Thinking about taking a Safari? – Part 2



The beautiful island of Madagascar

Source: Travel Ideas Magazine

Madagascar: Malagasy, the Austronesian language spoken in various forms by the vast majority of the population, is the national language of Madagascar, and one of two current official languages, along with French and English.

Madagascar is a hot spot for beach, fishing and diving enthusiasts, with incredibly unique landscapes, including expansive, glistening forests teeming with various types of lemurs. Lemurs exist only on Madagascar and are considered the most endangered of all primates. Madagascar’s long isolation from the neighbouring continents has resulted in a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals, about 75% of which live nowhere else on the planet.


Best Time to travel for your Madagascar vacation:
With Monsoon time from December through to March the best time to travel to Madagascar is generally in February to December. Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and dry season with a cooler temperature from May to October. There is, however, great variation in climate owing to elevation and position relative to the dominant winds. The east coast has a subequatorial climate and, being most directly exposed to the trade winds, has the heaviest rainfall – averaging as much as 3.5 meters annually! Because rain clouds discharge much of their moisture east of the highest elevations on the island, the central highlands are drier and, owing to the altitude, also cooler. The dry season in the highlands is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially in the mornings. During this time, the blue skies of the central highlands are considered by many to be among the clearest and most beautiful in the world. The west coast is drier than the east coast and the central highlands because the trade winds lose their humidity by the time they reach this region. The south-west and the extreme south are semi-desert; as little as one-third of a meter of rain falls annually at Toliara (Tulear).
Tanzania: Tanzania is the largest of all the East African countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). It has a population of over 37 million people and is home to Africa’s highest point, Mount Kilimanjaro which is 5,895 meters above sea level. The semi-autonomous Zanzibar is a favourite destination for visitors round the globe, and the word “safari” means “travel” in Swahili. Probably the most exciting aspect of Tanzanian travel is the prospect of witnessing the annual migration of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, which is truly one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world.
Best Game Viewing and trekking Months:
During June through to October the game viewing is excellent in Tanzania. The rains come in March to May with a second smaller rainy season in November and December when the game viewing isn’t as good. The Serengeti has excellent game viewing in September through to May and good game viewing in June through to August. In general Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Tarangire have excellent game viewing from July to March and then good game viewing in April to June. The best time for trekking Kilimanjaro is in the dry season from June to October when the rains have finished and, from late December to February. It’s important to note that even during dry season there is a chance of rain.


Burchell zebra’s at the drinking hole

Wondering where the migration is? Not to worry, you can still follow the great trail. Due to the unusual early arrival of the rain in Northern Serengeti the mega herd is currently moving into the Lobo area of the Serengeti. Early in the season the lack of rain in the south of the Serengeti has caused Lake Ndutu to shockingly dry up for the first time in 25 years, as a result there occurred early erratic movements of herds moving to the Western Corridor and the Mara, with some groups failing to cross over to Kenya. Unless the Southern Plains receive good rains later in the season during the “short-rains” of November, we predict that the herds might linger in the Lobo region and not move as far south as Ndutu but stay around Seronera and the Moru Kopjes before heading for the Western Corridor and back up to the Mara. Either way it will be an interesting 2012 season with unpredictable movements.
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If you would like to explore Madagascar and Tanzania with Jenman Safaris why don’t you experience our Safaris 100 Views of Madagascar or Tanzania Wildlife Breakaway. For more information please click here or contact us. We happily answer all of your questions!


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