From late November to May, the Green Season spreads across Zambia and brings the landscape to life, creating a paradise for wildlife and visitors alike.
Contrary to popular belief, wildlife doesn’t vanish in the Green Season, only other tourists, making it one of the most coveted spots for seasoned safari-goers. Our camps in operation during this time are Time + Tide King Lewanika in Liuwa Plain, Time + Tide Chinzombo and Time + Tide Kakuli (Kakuli opens in January) in South Luangwa.
With few camps open and zero crowds, the Green Season is perfect for modern-day explorers seeking the road less travelled. In South Luangwa, Time + Tide Chinzombo and Time + Tide Kakuli are connected by the high-flowing Luangwa River, offering serenity and peace and the added opportunity to boat between the two at this time of year. Time + Tide King Lewanika is the only camp in the entire Liuwa Plain, offering a watery wonderland and the chance to feel like the first explorers on earth. With no other tourists for miles, experience a raw, authentic and thrillingly wild safari.
The parks thrive during this season with fat and happy wildlife thanks to the plentiful food. Elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and other plains game abound in the South Luangwa, with many tending to their young. The lush landscape results in big cats and predators using game vehicle paths as walkways, allowing an unobstructed game viewing experience never to be forgotten. It’s peak time in South Luangwa to see the endangered wild dog, and now, thanks to the efforts of African Parks, explorers have the opportunity to see them in Liuwa Plain too. In Liuwa Plain, guests are privy to the second largest movement of wildebeest in Africa, who, on their way south, begin dropping their calves with the last stages of the calving season coinciding with their arrival into the vicinity of Time + Tide King Lewanika Lodge.
Birding fanatics will find themselves in the honey pot as seasonal and year-round residents show off breeding plumage and sing their hearts out, hoping to attract a mate. Drift past Africa’s largest yellow-billed stork colony as they nest high in the treetops, drawn to the region thanks to the safe breeding sights and abundance of easy fishing. Liuwa Plain‘s annual floods turn the plains into a haven for migratory birds. Large flocks fill the sky, including crowned cranes and Africa’s largest wattled crane population. Visit from January to May for this incredible birding opportunity.
The annual floods arrive in Liuwa Plain and turn vast swathes of the park into wetlands, creating a natural swimming pool right in front of your luxury safari tent. Find a spot to relax in the main area or on the deck of your safari tent and marvel at this beauty for hours. In South Luangwa, the Luangwa River flows full on the banks of Time + Tide Chinzombo and Time + Tide Kakuli. Kakuli, located deep in the park and only accessible by boat at this time of year, is perched high above the Luangwa River and offers sweeping panoramic views and comfort in all types of weather. A waterhole right in front of the camp attracts a daily parade of wildlife, making for great game viewing. Time + Tide Chinzombo, dotted along an oxbow curve of the Luangwa River, is the perfect place to unwind in luxury and utter seclusion as you watch the hippo and crocodile activity in the river in front of you.
Canoeing, game drives, boating, walking safaris, you name it. Watch a leopard drag an impala up a tree to feed in peace as your vehicle will be the only one at the sighting. As you drift quietly along the banks of the river, thousands of birds swirl overhead. Walk through the verdant forests feeling like the first person on earth. This is the only time of year to experience boating safaris in South Luangwa. With water levels at their highest, boating safaris take you straight into the deepest heart of the park exploring regions untouched and inaccessible to vehicles and walking safaris. Canoeing in Liuwa Plain special activity offered to guests between late January to early April when the flood plains are high. With no hippos, crocs or tsetse flies, this is a wonderfully tranquil experience where you can hop out and enjoy the water for yourself.
Wildlife contrasts the lush landscapes so beautifully and dramatic storms offer endless unique photographic opportunities. As the afternoon storms brew dramatic and magnificent, expect interesting light, dazzling skies and chances to photograph unusual wildlife behaviours. After the brief storms pass, the air and skies are left refreshed and clear. Brilliant blue overhead and vibrant green in every other direction, what more could you ask for?
Experience the wonders of the Green Season for yourself where the rates are lower, crowds are minimal and the temperature is pleasingly mild. Time + Tide offers a special offer over Green Season; with 4+ nights you will have plenty of time to explore and soak in the incredible natural beauty on display at this time of year. The road less travelled offers so much more.
Book your safari and experience Zambia in the green season with us
or contact your current Time + Tide travel designer
Zambia is Africa's best kept secret, with its vast landscapes, diverse wildlife and welcoming culture. Trace the steps of early conservationists while experiencing walking safaris in the South Luangwa. Come face to face with giants as you glide quietly in a canoe along the reeds in the Lower Zambezi. Feel the rumble of a distant thunderstorm on Liuwa Plain’s horizon as you marvel at the sight of gathering wildebeest amongst a flush of colourful wildflowers.
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Just a one hour flight from Lusaka, the South Luangwa is known for its big cat sightings and often referred to as the Valley of the Leopard. It is in the South Luangwa that the legendary Norman Carr pioneered the walking safari and conservation-based tourism in Africa. Zambia's outstanding reputation of guiding is ever prevalent in our team with some of our guides having trained with Norman himself. Our guides offer guests a raw, authentic safari experience and don't let the finer details in these vast spaces pass you by.
Liuwa Plain’s vast savannah is one of the oldest conservation areas in Africa, yet it’s one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. With its golden grasslands and shimmering lagoons, Liuwa Plain transforms with the arrival of the rains from a vast grass plains to a watery wonderland.
Nestled between the imposing mountain escarpment to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south, the Lower Zambezi Valley has a variety of activities that few, if any, other destinations can offer. It has been described by guests as their "happy place" because of its beautiful scenery, peaceful riverside woodlands and abundant wildlife. The Lower Zambezi is just a short 30 minute flight from Lusaka and offers guests the thrill of tiger-fishing to peaceful wildlife sightings on the banks of the river while canoeing or boating. Our guides strive to make each guest feel like they are part of the landscape and not a mere spectator.