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Weather & The Dog Days of Summer

 

Greetings from Safariline,

Many people think the term "Dog Days of Summer" comes from the period of extended heat in the mid-or late summer that send dogs running for the cool shade of a porch or tree. A dog does play a role in the history of the term, but it actually is a celestial dog. In early civilizations, people looked at the stars and pictured that the brightest ones formed images of animals, bears, bulls, lions and yes, dogs... the constellation Canis Major.

We know now that the hottest days of the year occur during these "Dog Days" because of the tilt of the earth.

Weather has a profound effect on some of the most scenic areas we travel to in Africa, as you'll see by this late summer newsletter.

Despite the reasoning for this hot time of year, this period of time in North American still sends dogs running to the shade of the cool porch and in Africa Giraffes to the span of an Acacia tree!

In this issue

·  So Whats New?

·  A place for ALL Seasons

·  Migrations

·  Weathers Light ~ Photography

·  Drought in the Horn of Africa

·  Did you Know?



A place for ALL Seasons

trip insuranceAfrica is truly a place for all seasons, and while the seasons may not be as distinct as North Americas, the African tropics are much less defined.

Southern Africa winters (May thru July) are extremely mild in comparison to the northern hemisphere. Cape Town is probably the most extreme climate with its unique Mediterranean type weather system.

Game Viewing enthusiasts favor the season from July to October, with its dry periods causing wildlife to congregate around residual water sources. But other times of the year have much to offer as well.

During the "Green Season" from Jan to March the summer rains fall but are usually limited to a thundershower in the afternoon, which soon clears up. The summer months offer certain unique game experiences, lush foliage, dramatic skys and the Kalahari desert Migration cycle.

The shoulder period from April to the end of June is a superb time to be in Southern Africa. Water in the pans filled by the rains starts to dry up, the cooler weather begins and stable weather conditions of clear skies provide superb light for photography. The habitat retains some of the summer lushness but visibility is good and so is game viewing.



Migrations

Zebra Migration 2

"Migration refers to directed, regular, or systematic movement of a group of objects, organisms, people or wildlife. "

Weather has a direct impact on seasonal migrations.

In East Africa this is circular with the wildebeest migration moving to Kenya's Maasai Mara annually following the rains. From July or August through the end of September or October, over 1 ½ million wildebeest, vast herds of zebra and a dramatic concentration of big cats take advantage of this period of plenty. For a glimpse of this event - Join our Grand Kenya & Tanzania Migration Safari August 2012.

A southern migration in the usually dry arid Kalahari Desert region of central and south western Botswana comes with the advent of their rains. During the summer months (December - March ) the desert blooms into life. Short grasses sprout in the pan systems and fossil riverbeds. The plains game such as springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest converge in their hundreds and thousands here to feed which attracts predators such as lion and cheetah. To experience this wonder, join our Green Desert Expedition.

With the advent of winter in South Africa the seasonal ocean migration bring both humpback and southern right whales off the Indian Ocean coast. Green and loggerhead turtles are seen in winter and occasionally leatherback and hawksbill turtles. With the season change from October to March, Loggerhead and leatherback turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs. You can experience this phenomenon at Rocktail Beach Camp



Weathers Light ~ Photography

1933 at Lion Sands Tree House

At the root of the word photography is the Greek words photos and graphis literally meaning "writing with light". Without light there can't be any photographs.

One of the terms used when referring to light is "Golden light", with its warmer color generally found early in the morning and late in the afternoon. While on Safari, your game drives are uniquely timed for this effect.

But the weather and time of year that you travel to Africa can also have a profound affect on the type of light and color you will see in your camera lense. This will differ from the summer to winter (when the Golden hours stretch a little longer each day) and from clear days to overcast days.

While the Zambian summer (Jan-Mar) is considered the rain season - it is also known as the "Green Season". If you are interested in photography - join the David Rogers Safari and learn to make the most of your photographic skills in a stunning setting. David Rogers is an outstanding photographer and great teacher. Spend the week with people wishing to improve their photographic skills with great wildlife opportunities. For further details: David Rogers Photo Safaris March 2012



Drought in the Horn of Africa

Kenya Plains

A recent message from the Kenya Tourist board addresses the concerns of travelers asking if the recent drought will affect their safaris.

With the prolonged drought in the north-east part of Kenya and neighboring northern countries due to failed rains the situation has been declared a National disaster by Kenyan President H.E. Mwai Kibaki. Efforts have been stepped up to provide relief supplies to those affected by the drought.

The fantastic game viewing in the Masai Mara and other key areas (National Parks located in the south and west) have received adequate rainfall and expect bountiful harvest. Many Kenyans depend on tourism, directly and/or indirectly, as a means of livelihood. This includes communities living around parks and reserves and those who operate community owned conservancies as an alternative to pastoralism.

Visitors intending to come to Kenya can therefore rest assured that not only will they be able to enjoy their holidays as planned; they will also help to generate income and benefits to the local communities.



Did you Know?

Crocodile eggs are buried in the sand and depending on the temperature around them they become either male or female? If the sand is between 31.7°C - 34.5°C the offspring will be male, any higher or lower and it will be female.

So Whats New?

The Safariline website offers mountains of information on planning your African Safari and we've been working to enhance it. Country maps, more detailed accommodation descriptions all now available at Safariline.net

Coming soon - New Tours & safaris for 2012:

You asked, we listened!
Our staff receives many requests for escorted group trips that one or two can join. While we have those available thru Southern Africa our offerings have been limited for East Africa. Now available:

East Africa 2012
The Great Migration Safari - Feb 2012*
*escorted by Safariline staff

Lets Climb Kili Feb 2012 *
*escorted by Safariline staff

Grand Kenya & Tanzana - Aug 2012

For Southern Africa
See these Exploration Safaris Botswana: The Great Wilderness Journey
South Africa: Pafuri Walking Trails
Namibia: The Great Namibian Journey
Zambia: Kafue River & Plains
Zimbabwe: Mana Canoe Trail


For more scheduled departures see Tours & Safaris

Watch for other scheduled / escorted safaris to Namibia - Fall 2012, The Great Apes - Gorilla trekking 2013.
If you have an interest - let us know, we'll design a group departure for you and help promote it!

The Bucket List
from Sherrie Wenzel, President - Safariline. Kilimanjaro! This place and scenic wonder has left a lasting impression with me since my first glimpse of it over twenty years ago. To climb Kili seemed insurmountable, but the bucket list was beckoning, so now it is time.

We have six spots on the easier 8 day Machame Route starting February 5th, 2012. (They tell me there is a 93% success rate!) I hope you will consider joining us. For information see: Lets Climb Kili 2012 !

If you would like to be added to our Climb Kili training list send an email to: info@safariline.net

News You Can Use
United Airlines has changed their free baggage allowance policy for Economy Class passengers traveling between to the United States and South Africa. Effective immediately, for any tickets purchased after Jul 14, 2011, passengers checking in with United Airlines for a connecting flight (code share or interline) to South African Airways, will be charged $70.00 for their second piece of luggage. This applies only to passengers in Economy class, traveling to or from South Africa, Malawi or Zambia. All other Southern African Destinations remain unchanged with the free allowance of two pieces. For travellers originating at the South African gateways (New York or Washington Dulles) the SAA baggage policy of two bags of 50 LBS each still applies.

 

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