Secret Season in the Valley

Where luxury meets the Wild

Written By Dazzle Africa​

One of the most underrated times of the year in Lower Zambezi is the secret season, most commonly known as green/emerald season, it is actually one of the most magical seasons to experience the Park! It offers wildlife enthusiasts and birders an entirely different experience to the dry (‘peak’) season. 

The rainy season brings life to the savannah, and the vegetation, scrubs and trees flourish and thrive under its bounty. Extending as far as the eye (and camera lenses) can see, it isn’t called emerald for nothing; with the bush alive with deep green, vivacious jade and electrifying lime. Game viewing takes on an entirely different dynamic, with the animals so perfectly camouflaged in the thick greenery it takes a bit more patience to spot them, and once you do it is worth it. With the rich brown and earthy orange tones of the leopard made it all the more captivating in contrast with the richness of the forest in bloom.

Thunder storms tease this time of year, and watching the heavy clouds build up over the Zambezi river, while the sky grows dark and tense is both breathtaking and awe-striking. Lightening shoots across the sky, illuminating the river and foliage in the most fantastic flashes of light. Followed by rolling thunder, which rumbles across the land, drawing closer, until it is bellowing directly overhead. The whole valley is plummeted into a burst of heavy rainfall. 

The term coined ‘the heaven’s opened’ to describe a thunderstorm was surely born from one experienced in the Lower Zambezi.Yet, just as soon as it came, the storm rolls over, leaving a sense of calm and quiet tranquility. The dust is settled and the air is clean as the animals emerge from their refuge in the undergrowth. The birds ruffling the refreshing raindrops off their feathers whilst chirping in unison as if to give thanks this revitalising source of life.

Our river cruises and sundowners on the river are on offer all year round, whilst some of the roadways by car become impassable during the peak of the rainy season… but that’s where our amazing boats come in handy! 

The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. It flows through six countries on its journey from its source in north-western Zambia to the Indian Ocean – an astounding 2,700km.

Perhaps one of Zambia’s most well-known natural assets, the river is home to an abundance of animals, reptiles, insects, water birds, water creatures, flora and fauna. The Zambezi river is continually changing and varies in width, speed, and depth, perpetuating the ill-defined Zambia border which follows the original river course. Downstream the river hosts national parks on both sides, but this means nothing to the animals, who travel across the waterways from either country as they please, allowing our guests to marvel in the game viewing on offer from the river. This is mother nature in her truest form and it is magnificent!


We have some special deals at this time of year, and it could be the perfect staycation you need to kick off the New Year with! Why not have a look at our specials and secure your trip into the wild with Royal Zambezi Lodge for 2023?