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seasonal updates

This past summer season has been magical, with heavy, intermittent rains, soaring temperatures, and abundant sightings. As we now make our way into the cooler and drier months, the wilderness takes on a different look and presents a new plethora of sights and sounds to behold.

This autumn, we expect our great migrants to depart and head back to the northern part of Africa as well as to Europe. European and Carmine bee-eaters are yet to depart, and Wahlberg’s eagles are also expected to take the same route back to the north.

As light intensity drops, most reptile species will soon take to their burrows and dens to hibernate. The same scenario applies to frogs and toads, who will face similar issues, and very soon, most ponds will become quieter as their loud choruses start to disappear.

Once the savannahs begin to dry and thin, expect to witness the return of more plains game, especially cheetahs. Unlike some other feline counterparts, cheetahs tend to avoid areas with tall grass, prioritising open spaces for safety. In these vast plains, the threat looms large, as both lions and leopards possess the agility and stealth to outmanoeuvre and potentially prey upon cheetahs.

As our surrounding landscape starts to make its transition, the trees and grasses dry out, meaning most animals, like elephants, will start feeding on the branches and roots of deciduous trees. Kudus and other grazing species will have to migrate and find food on the banks of the rivers and other drainage lines, where trees will remain greener for longer. Most trees growing on the river banks usually stay greener longer due to the availability of water in those areas, and most antelope species feeding exclusively on trees will start to make their way over to these areas in the reserve.

Our safari experience and game tracking will also change as dusty grounds always make for more precise tracking, and our trackers simply can’t wait as this is the ideal time to showcase their special skills, especially Victor, who has a knack for spotting leopards. Game drives will also be less likely to be interrupted by rain, as is the case in the months of summer rainfall. We are also expecting the return of arachnids, as spiders are pre-winter active animals, and their webs always decorate the bush!

We are expecting a good visual of the Milky Way galaxy and the beautiful constellations it hosts. Orion, Pleiades, Taurus, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Cancer, Leo, Southern Cross, Centaurus, Corona Australis, Columbus Pisces, Hercules, Libra, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Lupus, and others are clearly visible with the naked eye this autumn without the use of a telescope. Venus, Mars, and Saturn can be spotted in the eastern sky. Jupiter can be clearly seen in the evening sky. Sirius, Canopus, Alpha, and Beta Centauri can be seen shining brightly just after sunset.

Each year is different, and we can’t wait to see what this season has in store…


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