Beho Beho is closed for renovations, and so I have no news to tell of gastronomic creations, but that doesn’t mean that everything just comes to a complete standstill in the Selous. Oh no. It is vibrant and brimming with life.
We are experiencing tremendous rainstorms, almost daily, which are definitely not good for the building projects, but infinitely good for my soul! Most people find it threatening or gloomy, but I absolutely adore it. It is intense and powerful and invigorating and awe-inspiring, and completely life-giving.
You can watch the storm assemble, gathering up on the distant horizon and moving closer. It builds and brews and turns different shades of dark violet, charcoal and indigo. It gets closer and more ominous, and then the wind starts to howl. Branches are swaying in the wind, grasses are flat against the ground, and the air is thick, hot and heavy. Moving even closer still – it just above us and then all fury breaks loose! A sudden, violent and profuse outburst of rain. It rumbles and pours and shakes and sets free. All that built up tension released by the torrent. Water cascades from the makuti roofs, everything shelters from the storm.
And when it is over, there is a zesty enthusiasm of life that lingers, a peaceful calmness that settles over all, yet revitalizing and vivacious. The air is clear as a bell, all the birds come out, the colours are vivid and rejuvenated and it feels like every living thing breathes a sigh of relief for the much needed deliverance.
Within a matter of weeks, every tree and every shrub, every leaf and blade of grass has turned a bright iridescent green.
After such a storm just yesterday, in the late afternoon we were notified by staff members going to make their routine phone-calls home that there are ‘mbwa mwitu’ ~ wild dog ~ on the airstrip. Walter and I grab our bino’s and the camera bag and hastily make our way down the bumpy road to the airstrip just to the side of camp – but before we can even get there, we are greeted by a most wonderful sight!
The painted wolves are right in front of us – lots of them. There are pups and we see ‘Blacky’ – the alpha male of the pack that we had first seen in the beginning of the season with the heavily pregnant alpha female.
Her puppies have now been born and are animated little versions of the adult dogs. They run and play with quite a gruesome toy – the head of an impala! We follow them down to the airstrip where it is clear that there are not just a few wild dogs – we count 21!
Twenty-one painted dogs running around, amusing themselves just like domesticated dogs in a playful spirit would. They stalk slowly then jump on each other’s backs, nibble at ears, chase each other over and underneath fallen trees, tumble and roll in the short emerald grass, bite each other’s tails, beg, bark and growl. What a fantastic show!
Unfortunately the hour is late and the light is fading, so the shots taken aren’t such good quality, but just gives a snippet of the performance we witnessed.
We are truly blessed to live in this Eden that we do, and are thankful every single day for the life it has to offer.