Although the dry season in Africa is the most popular time to go on safari, there are excellent year-round game viewing possibilities all over Africa. If you’re trying to decide the best time to go, here are a few things that set the two main seasons apart.
The dry season is the most popular season to go on safari for good reason. During this time, wildlife gathers near the few water sources available, making animals easier to spot. The lack of vegetation allows for excellent visibility, and you can see for miles out over the barren plains and open savannas. The climate during the dry season is usually very pleasant, with mild days and cooler evenings. Plus, lower humidity means fewer bugs. The dry season, overall, is a fantastic time to visit Africa.
The green season, however, which falls between or after the rains, is what we call Africa’s “secret season.” This is the season of new life, colorful wildflowers, gorgeous skies, and lush landscapes. During the green season, wildlife takes advantage of new vegetation that turns the dry savanna into lush grasslands. Waterholes and rivers fill up, allowing animals to spread out across the land. During the green season, new births fill the landscape with baby fawns, foals, calves, and cubs. At the same time, predators take advantage of vulnerable new babies, so dramatic hunting scenes often transpire in front of safari-goers. Migrant birds arrive by the thousands to take up residence among the full lakes and lagoons. For photographers, the green season offers the best light and incredibly colorful photo opportunities. Skies are filled with golden rays, there are eye-popping colors created by rain-washed air, and cloud-dappled sunsets accompany day’s end. But, possibly the biggest draw of the green season? Fewer visitors and better deals!
In summary, here’s what you can expect from each season.
- Excellent, unobstructed wildlife viewing
- Pleasant, mild climates with fewer bugs and less humidity
- Larger crowds and potentially higher prices
- Colorful landscapes bursting with flowers, baby animals, and migratory birds
- Dramatic skies and lighting—perfect for photography
- More dispersed wildlife viewing, but with fewer crowds and better deals
Overall, you can’t go wrong! Each season in Africa offers something spectacular. So grab your camera and get ready to be wowed, no matter when you go.