With great hope we still await the rains, the story has been….. it’s building up for a couple of weeks. Nice clouds, heavy winds, beautiful sunsets over the clouds and so are the sunrises. A few showers in the night, so mild that you hardly notice till the next morning. Everything is so dry, even the animals look at you with desperation for a bit of proper rain. Ponds are all dried up, lakes too. I have never seen Lake Manze this dry. Perhaps a new channel has opened over the last rains, if that is not the case then this is the most it has dried. Animals are getting stuck in the mud trying to reach a sip of water and the predators are taking advantage of the easy pickings. All this brings a whole new experience, one where the calving impala give you a sense of life and the harsh conditions remind you of the laws in nature, only the strong survive.
Walks have been great, hippos in large numbers getting squashed in even smaller pools, a lot of tension and deaths. Elephants have become a regular encounter; I had eleven elephants on a walk two days ago. Hyena numbers have increased and almost every thicket or palm bush with enough shade is occupied. Herds of buffalo are exploiting the springs in the Msine valley. As it is so dry, it’s getting quite dusty; this is great for tracking, good substrate for even the little insects and animals. I got some cool tracks of an armoured ground cricket and a genet.
The bird life is getting better and better by the day as the migrants come in. Rollers, bee-eaters, eagles, soon the shrikes and then the cuckoos calling. Small flocks of quelea here and there, soon it will be a couple of thousand strong. All these waiting for the abundance of insects and blossoms the rains will bring.
It is incredible how the different stages of the seasons affect the lives of both flora and fauna throughout the year. From the rains to the extreme heat, from plenty of lush green vegitation hence plenty to eat, to very dry and hardly anything suitable to eat. Amazingly nature always delivers, there is always a tree or a bush or a herb that will provide a niche, be it a flower or new leaf. A balance that we hardly think of or understand. amazing is what nature is, whether an evolutionist or a creationist, the system is still amazing.