Its extraordinary what a little bit of rain can do to an area. A little over a month ago I was blogging about how dry and how great the sightings were due to the situation. I went for a short break and while I was gone it rained for a couple of days and changed the animal distribution completely.
I was in Arusha for my break, I enjoyed the cold weather that I missed so much. Meeting my Family and friends after two months, you can imagine a lot of catching up and fun. As happy as I was days went by quickly and I was ready to come back to the Selous. I was excited to see the difference two weeks would have made and indeed, there was quiet a change. It took me two weeks before I saw my first Zebra, its one animal that you expect to see in almost any African wilderness.
In my absense, the few days of rain changed our animal movement. Where there should be huge concentrations of game, all was quiet. The authorities had done some fire management and areas in the north were burnt, that with the rain promotes new grass to sprout and little pools to fill up with water, it just so happens that the northern part has in most places better draining soils, sandier in most parts. Hooved animals cannot handle the real muddy areas as they may develop rots between the hooves and in extreme cases may prove fatal. So for the two reasons animals move up leaving us with a few resident herds and individuals.
It is getting back to normal now that things are drying up again. Impala are calving, warthogs too and we are hoping that the wild dogs will come out soon with their share of new ones. It is a time where one appreciates life and the system in which it evolves. Life bringing life and life taking life, this is the new interaction for another month or so. Survival for the fittest is the rule of the game, against all odds some will make it and some will be victims.
I have done a few walks since I got back. Hippos up close, elephants and buffalo. Hyenas that we surprise from the palm thickets from which they were hiding. The best part for me these last few walks has been the sunrises and sunsets, amazing colours that really make you appreciate nature’s beauty.
Despite all this, there is still more to come, migrants have started flying in. Carmine bee-eaters have already began to flock in small numbers, european bee-eaters are a call away, many more will make their way to this pristine piece of earth to add colour and life. There is nowhere else I would rather be.