Insider tip: Botswana in the green season
Insider tip: Botswana in the rainy season
The classic travel time to visit Botswana and to marvel the wildlife and take pictures is the dry season. But the true connoisseur of Africa also swears by the green season. The landscape glows green, flowers begin to bloom and numerous birds whistle. Tracking down the animals is little more challenging, but with the landscape coming to life as a background, it is even more rewarding. The green nature and the wonderful light moods create a breath-taking backdrop for the countless photo motives.
We have been on the road several times during this season in southern Africa. Therefore, a photo safari during the Green Season has been high on our wish list for new photo tours for quite some time. In February 2018 we travelled for five days to a private games reserve in the south of Botswana to test if this could be the destination for a new photo tour.
Thomas, Amazing Views Photo & Adventure Tours
Amazing Views Photo & Adventure Tours
Overnight sleep and you’re already in Africa
After the night flight from Zurich to Johannesburg we continue our journey to Polokwane, where we spend the night in a nice hotel. The first sundowner on the terrace of the hotel, the fresh air and the bird chirping let us know that we have arrived in Africa.
Next morning we continue to the Botswana border, where our ranger is already waiting for us. The Game Reserve is right on the border with South Africa. After a smooth border crossing we are driven directly to the lodge in the open safari vehicle.
Breath-taking landscape during the rainy season
Nikon D750, 24 – 85mm f/3.5 – f/4.5, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 800, Panorama (out of hand)
Already the first game drive is a blast
In the late afternoon we start for the first Game Drive. We have no big expectations. We know that in the rainy season it is a bit more difficult to spot the animals because of the dense bush. Our wish is to see one or two cats, and maybe take pictures of animals on one of these meadows covered with yellow flowers. We did not know yet, how our expectations would be overfilled.
Already the first Game Drive was fantastic and a complete success. We see a leopard resting on a tree. At the foot of the tree his two young ones still gnawing at the remains of the last kill and exploring the surroundings. Shortly afterwards we meet a lioness with an approx. 3 – 4 weeks old baby. Our expectations for the trip have already been exceeded. We see the lioness with the baby every day for the following four days, sometimes accompanied by the father, an incredibly beautiful and stately lion.
A baby lion, just under 3 – 4 weeks old, explores the big wide world under the protection of his mother
Nikon D850, 300 mm f/2.8, 1/400s, f/4, ISO 3200
Unforgettable encounters in the bush
We undertake two game drives every day. During the rainy season you always must expect heavy thunderstorms. An afternoon drive can then literally be washed out in the rain. On the other hand we are spoiled again and again with great sightings. We have never had so many great leopard sightings on all our safaris. We see several different leopardesses with their offspring, on trees but also on the road.
This leopard is on his way to a tree where he hides his kill
Nikon D850, 300 mm f/2.8, 1/6400s, f/4, ISO 800
We have two great encounters with cheetahs. Among other things we could watch how two loveable cheetah brothers chased after a pretty cheetah lady. An unforgettable spectacle that lasted for a few hours.
A male cheetah is on the trail of a female
Nikon D750, 70 – 200 mm f/2.8, 1/500s, f/2.8, ISO 200
A floral splendour as far as the eye can see
Although it hasn’t rained as much as usual for this time of year, our wish for animals in the flower-filled meadows has been fulfilled. At this time of the year the bright yellow devil’s thorn blossoms. We could photograph elephants, baboons, jackals and cheetahs with this great background. One thig is for sure, we absolutely want to show this to our guests on a photo tour.
A small high-spirited elephant hunting birds and family members
Nikon D750, 70 – 200 mm f/2.8, 1/1250s, f/2.8, ISO 800
We also see many birds in all colours and shapes and have a great encounter with a Milk Eagle Owl (Giant Eagle Owl / Verreaux Owl).
A splendid Verreaux Eagle Owl (Milk Eagle Owl) on an exploratory tour
Nikon D850, 300 mm f/2.8, 1/8000s, f/4, ISO 1000
Beside the animals we can also take some beautiful landscape pictures. Thanks to the rainy season, the sunsets and sunrises are especially colourful. The light moods after a short thunderstorm dip the multifaceted landscape in beautiful pastel colours.
Shortly after sunrise the African landscape shows itself in the most beautiful light
Nikon D750, 70 – 200 mm f/2.8, 1/80s, f/2.8, ISO 2000, Panorama (out of hand)
We spend the time between the game drives in a beautiful lodge. We use the time to sort and edit the pictures already created or to exchange with the other guests.
The rooms are spacious and well furnished. In the main area there is a deck with bar and dining area. There is also a lounge with Wifi reception (which works quite often ;).
A special experience – Sundowner in the middle of the African nature
Nikon D750, 24 – 85mm f/3.5 – f/4.5, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1600, Panorama (out of hand)
Time to say goodbye
Time goes by far too fast. Our expectations regarding animal sightings are far exceeded.
On the fifth day it’s time to leave, with a little melancholy. But we are looking forward to returning soon with guests for a photo tour to this great Game Reserve.
Join us on a fantastic Photo tour to this region
We will travel again to this impressive region in the south of Botswana. A varied animal world and a fairy-tale landscape awaits you. A delicacy for the true Africa connoisseur.