The Magic of Green Season Safaris
By Britta Foulis – Content Marketing Manager
Ask most people when they believe the best time is to go on safari and they will tell you it is in the dry season. There is no rain, the weather is more temperate and the dry climate ensures that the animals all gather around the watering holes, providing great opportunities to see high concentrations of wild animals. This is conventional safari wisdom that makes sense and there definitely is a good logic behind it.
The Secret Season…
However, speak to those in the know and you will find that there is another safari season that not only offers amazing safari experiences but also has some additional unexpected benefits that all goes towards ensuring that you have a truly epic safari holiday. In East Africa, there are two rainy seasons; a short one and a long one. The short rainy season is in November while the long rainy season stretches over April and May. Traditionally, it was thought that the rainy season is not a great time to go on safari and for various practical and logistical reasons, a number of Safari Camps in this region close over the wet season.
There are however a few camps able to remain open throughout the rainy season, due to their excellent location, both from a game-viewing and logistical perspective, which offer the discerning safari traveller an opportunity to experience a safari with a twist. We’re talking about the “Green Season Safari”.
The East African “Green Season” falls within the long wet season, over April and May. This coincides with the Northern Hemisphere winter and its cold icy weather, so the first real benefit of considering a Green Season Safari is the fact that you can exchange the cold miserable weather up North for the warm and green lush plains of Africa. The Green Season takes its name from the fact that the rainy season in East Africa brings with it bursts of colour and new life. The plains turn from a dry brown to a verdant green with splashes of colour as flowers blossom. This ushers in an abundance of insects and with it flocks of migrant birds. Signs of life are everywhere as the plains transform into a kindergarten with foals, cubs, fawns and calves all being birthed within this very special season.
Green Season Safaris
Green Season Safaris can be undertaken at any time in April and May providing Safari Travelers with an opportunity to experience a different kind of safari. The abundant green grass provides fresh grazing which draws in large herds of migrating wildebeest and zebra. During the wet season the animals do not congregate around waterholes and are further spread out and harder to spot in the lush green vegetation. This is not a bad thing though, since with the right guide, you are likely to see higher concentrations of wildlife and more spectacular predator kills, as long as you know where to look. This makes your choice of which Safari Company to go on Safari with, and which camp you go to, of paramount importance.
The epicentre of safari activity in Kenya is the Maasai Mara which is probably the most famous wildlife reserve in the world. Set within this iconic location are two gems of the Green Season Safari, Encounter Mara Camp and the Mara Bush Houses.
Encounter Mara is an award-winning camp located within the exclusive Mara Naboisho Conservancy, regarded as having a higher density of game than Maasai Mara National Reserve and one of the highest lion densities in the world. Sheltered by a canopy of towering acacia trees, the camp allows panoramic views of the surrounding grasslands providing some of the best game viewing in Africa all year round. When not spotting animals directly from camp, you can head out on a walking or driving safari with one of the camp’s guides, all of whom were born in the Maasai Mara and trained as guides by the Koiyaki Guiding School, ensuring that you get to see all the wildlife you desire. Find out more about Encounter Mara here.
Mara Bush Houses
If you prefer being more self-sufficient and private on safari, the three Mara Bush Houses (Acacia, Mara and Topi) all located within the Mara North Conservancy in the Greater Maasai Mara, offer the perfect base for a Green Safari. The abundance of wildlife over this time, and the unique structure of this camp experience, means that you can create your own customised safari. Asilia Africa’s unique cooperative development model in the Mara North Conservancy also means that all guides are born and raised in the Maasai Mara ensuring that you have the best possible opportunity to see the amazing African wildlife. Find out more about the Mara Bush Houses here.
Home to Africa’s highest mountain one of its most famous lakes and the idyllic island Zanzibar, you’d think that Tanzania pretty much already has it all. Add to this mix the Serengeti and you probably have one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse countries and all the ingredients for an incredible safari experience. Two camps that have established themselves as premium places for enjoying a Green Safari are Ubuntu Camp and Olivers Camp.
Ubuntu is a tented migration camp, meaning it is a mobile camp that moves around following the great migration as it traverses the Serengeti. This track and tent approach means that you are never far from the action as the camp resettles at three different locations en route providing excellent places from which to view river crossings and calving. Ubuntu’s specialist guides will ensure that you have the best seats in the house to the greatest show on earth. Ubuntu is a traditional safari camp with only a few tents and a warm, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Find out more about Ubuntu Camp here.
Hidden along the southern reaches of the Tarangire National Park, in the game-dense Silale swamp and overlooking a floodplain, sits Oliver’s Camp. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, a safari camp reminiscent of the early pioneering camps of the African plains. It’s close proximity to high concentrations of wildebeest and other migrating animals as well as its impressive collection of top predators means that you are assured of seeing impressive natural conflicts. A camp from which you are able to view wildlife year-round, Oliver’s is just the right mix of old-world charm and creature comfort to provide you with an all-round memorable safari experience. The camp provides an ideal setting for a Green Safari, click here to find out more.
The golden African plains with large herds of animals trekking over it have become something of a legendary image of the Great Migration, made famous by nature movies and accentuated by countless brochures on shelves in Tourism offices. To think of this as the only view of an African Safari would be to not only sell Africa short, but to also miss a great opportunity to take the road less travelled so far as safari’s go. A Green Safari is an opportunity to enjoy a richer safari, an experience that goes beyond just seeing the big predators and their prey.
7 Reasons to seriously consider a Green Safari:
- Be a more active Safari Traveller
- See larger concentrations of animals at closer range
- Capture the most incredible photographs as light streaks the skies in incredible colours
- View more predator/prey encounters as hunter’s prey on new-born calves and fawns
- Potentially have a section of the Serengeti or Maasai Mara entirely to yourselves
- Experience a richer Safari as you are exposed to other fascinating aspects of wildlife, &
- Enjoy longer days in Africa with the early rising and late setting African sun in summer.
Asilia Africa works with local communities and cooperatives in order to offer authentic East African Safari experiences that allow both wildlife and the communities that live in the region to thrive. Our Green Season Safari option will not only provide you with an unforgettable safari experience, it will also assist in conservation and development efforts in key areas in East Africa.
Want to join us to be a part of the magic of Green Season? Get in touch with your trusted travel agent or make an enquiry with us below.
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