Plenty of insects hovering around the spotlight, lots of hot and humid days but it’s all so worth it to experience the full complexity and diversity of the African bush. Im talking about the African summer that many tourists seem to be afraid of. The thought of having temperatures into the 40’s and a couple days of rain – it makes sense why some would be put off by such extreme weather. But not us from the safariFRANK team. In fact for us this is it. It doesn’t get much better.
The time between the first rains around November until the last rains in March is considered the rainy season in Southern Africa. During this time the bush is totally transformed from a dry, barren and leafless place to a lime green, wet and a bustling ecosystem. Rivers that run dry for the most part of the year are flowing strong and are filled with the calls of frogs and toads. The bush is alive with bird songs; noticeably the summer migratory birds have returned and are as vocal as ever. The abundance of food and cover brought on by the increased greenery brings new life in the form of the next generation of animals. Plenty of species choose this time of year to finally give birth to their offspring after long gestations as the stress from malnutrition is no longer a threat. It truly is the time of plenty for the herbivores. And so to it is for the predators….with the increase of smaller and more vulnerable prey around, leopards thrive in the new dense bush they call home, as their prey finds it harder to spot them.
But why we love this time of year isn’t so much the viewing of the animals, it’s actually the viewing of the people, much less viewing of people as most places consider this the “off season” so often when travelling places that are packed with tourists (during peak season) are now empty from the herds of humans. And you find you have these wild areas all to yourself. There is no amount of luxury accomodation that can make up for being the only vehicle at an amazing location and sighting. And along with all this is the matter of accomodation, because it’s the offseason prices are often dramatically reduced which gives us more “bang for our buck”. Granting you access to awesome lodges and locations that otherwise don’t exactly fit the budget. Paradise…
“It’s too hot in the summer!” Nonsense! The heat is one of the best things about summer as it allows for comfortable temperatures during activities. Night drives are possible with shorts and a t-shirt and can extend far into the night to allow for viewing of nocturnal animals. It’s possible in winter with multiple layers, but if the drive is unsuccessful it ends up having been a few hours of shivers….. and early mornings are real cold! But yes lets face it 40 degrees Celsius in the shade is fairly uncomfortable, but usually when the temperature is up there at midday you are relaxing by the lodge (sometimes in the pool) and the game drive is over anyway, so why complain? Can’t beat a beautiful summers day in the pool with a beer/cocktail in the hand! That’s our idea of a safari!