East Africa is considered as the ultimate game viewing safari destination by many travelers who are attracted by the big five mammals where chances are very high to closely observe the African bush animals in their natural habitat particularly Kenya, Tanzania where the tourism industry is well established. Wildlife is abundant in East Africa regardless of the varying dry (peak season) or rainy (low season), although many travelers prefer going on a safari to Tanzania or Kenya during the peak season when the weather is conducive dry to spot large concentrations of wild animals congregate around water bodies. On the other hand however, travelling during the off-peak season means that you will save money since price rates are lowered down to attract many visitors. the low seasons offers unique wildlife experience to encounter animals giving birth, nurturing the young ones and it’s the time when bird watching is at peak due to the presence of several migratory birds from around the world seeking residence in the attractive great lakes and lagoons of the great East African rift valley.
Travelling during the low seasons which is the rainy season offers the best wildlife viewing safari in Africa with more authentic game viewing experience than the normal peak seasons which are typically crowded with overwhelming number of visitors. The long rains starting from March to June and October through December often regarded as the “Green seasons” when East Africa is at its most beautiful as the vegetation transforms into lush green savannah plains and acacia landscapes a popular time for natural artists and photographic travelers. The amazing part of the low and the shoulder seasons in east Africa is a good balance between costs and game viewing. Visitors are very few implying that prices of activities, lodges and camps usually go down to fit the budget travelers than it would be much mores costly to undertake a safari during the peak seasons.
Why travel during the Low and Shoulder Seasons in East Africa for game viewing
Safaris are never a cheap holiday alternative but travelers can be guaranteed to save a lot of money on a safari during what is perceived as the low and shoulder seasons yet with equally rewarding game viewing opportunities unique from the peak seasons. Because visitors tend to be few in Kenya and Tanzania’s national parks, prices usually drop during the off peak seasons right from the park activities such as game drives, canoeing, birding to the accommodation rates therefore there is a possibility to save between 20 and 40% of your money on a safari trip to east Africa.
Because of the low seasons being characterized by unfavorable cold weather conditions from March to June or October to November, visitors are very few thus giving higher chances of experiencing the wilderness yourself and your guide while overcoming high traffic jam of visitors. Game viewing spots are free and there is much space to encounter animals including nocturnal mammals that may often be scared by many vehicles on game drives during the peak seasons.
Game viewing becomes much more unique and amazing during the low seasons because it is the time when most of the animals are giving birth and nurturing their young ones. The vegetation transforms into green due to a lot of rain and humidity which provides plenty of food and water. On a single game drive visitors will be mesmerized by lots of cubs, calves buffalos, new born of antelopes, gazelles, elephants and wildebeests. The benefit is worth the frequent rains when you watch African predators taking advantage of the new born calves of buffalos, antelope, elephants, zebras, from the first foot steps of the baby animals the life and death scenes of predators and prey by the fierce hunt of lions, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. Such animal interactions by the old folk tales of the survival for the fittest becomes real something that is loved by many wildlife enthusiasts
Additionally migratory species of birds arrive during the low season attracted by the beautiful great lakes and lagoons of the great east African rift valley. Thousands of birds including Palearctic, Eurasian and intra African migrant birds to take up residence in the green plains and lakes for breeding offering more chances to spot birds in their plumage seasons on popular bird watching lakes including Nakuru, Manyara, over 400 species of birds including residents birds can be spotted.
The Wildebeest migration in crowd free game viewing safari especially along the Grumeti River plains between January and March, the plains fill up with the most adorable wildlife spectacle of over 2 millions Wildebeests and other thousands of hoofed mammals including zebras, buffalos, elephants, antelopes migrating between the fenceless Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania. What is needed is the best timing of the Wildebeest migration and taking up prime positions for clear views in the northern Maasai Mara and Samburu plains or western Serengeti in the Grumeti river plains on the side of Tanzania.
The low and shoulder seasons offer the photographic opportunities of the lush green savannah plains, acacia woodlands, rolling hills teemed with wildlife encounters is the most amazing joy of the venturing to travel of peak. January to march and October to November are typically rainy and the shoulder season is always at the end of each wet season that time when the wet season is transforming into the dry season is similar to the low season. Sunsets are spectacular; the clouds lift up drastically by the last rays of the sun, providing a wonderful spectrum of colors. Therefore photographic opportunities come live with new born wild animals and birds just like the beautiful green grasslands.
Whilst the superb game viewing during the low season, visitors can crown up their game safaris by meeting and interacting with the friendliest people in Africa to experience the authentic traditional African culture and customs of the Maasai tribes including colorful beads and jewelry, hand crafts and their ways of life such as the red cloth that distinguishes them from other tribes. The other interesting aspect is how these people survive with their cattle and food crops in the midst of African predators and large herds of wild animals.
Visiting Uganda?, The low season comes with discounted gorilla permits for all Uganda gorilla tours for this season. Uganda’s gorilla permit goes for $600 during normal season why off season period the price goes as low as $350 which is a very good discount for visitors in love with the gorillas
Generally, the low season is equally the best time to travel East Africa however much the mainstream travel media tend to brand it unfavorable and yet in many cases the wilderness during low season is attractive as in peak season perhaps what make it the best the striking balance between travel costs, off peak low rates offered by different lodges, camps and activities. The bargaining power is moderately high due to low demand and few visitors therefore forget about the rain and experience east Africa at its most amazing times