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SLNP in December?

DC
Level Contributor
15 posts
1 review
SLNP in December?

Hi,

I'm wondering what SLNP is like in December? How does the wildlife viewing compare to the high season? Is it just wet or are all the animals hiding too? Is one sector of the park better at this season than another? Does it rain for hours or just short bursts?

Thanks so much!

-Heather

7 replies to this topic
Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Uganda, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 543 posts
9 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: SLNP in December?

Weather-wise it's hot and sticky and can rain pretty heavily- it me it's not necessarily a great disaster if that happens (can be quite spectacular) but the stickiness is not for me. A lot of the roads in more remote parts of the park close, so you will find camps away from the main Mfuwe gate are closed, so realistically, that's the sector you will need to focus on either way. Animals are not hiding so much as a) dispersed once water is more widely available and b)your game viewing is limited to the more central parts of the park.

I think if you're in Zambia then already or have done a few safaris before and this is your opportunity, I'd absolutely go anyway- green season safaris are often lovely, well priced and with fewer other people around. Plus for photographers, the upside of the rain is real clarity in the air.

Hope that helps!

Alexandra- Extraordinary Africa

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 918 posts
2. Re: SLNP in December?

See some of my comments here-

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293842-i9277-k14526049-Quick_destinations_from_Lusaka_late_Nov_early_Dec-Zambia.html

I've had excellent game viewing even later in the green season where there's more vegetation and more flooding. I'd have no hesitation in going in December, and especially this year when El Nino is likely to make conditions drier than usual (maybe next year too). However, options are limited, and only the central part of the park is open.

Try searching for Mfuwe's trip report, he went over Xmas a few years ago, and he's been a regular visitor at that time of year in the past. Hopefully he can chime in. I'm in Harare right now, heading to the bush tomorrow, so can't help any more for a while.

But green season is usually a particularly good time for wild dogs.

DC
Level Contributor
15 posts
1 review
3. Re: SLNP in December?

This is very helpful advice, thank you! I try to fit in some safari time whenever I travel to Africa for work and I hate to miss out on this upcoming trip.

-Heather

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Uganda, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 543 posts
9 reviews
6 helpful votes
4. Re: SLNP in December?

In that case I'd definitely go and enjoy it for what it is! I think when you've done a fair few safaris the pressure is off to see any particular animals and you can just absorb whatever's there that's cool. Plus when it's not a terribly busy time of year and you're an experienced safari goer, sometimes the guides take the chance to have little adventures they wouldn't do on an average guest stay, so it can be really fun.

Alexandra- Extraordinary Africa

DC
Level Contributor
15 posts
1 review
5. Re: SLNP in December?

Just to update this topic - I spent 4 nights at Flatdogs in the middle of December and had a wonderful time. It only rained for about 20 minutes on the whole trip. Had a very experienced guide Jonathan who did an excellent job and they also arranged a walking safari for me and 2 other guests. The lions were hiding from us, but we saw some leopards and wild dogs which were both at the top of my list to see. Thanks for the advice!

-Heather

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 918 posts
6. Re: SLNP in December?

rredrosie- thanks for coming back, I had a feeling SLNP would deliver even off season. The cats (especially lions) can be harder to see but as you found, it's a great time for dogs. So it's a great time for people who have done a few safaris and seen plenty of lions, and are interested in seeing the animals that are a bit harder to find elsewhere.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
684 posts
6 reviews
4 helpful votes
7. Re: SLNP in December?

Great to have the feedback and it sounds like a lovely trip too.

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