The Green Season matches the rainy season when barren, dry and brown landscapes turn into a million varieties of green (hence the name). Because of so much rain there is a lot of food and animals take this to their advantage to expand their families. This means a lot of baby animals are born! There is always a massive baby boom. You can see some of the following baby animals during the year but the chance is definitely higher during this period of time. Everyone has their favourite animal they want to see most on safari, but let’s face it everybody loves baby animals no matter what species it is.
Zebra foals are actually born brown and white; not black and white like their parents. Their fur is fuzzy like a young carbon copy of their parents, which makes them even more loveable. Like wildebeest, zebras have their babies just before the long rains start in February. After a gestation period of about one year, the mare has one foal (and rarely ever two). Two to four days after birth, the mother chases everyone away until the foal has learned to recognise mom and only then it gets to know other family members.
Warthogs give birth to 2 to 8 young, but the warthog moms only have four teats and the piglets suckle from their own. No sharing! Only the strong survive. When warthogs run their tail sticks straight up and the piglets run in a line behind their mom. Isn’t that cute?
Like baboons, monkey infants hang on to their mother’s belly for the first month. When they are five or six weeks old, they start riding on their mother’s back. Like all kids, they like to play and you might spot them chasing each other around – but as soon as the parents spot you watching, they will grab their babies and hold on to them protectively.
Up to 500,000 calves are born at the beginning of the rainy season (February – March). Wildebeest calves can stand within just a few minutes of being born and within days they are able to keep up with the herd.
Of course the cats have the most adorable babies of all, and everyone loves to see them in the wild. Baby lions are usually born in a litter of up to four cubs. Unlike many other cats, lions are very social animals and lionesses partially synchronise their birth to support each other in raising their young. The cubs of all female lions are breastfed – and not only from their own mother.
Elephant calves are one of the sweetest baby animals you can see in Africa and they mostly act like small human child. They also have strong personalities and often play with their siblings for hours in muddy waterholes. Elephants only get pregnant about every five years and the gestation period is 22 months. It is no wonder that baby elephants are coveted when you consider that an elephant is just fertile for a few days in a year!
Giraffe calves are born already around 1.80 meters tall and have fluffy horns! The giraffe calf is mostly an only child with long, thin legs and has to learn to walk within the first 10 hours to escape predators.
It is always unpredictable if you see baby animals, but with a little bit of luck you will see some little fluffy babies. This is amazing to see but also provokes drama with the local predators, so it is certainly not for the faint hearted.
Overall, we at Jenman African Safaris love to go on a safari during the green season. Join us on an adventure and read more about why the green season is the best season.