Unlocking the magic of every season

With offerings spanning the year, Time + Tide allows guests to celebrate and embrace the extraordinary qualities of every season. From the sunset, dusty hues of Lower Zambezi to the second-largest wildebeest movement in Africa in Liuwa Plain, kaleidoscope colours during Green Season in South Luangwa and the breaching whales of the Indian Ocean off Madagascar — across all four destinations — every month, nature provides a uniquely wild experience. In this journal, we aim to highlight the different seasons and the secrets they possess, making it easier for you to plan your greatest adventure with us, whether it’s in Zambia or Madagascar (or both).

Lower Zambezi National Park 

Flanked by the escarpment on one side and the mighty Zambezi River on the other, the Lower Zambezi National Park is an extraordinary wilderness. This destination boasts a variety of activities spanning land and water for the whole family that few, if any, others can offer. Open from the 1st of April to the 15th of November every year, Time + Tide Chongwe is an escape to elephant heaven with unmatched landscapes.

As the summer rains recede, April is a great time of year to see wild dogs and a wide diversity of bird species. During July, the bush begins to dry out and visibility improves which is the time that sightings of lions and leopards pick up. For a walking safari, the peak time to visit the Lower Zambezi is July to October and we can highly recommend adding a sleepout under the stars during this time too.

Water activities on the mighty Zambezi are an incredible way to truly immerse yourself in this African paradise. Take the waters by canoe or boat any time of the year for a unique safari experience. During the drier season from August to November, animals gather for a drink of water at the river, making this time of year a thrilling time for canoeing. No matter the time of the year you’re visiting, boating safaris are a wonderful way to sight plenty of hippos, elephants, crocodiles and birds throughout the season.

Keen to try your hand at catch-and-release tiger fishing? This destination is the crème de la crème of world-class tiger fishing. Catch-and-release tiger fishing is possible throughout the year but peaks during their breeding season in October and November, ending the season off on an exciting high.

Liuwa Plain National Park

Journey with us to this unspoilt and exclusive land with rare wildlife and rich natural heritage. Did you know: Liuwa is home to large herds of wildebeest, the Lady Liuwa lion pride, cheetahs and clans of up to 50 hyenas?

Every year, Time + Tide King Lewanika opens on the 15th of October and wildflowers bloom right on time for the start of the second-largest wildebeest movement in Africa. Guests staying with us during this season have the opportunity to witness tens of thousands of wildebeest as they move south to start dropping their calves. With wildebeest in abundance around camp until March, this is a great time for predator action where lions, hyenas, cheetahs and wild dogs hunt. 

From January, the floodplains begin to fill, turning the plains into a watery wonderland and a haven for migratory birds. Liuwa is home to 334 bird species, making it a true birder’s paradise. Large flocks fill the sky, including crowned cranes and Africa’s largest endangered wattled crane population. Watery floodplains mean that guests get to ignite their senses on a canoe safari, taking in sightings of exceptional wildlife of wildebeest, hyenas and flocks of magnificent birds. 

For a cultural experience, guests are invited to watch the vibrant Kuomboka procession which is a yearly ceremony marking the transition of the Litunga (Lozi King) from his summer to winter residence, away from the seasonal floodplains. Depending on the ebb and flow of the natural world, this magical and highly energetic ceremony takes place sometime between March and April. 

The wildebeest begin moving north again in June, giving guests a second opportunity to witness this bucket-list-worthy wildlife occurrence. On the 15th of July, Time + Tide King Lewanika takes some time to refresh before re-opening for the season in mid-October.

South Luangwa National Park

Known as the Valley of the Leopard, South Luangwa is home to the original walking safari, pioneered by the legendary Norman Carr. Still wholly wild and devoid of crowds, this is the perfect destination for modern-day explorers seeking an authentic safari experience. 

The diverse habitat supports large herds of elephants, over 450 bird species, abundant plains game and endangered species, making South Luangwa Zambia’s premier wildlife destination, no matter the season you’re visiting. There are two defined seasons: Safari Season (May to November) and Green Season (December to April). 

In May every year, walking safari season begins. This is the perfect way for guests to reconnect with nature by exploring this destination on foot as you walk from camp to camp. As the river banks become drier from September to November, predator action is at its peak, and for our avid bird watchers, this is the time to see the iconic carmine bee-eaters nesting. 

From late November to May, the Green Season spreads across Zambia and brings the landscape to life, creating a paradise for wildlife, birds 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. Wild about wild dogs? October to April is the best time of the year to witness these endangered species in action. 

