Many people think of African safaris as stretching for miles along a lion-colored plain, but according to Travel Africa, there are green safaris that take place during the rainy season and offer a whole different color. In Botswana, the green or rainy season is from December to March, and this is considered the off-season for tourists, but, even though there are showers at times, the plains come alive with grass and other plants that draw thousands of animals.
What Are the Attractions?
The dry season offers firmer roads and makes it easier for safaris to get around, which is why it is considered the high season for tourism, but the green season has special attractions not the least of which is fewer travelers and greatly discounted safari and hotel rates, according to Anouk Zijlma of About.com.
Some camps are better in the green season than in the high season, and the Central Kalahari is crowded with wildlife at this time. The normally arid plains become completely transformed, and the floral displays with rainbows of colors are magnificent. The chance to see baby animals is greater because many species give birth during this time.
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is considered the largest inland delta in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. All of the water that reaches the delta from the river and other tributaries evaporates or flows into Lake Ngami. It is an extraordinary site where you can see a huge variety of species including:
• African bush elephants
• African buffalo
• Blue wildebeest
• Nile crocodile
• Leopard, lion and cheetah
• Springbok, sable antelope
• Brown and spotted hyena
• Black and white rhinoceros
• Plains zebra
• Common warthog
• Chacma baboon
There are many lodges in the area that are open to tourists and have very little impact on the environment. This is one of the top birdwatching places in the world.
Other Amazing Sights
Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, but very near Botswana. You can view the falls from either country, but wherever you are, they will be much more dramatic during the wet season.
When the rains are good, the Makgadikgadi has more than 50,000 flamingos, and with their bright pink color on the background of the blue water and green grasses, it is a photographer’s paradise. All of the colors in Botswana are sharper in the green season and the light is crystal clear with deep blue skies and fascinating cloud formations.
Visitors start they day early just like the animals and also spend the hot afternoons lazing, swimming or napping. The rainy season has short, intervals of showers and some spectacular thunderstorms, but it is not the proverbial all-day rainy season, and a wonderful time to see Botswana.
For travelers visiting Africa for the first time, they will not be disappointed with a trip to Botswana during the green season. If you are a veteran of African safaris, this will give you a completely different experience and one not to be missed.