Life without water would be pretty boring would it not? After watching the clouds bubble up and billow all over the place above the plains of Botswana, news has reached us that the rains have hit Botswana. The summer rains completely transform the landscape from a once dry and beige colour to a life-affirming fluorescent green. It is truly magical to see the transformation of a what could be interpreted as a dead landscape to one that changes so dramatically into an animated one bursting with noisy birds, young calves and cubs being born and animals with round, full bellies.
This is the time of year that most camps call the green season, unsurprisingly. Ride Botswana has recently completed their first fun filled and exciting safari for this year, how they describe their opening safari is just too good to not share:
‘Full leafed acacia trees cast deep, cool shade over the sodden grasslands: flowers leap up unannounced from their sandy beds and the crusty salt pans evolve into shimmering wetlands abundant with one of the world’s largest zebra migrations.’
‘Another amazing reaction to the rains is the wildlife itself. Impala, springbok and many other antelope take advantage of the new greenery to give birth – seemingly all at the same time! This in turn attracts more of the long-toothed predators – something not avoided, but not sought out when on horseback either! This is the true circle of life in the bush.’
‘And then there are the birds – Botswana has its own wonderful range of resident species, but as the rains arrive so do the migrants from Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa. Botswana’s bird watching goes from superb to sensational: Kingfishers, kites, swallows, bee-eaters, rollers and cuckoos fill the air with extravagant song and colour. Everywhere is good for birding from the Okavango Delta to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – even the non-birders get caught up in the excitement during this season.’
An underrated spectacular has to be the dramatic skies. The clean washed air makes colours richer and deeper and the cloud stacked sunsets more intense – an added benefit to all that the Green Season offers!’
If this hasn’t whetted your appetite, then perhaps the thought of doing this on horseback may just tip you over the edge. Especially (mainly) for those who enjoy horses, the ultimate trip of a lifetime is to embark on a trip astride a horse, listening to the gentle thud thud of the horse hoofs hitting the dry earth and then the crack and splash as you enter the flooded plains at a gallop, with giraffe, zebra and possibly a shocked hippo in the distance. Stand still as a statue whilst watching elephant slowly chomp their way through the lush undergrowth, with even the horses watching on in fascination. There is something to be said about enjoying a safari on horseback. In our personal opinion, we think you would enjoy it more as there is no motor noise from either a boat or vehicle to disrupt the wonderful noises of the bush coming to life.