Rainy season wildlife sightings in Botswana have been leaving professional guides in awe!

We have been receiving reports from our camps in both the Linyanti Marsh area in the Chobe Enclave, and the Khwai Community Area, on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve, of wondrous wildlife sightings by our team of Professional Guides.

Throughout Africa, the rainy season is notoriously misconstrued as a less favourable time of year to travel in terms of wildlife sightings. Whilst the vegetation is indeed thicker, and the water sources more wide-spread, making higher concentrations of wildlife species less likely to view, our experience over the course of the last few years has been that, the Rainy Season or “Green Season” as it is known in the safari industry, offers unique opportunities for exceptional wildlife sightings and that like anything in the wild, it is merely a “luck of the draw” circumstance in terms of wildlife sightings.

2015 saw some late unexpected rains in Botswana and as a result, our camps experienced more rainfall in two weeks than they had received in the preceding 5 months! The vegetation in these areas, which had been unusually dry for that time of year, very quickly swelled thicker and denser, providing camouflage (as well as wonderful feasting opportunities) for the wildlife in Botswana. This however did not seem to effect the viewing experiences of African Bush Camps guests, there has been an abundance of wildlife and birdlife on display.

‘This contradicts the belief that the animals move away in the wet season and confirms the saying that nature is unpredictable’, says KG Mochaba, Professional Guide at African Bush Camps. KG describes how, with the migratory bird species preparing for their respective journeys, the late afternoon skies were filled with Swallows, Martins and Bee Eaters. He recalls how recently he was extremely lucky to come across two very rare birds of prey whilst on a game drive; the Bat Hawk as well as the Long Crested Eagle.

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Migratory birds prepping for their journey during the rainy season is a particular highlight, here is an array of the bee-eaters spotted in February 2015 (Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Little Bee-eaters & European Bee-eater, respectively)

It is also during this time of year that the larger predators and cat species start to move around to hunt and mark their territories. Roars of territorial lions can be heard at night, harmonised by the bell-like calls of the Angolan Reed Frogs, along with the occasional shrill of an alarmed baboon roosting in nearby trees as a leopard silently walks by. Butler, another Professional Guide at African Bush Camps, explained how fortunate he was to be able to track down a resident male lion, named John Walker, after yet another evening of serenading guests at Linyanti Bush Camp, with his resonating roars.

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John Walker’s early morning serenading session at Linyanti Bush Camp

One of the most exciting highlights of rainy season sightings in Botswana this year has to be the astonishing Wild Dog showcase at in the Khwai Concession, in the Khwai Community Area. With an estimate, from the Wild Dog Foundation of less than 4,000 Wild Dogs left in the world, the fact that there are 5 different packs (between 6 and 13 members each) that move in and out of the concession is nothing to be taken lightly. A resident pack of 6 dogs have regularly been showing off for visitors to Khwai Tented Camp over the past few months.

Shaun Stanley, Sales Manager at African Bush Camps, says that the rainy season is in fact his favourite time to visit Botswana, “There are fewer tourists, the air is fresh and clear of the dust kicked up in the dryer months, the colours of the lush African vegetation and the dramatic cloudy decorated skies are fantastic for photography and there are many more baby animals around (as a result of the seasonal mating patterns).Everything just feels more vibrant and alive”.

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Lion cubs

Elephants in Khwai
The Botswana Bush feels ‘more vibrant and alive’ in the rainy season

To see availability of our camps over the next rainy season have a look at our availability calendar and get your spot booked before too many people learn about the joys of rainy season stays with African Bush Camps!