November is the “short” rainy season.  So I was a little worried before we went, about what a “short rainy” season might imply.  Would we get “rained out” during our vacation?  But “short” rainy season just seems to mean that on any given day, it might rain for an hour or so. It turned out just fine.

In fact, there are some good points about going during the short rainy season:

  • lots of babies – We saw baby elephants, impalas, monkeys, baboons, lions, warthogs, etc. There was one baby elephant that must have been really young – it wobbled a bit, then lay down and slept, then got up, then wobbled and fell over. We saw a few monkeys learning how to climb a tree, and one baby baboon that fell off while trying to climb onto the mother.  (See our photo of Baby Elly and Mom!)
  • very little dust – A lot of folks had mentioned the roads would be really dusty; their luggage got covered with dust. The rains must have really helped; there was almost no dust.
  • almost no tsetse flies – Our guide told us that at certain times of the year, there are so many tsetse flies that some of the roads in the Serengeti basically shut down. There was one day when there were a few flies inside the jeep, but that was pretty much it.
  • availability – Most of the lodges we chose to stay at still had availability. not too many other travelers. We saw as many as 11 jeeps watching three leopards once. But I imagine it would have been a lot more jeeps at other times of the year!

Here’s what wasn’t as great:

  • road conditions –  There were a couple times when the roads (inside the Serengeti) got really muddy, and one time when we semi got stuck. Fortunately, it was nothing our driver couldn’t handle though!
  • muddy camps – We also stayed at a tented camp a couple nights, and one night, it was really muddy walking into the camp area.
  • bugs – When the rains start, the bugs come out. We only noticed this in a couple places, though, mainly in Tarangire.