There’s no denying that 2016’s dry season was a tough one.
During the month’s of May through to late October, very little rain tends to fall in Southern Africa’s reserves. This is considered not only the winter months, but also the dry season.
Last year saw Southern Africa experience an extreme drought and many animals had a difficult time surviving. In many instances it came down to only the fittest being able to live through October, where both heat, lack of food & very little water played a role.
If animal can hold on there will almost always be relief during late October or November, when the rains finally do arrive. The landscape quickly transforms from a desert-like habitat to a lush green woodland.
Botswana experienced rainfall like it has not seen in many, many years!
According to many reports, some regions of the Okavango Delta received as much as 1800mm’s of rainfall, nearly double what they would typically receive from December through to March. That’s an incredible amount of water and it transformed the veld in a manner I have not yet seen in many of the reserves.
I spent time on safari recently in the Linyanti, central & western Okavango Delta. It was incredible to see just how thick & lush it was for March!
The grasses were long & thick, and the waterholes were filled to the brim.
Game viewing was challenging at time, to say the least.
On one occasion we were trying to keep up with a leopardess in the Linyanti. She was no more than 5 or 8 meters from us, and we had absolutely no view of her whilst she moved through her territory, and we soon lost sight of her for good.
Even following along with wild dogs was an absolute nightmare. The grasses were so tall that the dogs had to elevate themselves in order to see other pack members whilst on the hunt. Driving off-road also presented many issues, as there would be entire tree’s hidden in the grasses, a hazard for the vehicle itself.
It was incredible!
I had been to this area of Botswana many times before, even during the same time of year, but I had never seen in as thick & lush as this!
Regardless of the challenges that came about with it, it was incredibly beautiful to see the region’s wildlife enjoying the abundance of summer. It was so scenic & stunning & a great contrast to the drier times of the year when I host the majority of my safaris.
We next moved on to the Okavango Delta.
The Delta during summer is a sight to behold. Beautiful waterways & green vegetation sets the backdrop for a real special safari experience.
Some parts of the Delta had received vast amounts of rain, and it was evident on safari too as similar to the Linyanti region, the Delta’s waterways were very full, and as were many of the pans on the inland sections.
We spent time in the central Delta and boy was it lush & green. It seemed like the bush had been cultivated just for us. It was spectacular.
There were plenty birds around, many drawn in by the plethora of insects.
Summer is a great time to be out on safari, as there’s so much to learn from. There’s insects, flowers, birds, tree’s and much more on show, and this is typically absent during the dry time of the year – the traditional photo safari times.
It was so refreshing to see a region in such a state of beauty after a devastating dry season. To see how swiftly nature bounces back to a state of abundance is just incredible!
Thanks for taking the time to read along.
Till next time,