From spotting majestic penguin colonies just outside Cape Town to observing gracious elephant herds at Victoria Falls, Africa is home to a unique abundance of wildlife experiences.

During the green season, you may even discover a flock of rare migrant birds or nursery of cute baby animals playing in the lush grasslands!

Perfect for keen birders and photographers alike, this wet and wonderful time of year sees dramatic bright greens contrasting beautiful against dark blue skies and sands throughout the lands.

So, what is the green season? When is the best time to go on safaris in the green season? And why travel in the green season? Here's a handy guide to help you plan these one-of-a-kind African safari holidays.

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What is the Green Season?

The green season is the wet season in Southern Africa and East Africa. As a result of these warmer rainy months, the regions transform from barren and dusty expanses into more vibrant and rolling grasslands.

It's a fantastic time for a safari adventure. There are unique wildlife sightings found nowhere else at no other time on the entire planet. Not only that, but your chances of taking eye-catching photographs are boosted with the magnificent golden light and green vegetation. This is as opposed to a dry season safari, where the sparse vegetation makes for easier wildlife watching.

Within travel, this period is considered as the low season. By timing your travels right, you can steer clear of the crowds and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience featuring its very own secret treasures to discover.

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When is the Green Season?

The green season differs on which region you visit. In Southern Africa, it falls from December to March. Whereas in East Africa, it spans from November to December and April to May.

If you're wondering when to go on a safari, keep in mind when the long rains and short rains occur. Specifically relating to East Africa, these two distinct wet seasons happen at different times of the year. The long rains descend from April to May and short rains between November and December.

Opposite to the low season is peak season, which is the best time to go on a safari for uninterrupted game viewing. In Southern Africa, this is from May to October. While in East Africa, this is June to October.

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Why Travel in the Green Season?

The green season is the perfect time to visit Africa as you'll see migratory birds and lots of baby animals!

Species such as bee-eaters and kingfishers take up residence on the shimmering lakes and in the verdant rainforests, whereas tiny zebra foals and monkey infants are born in their thousands.

However, with the calving season comes dramatic life and death scenes of predator and prey interactions. By embarking on a green season safari, you may witness a pride of lions feasting or giraffe calves escaping by the skin of their teeth - undoubtedly a significant event; something not for the faint hearted.

During your exploration, you'll discover how much of a stark difference the seasonal rains really do make. Bone dry terrain is nowhere to be seen. Instead, green landscapes spring into life, bringing with them lush vegetation and plentiful water sources for wildlife to thrive. Dramatic views of dark storm clouds often form over the vast horizons and golden light emerges from the heavens, shining upon carpets of flowers.

Not only that, but it's cheaper to travel in the green season due to it being less optimal for game viewing!

With ideal conditions for a game drive and abundant wildlife to spot, this safari season is unlike any other.

Where to go on a Green Season Safari?

Southern Africa and East Africa are both home to countries with unique green season safaris. From watching baby elephants frolic through the riverine forests in the Masai Mara to witnessing the birthing of foals nearby the Nxai Pan Camp, here's where to go on a green season safari in Africa.

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Southern Africa

Featuring excellent wildlife encounters and iconic locations from the Garden Route to Cape Winelands, safari holidays to South Africa are suited to every type of visitor. After discovering Cape Town's vibrant craft markets and art galleries, you can venture out towards Amakhala Game Reserve and spot rhino, cheetah and wildebeest. Big game viewing is fantastic and the weather is at its finest.

The best time to safari on the Eastern Cape during the season is February.

In north-eastern South Africa, you can experience Kruger National Park safaris. Observe adorable baby waterbucks in the wide-open plains and sunbirds nesting or feeding in the flowering trees high above. Although the summer rains persist, the climate remains relatively warm and humid.

The best time of year to visit Kruger National Park during the green season is December.

Lastly, why not opt for Botswana safaris and discover the magic of the Kalahari? Wild animals like buffalo and elephant roam the Makgadikgadi grasslands while herds of springbok arrive in their thousands.

The best time to go on a safari in Botswana during the season is March.

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East Africa

In East Africa, explore dense vegetation and study groups of lions and cheetahs in their natural habitat with Serengeti National Park holidays. The rainy season brings with it afternoon thundershowers that overflow watering holes, allowing the diversity of wildlife - from tiny antelope to spotted hyenas - to stay hydrated. Since this makes it harder to see the animals, each sighting becomes as precious as the last.

The best time to go on a Serengeti safari during the green season is April.

Further north, desolate dust flats morph into emerald green savanna plains and a host of foals, fawns and calves are born, ensuring the most unforgettable Kenya safari holidays. Large herds of wildebeest migrate with their calves from Masai Mara to the Serengeti following the short rains in November. Whereas most predators can be found stalking their prey, including striking scenes of lion attacks on topi.

The best time for a safari in Kenya during the green season is late May.

Discover your next Green Season Safari Adventure

The green season is a superb time for game viewing and exclusive experiences at world famous safari destinations. Get in touch with our safari experts and start planning your African wildlife safari today.

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