Why Green Season is the perfect time to safari

By John Baumann | 28 March 2023

 

High season in East Africa typically runs from July through to the end of October, as these are the driest months of the year. The dry season means shorter grass with less dense bush coupled with increased wildlife numbers at the remaining watering holes. Due to these conditions being considered as the most favourable, the many advantages of East Africa’s green season are often overlooked.

A lioness lies within a carpet of flowers

November brings the start of the short rains, marking a period of transformation as the sun-baked plains soak up the afternoon showers. For those who know, green season is often their favourite time to travel in East Africa.

The Great Migration

Towards the end of October, the wildebeest and zebra of The Great Migration typically begin moving south as the promise of rain and nutrient rich grazing draws them towards the wide-open plains of the southern Serengeti. As the animals of the Migration move, so do the mobile camps, like Olakira and Ubuntu, aiming to position themselves amidst the thick of the action for the two key seasons of the annual migration cycle. For the next five months, the northern Serengeti becomes a haven of exclusivity as only a handful of permanent camps remain operational. With the chaos of the migration removed from the area, the resident wildlife flourishes amidst the increasingly green landscape. Leopard are ever-present amongst the kopjes, and large prides of lion laze in the morning sun. Resident plains game dot the surrounding landscape alongside giraffe, elephant and occasionally a black rhino.

Exclusivity

If you want to be the only vehicle at a wildlife sighting, or to look out over the vast horizons of the Masai Mara or Serengeti without other vehicles in sight, or perhaps enjoy shorter queues at park gates and airports, this is the time to travel. The southern Serengeti can still get busy amongst the action of the calving season, but nearly all other regions are offering superb wildlife viewing on an almost private basis.

The Talek River from Rekero Camp, views over the Naboisho Conservancy, and a leopard in a tree in Tarangire National Park

Youngsters all around

The abundance of water, grazing and taller grass to hide from predators makes this the perfect time for many mammals to have their young. In November, you’ll see trains of warthog piglets scampering through the bush, and in February look for wild dog puppies emerging from dens. In March, watch as zebra foals take their first steps and baby elephants struggle to gain control of their trunks.

An elephant calf with it's mother, a pair of young wild dog, and a lion cub.

Perfect photographic conditions

Dramatic skies with dark storm clouds and bursts of light breaking through, the first rainfalls dispelling the dust of dry season, and a landscape turning green and lush with carpets of flowers, make this season a photographer’s dream.

The green season in East Africa presents remarkable photography opportunities.

Birds galore

Up to 200 migrant species from all corners of the northern hemisphere fly south to East Africa, making green season a birder’s paradise. The waterways of Nyerere and Ruaha national parks see a dramatic increase in numbers. Additionally, many birds are showing off their breeding plumage – an impressive sight even to those who consider themselves birding novices.

The abundance of food in the green season results in an influx of migratory species, adding to an already impressive bird list.

Adventure season

November to May is our Asilia Adventure season. As camps and parks are less busy, expert guides lead private explorations that wouldn’t be possible other times of year. From walking expeditions across the Masai Mara conservancies to cultural immersions with the Hadzabe people, each adventure will transform a safari from great to extraordinary.

A multi-day walking adventure across the Mara Conservancies offers the experience of a lifetime.

Affordability and availability

It’s no secret that a safari can be an expensive holiday. Outside of peak season, some camps reduce in price by as much as 60%, presenting the opportunity to make your safari dream a reality.

Excellent wildlife, spectacular scenery, fewer vehicles and lower rates. What’s not to love about the green season?


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