Friday, 4 January 2013

The Serengeti weather in April


Many people have shown interest in coming to Africa with Rick Sammon and I but are worried when they hear “Green Season”… well, I did significant research on the weather and the following is an over view of the months of April and May in the areas we will be visiting.

Yes there is a chance of heavy rain during April and lighter showers can also be expected for a few hours every day or every other day. However, when it does rain, it will usually clear in 1-2 hours and more then likely the rain will be localized versus mass rain over a large geographical area like we receive in North America. It is rare that rain clouds will settle over a large area for an extended period of time. We are headed to the Serengeti and the highest amounts of precipitation are historically seen in April for most parts of East Africa and not in the Serengeti region we will be in. The greatest amounts of precipitation are historically recorded in March in the Southern Serengeti, long before we will be there. This is the season of the so-called ‘long rains’, which simply does not mean much of anything in the Serengeti and is more applicable to other areas in East Area. Additionally, it is generally believed the month April offers the finest game viewing opportunities out of the entire year.

Rain falls in different amounts over various locations throughout Northern Tanzania. The Tarangire and Lake Manyara areas receive higher rainfall then many areas of the Serengeti. There is a steep rainfall gradient in the Serengeti from the dry southeast to the wet northwest. The Ngorongoro Highlands block much of the rain from reaching the eastern and southern plains of the Serengeti. However, the western and northern parts of the Serengeti receive a much greater amount (2-3 times more) of precipation as compared to the southern and eastern Serengeti where we will be. The wetter western and northern Serengeti areas are affected by Lake Victoria. This causes high rain fall amounts, but will be far from us.

Temperatures are pleasant with an average high of 83 degrees and an average low of 60 degrees. However, the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater can get quite cold at night and in the early morning. Visitor numbers drop off dramatically at the beginning of March and by April the parks are completely empty of local tourists. April and May see the fewest visitors of any month and lodging costs are substantially reduced. There is hardly anyone around in the parks, wildlife concentrations are at their highest in the Southern Serengeti, and the landscape is a lush green. April is certainly one of the best times to take a safari!

For the photographer, April represents one of the only times of year that offer interesting skies and front row viewing of all the wild life. You simply do not have to jockey for position for optimal lighting like you have to in the dry season.

If you want to join Rick and I please check out the workshop in the Serengeti here… , and if you have been on one of our workshops before contact us to discuss the “Friends of Rick” deal…

I look forward to seeing you in Africa,