Green Season Bush Telegraph

2 December 2017, Saturday

Let the Green Season Begin

November is the start of the Green Season in Southern Africa, this is the time of the year that the seasonal rains start. The rain provides much needed water for all the flora and fauna in Africa`s National Parks, the animals start to move away from the waterholes and rivers that have kept them going through the winter in search of fresh grazing. 

Many visitors to Africa are a little afraid of visiting in the green season, as the animals have spread out and become harder to find, the bush is full and lush making the visibility from the road more difficult, the temperatures rise into the high 30s and 40s, the bugs are out in mass and heavy thunderstorms become a daily experience. However we at Wild Planet Safari actively advise guests to come during this wonderful time of the year, not to trick our guests but because it really is a great time to come on safari to South Africa.

When the green season arrives it brings with it all the migratory birds, the bush becomes a chorus of beautiful bird calls and their bright coloured plumage adds contrast to the lush green trees, shrubs and grasses. It is the start of birthing season and guests can look forward to seeing a wide variety of young mammals. The impala give birth in November and the bush becomes a very entertaining playground as the impala calves chase each other around tirelessly. The afternoon thunderstorms are a daily treat and arrive just in time to cool all living creatures (including us humans) after very hot and humid days. The storms are a fantastic light show and are really enjoyable to watch. The light in green season is especially good for taking photo`s with great contrast and bright vibrant colours. 

Then  there is the best reason of all to visit in the Green Season. It is low season for tourism, this means that there are far less vehicles in the parks, exciting sightings can be found and enjoyed alone and without all the hustle and bustle. In the north you can drive all day and only pass about 3 other vehicles. It lets guests enjoy the parks in a far more private manner and it is the only time of year that the parks can be enjoyed this way.

If you live anywhere near the Arctic Circle then it is a great time of year to escape the freezing cold and let your body absorb some much needed vitamin D. 

Green season starts in November and ends in March, if you do plan to visit during this period you need to take Malarial prophylaxes and avoid the dates between 16th December and 3rd January unless you book well in advance. 

Wild Planet Safari have availability for January, February and March but we anticipate booking most dates by mid January, drop us an email and start your Green Season Plans today.

This November Wild Planet Safari operated 6 tours and we had some incredible sightings. Guests enjoyed numerous sightings of cheetah, we found 6 leopards including a very young cub, we saw the arrival of many new Impalas, Wild Dogs hunting a bushbuck and Wild Dogs fighting with hyenas. It has been an incredible November and I am sure the guests loved every minute of it including a few monster storms. We did 2 camping tours this November and our guests not only survived, with all the storms and bugs, they had a great safari. Camping is the most fun!

Sighting of The Month


This month was a very easy decision for sighting of the month. Finding a leopard is an amazing experience, finding a very young leopard cub is an unbelievable experience and will always feature as a stand out sighting. A little leopard cub we found, actually one of our guests found, is this months winner.

We were out at 4:30am on an overcast morning in the Satara area (Yes, the gates open at 4:30am in Green Season). We went out in search of lions and I knew of a pride that had been active over the past few days along the Ngotso loop just north of Satara. We were out for about half an hour and the lions we were in search of were not where we had expected them to be, we carried on to see what else we could find on a morning that looked good for spotting predators. 

The next thing I heard was a quiet call ``stop`` from the back of the vehicle, nothing out of the ordinary or too excited. The guest asked to reverse a little as she thought she had seen something. As we were moving backwards she pointed out something in a hollow of a collapsed fig tree.  I could not quite see what it was at first, the animal ducked back into the hollow as we aproached. We waited a short while and to our astonishment a tiny leopard cub, probably around 5 weeks old stuck its head out of the hollow and started to explore.

The little cub came out and spent the next few minutes moving up and down the tree stump, just then another car pulled up and unfortunately this was too much for the cub to handle and it moved back to the safety of the hollow. It was a fairly short sighting but one that will remain with all of us forever. 



Photo of The Month

We found this lioness late in the afternoon on our return to Tsendze Campsite in the North of Kruger National Park. We were driving north and the lioness was in front of us on our left. The sun was setting to the lioness`s right lighting up her face beautifully.


November Featured Bird:  Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)

This large water bird has a height of 1,5m and weighs in at 6 kg, they have a wingspan of 2,7m. Saddle-billed storks are unmistakable, they have long black legs with red feet and knees. The chest and back is white and the wings are black, the most striking feature is the bill. The bill is long, it is red at the base, black in the middle and red again at the tip. On top of the bill is a bright yellow saddle that gives the bird it`s name. They are found singly or in pairs along rivers, lakes and wetlands. Saddle-billed storks feed mainly on fish but also eat frogs, reptiles, small mammals, birds, crustaceans and aquatic insects.

Wild Planet Safari News

Wild Planet Safari has a busy December ahead and we are looking forward to meeting all our new guests. We  are busy with some big plans to offer new and exciting tours in 2018. Now that President Mugabe has resigned Zimbabwe is going to be an excellent country to visit, we are going to be offering tours that combine Kruger National Park and parts of Zimbabwe. We are also excited about including Zululand Tours and Overnight Drakensberg Hiking tours to our list of itineraries. 

That is all for now, remember to follow our instagram and facebook page to see safari updates where ever you may be. 

Cheers from The Wild Planet Safari Team.