I thought I would share these tips from The Selous Safari Company on the safari calendar of southern Tanzania. Travel in March for blossoming wildflowers, September for awesome game viewing or December for an unforgettable Christmas in the bush.
From the dry season to monsoon season, southern Tanzania offers an ever-changing landscape of flora and fauna. Each seasonal transformation is marked with new colours, topography and wildlife, offering guests a minefield of choices. Whether visitors are fanatical birders, keen botanists or simply want to catch sight of one of Africa’s famous and majestic beasts during their trip, there is a special time of year for every sort of safari goer.
Here is a run-through of the key months in nature’s annual calendar:
January – March
It is hot, humid and approaching the rainy season at this time in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, but this is Africa and rain equals the flirtatious chatter of birds, wildlife showcasing spectacular breeding behaviour, lush scenery, flowing rivers, colourful butterflies and blossoming wildflowers. The Selous Safari Camp is prime wildlife watching territory and a great place for catching sight of the elusive leopard.
June – September
After an annual break, southern Tanzania’s safari camps reopen for the start of a new safari season. June is a great month to visit the Selous Safari Camp, or Jongomero Camp in the remote Ruaha National Park. This new season brings with it a dry, dramatic landscape and dry sandy riverbeds – which form some of Ruaha’s most appealing natural features and are the focus of excellent wildlife viewing as the animals search for water.
UK Summertime is peak season for game viewing in southern Tanzania, as the barren, sun-dried landscape causes a veritable feast of animals to congregate around the sparse watering holes and shrinking rivers. The lack of vegetation makes it easier to spot game, and lion are abundant at this time as are large herds of antelope, zebra and buffalo, which group together in numbers, searching for water and safety. While this is the most popular time to visit, The Selous Safari Company actually offers huge savings with low season rates in 2013 if booked early.
Head to the southern Tanzanian coast in early June, to catch turtles hatching at the beach retreat of Ras Kutani. Located against a stunning backdrop of flora and fauna, this luxurious beach retreat is the ideal place to relax after a safari. Ras Kutani’s long, white sand beach offers complete seclusion, while the temperate seas ensure a wealth of marine life. What’s more, humpback whales can be spotted around the shores off Ras Kutani from July until September, as they parade up the east African coast.
November – December
This is ‘secret season’, so called because it’s one of cheapest months to go on safari. The Selous Safari Company lowers its prices on 1 November but the game viewing can still be phenomenal at this time of year, especially in the Ruaha National Park, as the rains don’t usually set in until later. Herds of thirsty animals, from lion to kudu, cluster around the water holes waiting for the start of the rains. For those wanting to spend Christmas in the bush, southern Tanzania enjoys some dry weather and excellent game viewing during December. Guests wake up on Christmas morning to the prospect of an exciting 4X4 safari at Jongomero Camp or spotting game around the Selous Safari Camp’s private lake where they can even get up close and personal with Tanzania’s most powerful beasts with a memorable boat safari on the crocodile and hippo infested waters.