The Lull Before the Storm

Record rainfall at Antares

February recorded the highest rainfall for the month on record ever for our reserve. We had just under 340 mm of rain and the condition of the veld looks absolutely amazing right now. The bush is lush and green and the animals are loving it. From a game viewing aspect though life has not been so easy. With the bush being so dense the animals are extremely difficult to see and can hide away very easily, as we discovered on a game drive recently when an elephant stepped out next to us without being seen. There’s nothing quite like that experience to make you heart stop and then seconds later continue racing at 180 bpm.

The elephants have been as too have lion and leopard. Check the time stamps on these three photos to see that the elephant must have caused the lions to move off!

Kudu, bushbuck, nyala and warthog have all put in an appearance from time to time but there have been many gaps in between and the patience of many photographers has been tested.

It’s not surprising really when you consider how many small waterholes have sprung up after the heavy rains meaning the animals are spoiled for choice. Maybe this quiet spell is the lull before the storm and the animals are all going to come streaming back over Easter!

Floods at Antares

The floods we experienced were next level. In the southern part of the Kruger there was major disruption with camps closed and roads washed away and closed for access. Many houses were submerged, communities cut off for days while the rivers tried to subside. Here on Grietjie, we got off relatively lightly. In the previous blog we described how the hide was under water. Having cleaned up that mess and managed to get the hide back to a condition where we could access it again, we got hit by another downpour of rain. The ground water level was so high by then that the water came into the hide through the drain pipe and not via the door this time. This meant that it couldn’t drain away for almost 5 days as we had to wait for the water table to subside. Thankfully there were no guests in camp that week and so the disruption to business was insignificant.

Hornbill Chicks

Elsewhere in the camp the yellow-billed hornbills are still busy bringing food to their hungry chicks in the Marula tree by Hornbill deck. A number of snakes have been seen in and around camp so it is always a good reminder to be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially at night. March-May always sees an increase in reptile activity as they seek out mates and build up fat reserves to see them through the cooler months of winter.