THE SOUTHERN CLIMATE
The South proper includes the South Coast, the southern highlands and Lake Nyasa (also known as Lake Malawi), Rungwa and Selous game reserves, Kilombero Valley and the National Parks Mikimu, Ruaha and Udzungwa. Away from the safari circuit, and for the moment, the South Coast remains an alluring but distant and underdeveloped destination, while the highlands and Lake Nyasa, though beautiful and well worth a visit, fall outside the Journeys by Design remit. Nonetheless, it is worth knowing that Lake Nyasa is hot, humid and the recipient of a staggering 2000mm of rainfall per annum; and that the South Coast receives around 1000mm a year and, like the North, experiences a bimodal though somewhat unpredictable precipitation pattern. Of the wildlife areas, it is Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park that receive the majority of our customers.
The Selous Game Reserve is situated in the very South of Tanzania. Huge and watered by Rufiji River, it has two distinct ecological zones : grasslands that dominate North of the river and – to the South and constituting 80% of the park – miombo woodland. Ranging from semi-arid to humid, the park experiences a single rainy season, from mid-November through to April, with yearly average levels of precipitation 750mm to 1,300mm. East is drier, hotter and temperatures range between 17.9°C and 37.3°C. The park becomes steadily wetter the further west one goes, and temperatures drop slightly (14°C-36°C).
On paper, the rainy season in Selous spans 6 months, but it is a slow starter, builds gradually and only really gets going late December. In a normal year, June and November are the buffer months – June being dry but relatively green, December seeing the beginning of real rain. In terms of viewing wildlife, peak season is July through November, when it is very dry, the cover next to useless and when the animals mass along the river and remaining water sources. Bird watching is best between December and April.
Smaller and situated North-West of Selous, Ruaha National Park is fed by the Great Ruaha River and is the centre of an ecosystem spanning 50,000km. Like Selous, it straddles two biomes – savanna and miombo – and as such is home to diverse and healthy populations of animal. It is, however, much drier than Selous, receiving on average 500mm of rain per annum; and it’s also hotter, with temperatures ranging between 15°C and 40°C, the coolest month being June, when daytime temperatures hover around the 30°C mark.
All of which means that Ruaha is genuinely arid, and much more vulnerable to drought than Selous. The dry season – May through November – is long, hot (but not humid) and is the best time for game, while January through to April is good for bird watching.
Kibowhy Safaris is made up of local and international professionals who are pioneers of African safaris.
OUR SAFARI FLEETS
We only utilize specially outfitted and equipped 4 x 4 safari vehicles for our safaris in Tanzania.
Choose Kibowhy Safaris as we aim to keep your safari the best and memorable by providing the best guide, accommodation and safari vehicle.