Emerald Season Magic

A safari in the emerald, or green, season is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets! The vivid green vegetation and dramatic skies offer a superb backdrop for photographing not only the scenery but also the newborn babies – and the predators that follow closely behind. The summer months also bring an amazing array of migratory birds decked out in their breeding plumage, from carmine bee-eaters to woodland kingfishers, and hundreds more. Because there are fewer tourists in the summer months, prices are lower than in the dry season, offering a more exclusive experience at a reduced rate.

In Kenya and Tanzania, there are two rainy seasons – the short rains, in November, and the long rains in April and May. It may still rain from December to February, but usually in short bursts that allow plenty of game viewing. January and February are the calving season months when thousands of wildebeest and other animals give birth to their young. Seeing (and hearing!) the mega herds of wildebeest as they congregate in the Serengeti is unforgettable!

n Botswana’s Central Kalahari National Park, the best time for wildlife viewing is actually in the green season, with large numbers of springbok, gemsbok, and wildebeest. This is also a great time to spot the predators, including the black-maned Kalahari lion.

At this time, you may get to experience the annual zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi Pans. The summer rains transform the landscape into wetlands that attract tens of thousands of animals, coming to feed on the lush new vegetation. You are also likely to witness baby animals here, as in other parts of Africa during the summer months.


Off-Off the beaten path, deep in Liuwa Plain in Zambia, thousands of wildebeest begin to gather in another, lesser-known migration. Here, the annual floodwaters, sprawling wildflower blooms, and epic thunderstorms create a magnificent stage for varied birdlife, a growing cheetah population, and the famed Lady Liuwa lion prides.

So, if you are looking for great deals, more exclusivity, and a unique wildlife experience, you will want to consider a green season safari! This sample 9-night safari with African Bush Camps takes you to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Zambia’s Victoria Falls (Livingstone), and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, and starts at only $6,200 per person, fully inclusive (actual price may vary depending on month/year).

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