For a wildly luxurious safari stay, Time + Tide Chinzombo is open all year round, while our bush camps are open from the 20th of May until the 15th of November.

Miavana, Madagascar

With an unparalleled mixture of endemic wildlife and plant species in a variety of habitats from rainforests to reefs, Madagascar truly is one of the most significant biodiversity regions on earth.

Miavana has two distinct seasons, with diverse adventures all year round. From mid-November until April the days are warm, with the potential for light rain, which falls mainly overnight. This season is best for scuba diving, fishing, snorkelling, watching sea turtles nest, and guided nature walks for lemurs and other wildlife.

From May to mid-November the weather is cooler with very comfortable temperatures. Seasonal south-easterly winds set in, making this season excellent for kitesurfing and an extraordinary time for wildlife enthusiasts. Migrating humpback whales breed in Miavana’s waters, showcasing spectacular displays of breaching. On the adjacent island of Nosy Manamphao, there is a seasonal nesting colony of tens of thousands of terns. This too is an excellent time of year for guided nature walks for lemurs and other wildlife.

To discover the secrets of the Indian Ocean, enjoy reading Miavana’s latest journal entry.

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    Destinations

    Zambia

    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.

    Destinations

    Madagascar

    Fringed by white sand beaches and colourful coral reefs, Miavana is a haven of luxury at the ends of the Earth. Raw and refined, this private island sanctuary brings together world-class luxury in a world of rare wildlife and extraordinary landscapes. Madagascar is like nowhere else on the planet. A land of lemurs and chameleons, turtles and terns, where unknown species are still being discovered to this day. Miavana is the ultimate destination for modern-day explorers, an adventure playground offering an unrivalled range of activities that span the horizons of land, sea and air, celebrating the very best of this remarkable region.

    Destinations

    Cape Town

    Perched on the slopes of Table Mountain, Future Found Sanctuary is a secluded sanctuary nestled amidst one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Luxurious private villas are enveloped by expansive gardens and dramatic vistas, offering an elevated experience of Cape Town, unlike anywhere else in city. Minutes from South Africa’s oldest wine farms, world-renowned dining destinations and the city’s best beaches and iconic attractions, Future Found Sanctuary invites exploration and curiosity, while providing an exclusive private retreat from the city. Guided by the ancient wisdom of nature, our intention is to help guests slow down and align with nature’s rhythms.

    Zambia

    South Luangwa

    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. 

    Zambia

    Liuwa Plain

    Time + Tide is the only permanent lodge in the Liuwa Plain. Its vast wilderness of over 3600 km2 has been protected for over 100 years, yet it is one of Africa's best kept secrets. As the African rains arrive in the north, the plains turn to a watery wonderland bringing with it a movement of wildebeest as they journey south to calve near the lodge.  Liuwa Plain is known for its apex predators of lion prides and large hyena clans as well as endangered and rare bird species that thrive in this region. It is a land unchanged by time.

    Zambia

    Lower Zambezi

    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.

    This is the most magical place you're ever likely to experience. Nestled under a grove of imposing Albida trees, it is clearly favoured by the many elephant who graze on the Albida pods. Their presence adds an incredibly special energy to the camp. 
    Karen, Guest at Time + Tide Chongwe Camp
    The lodge is stunning and all the staff are utterly wonderful. The views from the lodge are outstanding, lovely Liuwa wilderness. My bedroom was incredibly comfortable, very stylish, hitting a difficult combination of minimalist yet luxury. Incredibly comfortable bed and many relaxing areas to rest. 
    Mandi, Guest at Time + Tide King Lewanika
    Our family had the most joyful time at Chongwe, really everything was perfect and every detail taken care of. The team ensured we had the best time at every activity (even tiger fishing!). We felt privileged to spend a few days here and look forward to returning.
    Dawn, Guest at Time + Tide Chongwe
    We love safaris and this was an excellent camp with a real authentic bush feel, which we always enjoy. The service was excellent and the team are so attentive. Really superb guiding which made for a tremendous experience.
    Cate, Guest at Time + Tide Mchenja
    Chinzombo is a stunning lodge in a beautiful location of the South Luangwa. The rooms are luxurious and spacious, with a deck and plunge pool overlooking the Luangwa River. There is always an abundance of wildlife around the rooms, we had a banded mongoose, bushbuck, elephants and hippo's - just to name a few.
    Michael, Guest at Time + Tide Chinzombo