-eaters and a sudden range of different rollers. You know that summer has arrived when the distinctive call of the woodland kingfisher trills through the trees. Be sure to try and join our prestigious 111 Club – open only to the most observant of travellers – those who mange to see a minimum of 111 different species of birds during their stay. You can join the annual challenge on Birdlasser, track your progress and see how well you do against others.
So Many Babies
An explosion of births coincides with the arrival of the rains each year between January and April. The grazing species take advantage of the lush, abundant grass and give birth seemingly all at once! This is great news for predators and can make for dramatic wildlife sightings and photographic opportunities. And remember, predators such as lions, leopards and wild dogs are territorial, they live in the same area year round and take advantage of what each season has to offer.
Exceptional Value for Money
In addition to fewer people and stunning natural beauty, Green Season also offers exceptional savings. Rates are lower, supplements for single travellers are waived and there are Stay 4 – Pay 3 specials at all of our properties in Botswana, including Duba Explorers Camp, Selinda Explorers Camp, Selinda Camp, Zarafa and Duba Plains.
So consider Botswana’s Rainbow Season! First-time safari goers won’t be disappointed with the wildlife experience on-offer between November and May, seasoned safari enthusiasts will appreciate the contrast and brilliant green landscape anew and everyone can find an exceptional savings on an exceptional safari experience.
To find out more or book, email us here.