5 reasons to GO WHEN IT’S GREEN!
The best time to go on a photographic safari is during the dry season, right? There’s always action around the waterholes and visibility is much better than during the lush wet season. So why would anyone want to go when it’s green? Well, I know of five good reasons:
1) It’s more colourful
This is quite an obvious difference between the wet and dry season in South Africa’s Lowveld (or most wilderness areas in Southern Africa for that matter) – the veld is much more colourful during and shortly after the rains. Dusty clearings magically turn into fairway-like plains, which later turn into seas of stunning green grass as the season progresses. Seaming dead trees come to life again, pushing out fresh leaves and beautiful flowers, decorating the lush African bush.
As a wildlife photographer, I find myself craving the greenery and these stunning colours around October and November when the landscape is at its driest.
2) The animals go UP!
It’s the “seas of green grass” that put off a lot of wildlife photographers during the wet season. Many people seem to think you won’t be able to see anything, but in my experience that is certainly not the case. In fact, because of the dense vegetation a lot of animals, especially predators, prefer to walk in the road as opposed to in the veld during the lush wet season. And when the tall grass stands block their view, those that can, simply jump into trees or climb onto termite mounds for better visibility. What more could a wildlife photographer ask for?!
3) Animals give birth
We all love photographing baby animals! Although not all species give birth at specific times, many species (like impalas and blue wildebeest) do give birth in times of plenty, ensuring that their little ones have lots of cover and food. These baby animals, in turn, attract predators, including cheetahs that will often catch the young antelopes so that their cubs can learn to kill through play.
4) Migrants are around
Countless migratory bird species flock to Southern Africa every year during the rainy season, including cuckoos, kingfishers, bee-eaters and eagles to name but a few. Keen bird watchers and photographers therefore have a much better chance of seeing and photographing certain birds earlier in the year rather than later when it becomes drier.
Even resident birds are more active when it’s green – building nests, hunting insects and feeding their young.
5) All the small things
Last, but by no means least, summer time is by far the best time of the year to photograph small things. Insects and other invertebrates are plentiful and, like I’ve said before, act as a feast for birds and other carnivorous creatures such as mongooses and monitor lizards. There’s nothing more fun than lying on your stomach trying to photograph a determined dung beetle roll its ball up a slope or to capture a butterfly in flight!
So there you have it: If you go with the right mind-set you can take amazing wildlife photographs during the wet season. Why not join us on a Big Cat Photo Safari in April or May 2018 and capture the end of the wet season at Djuma in the Sabi Sands in all its splendour?