June update from the field
Autumn has given way to winter with a sudden transformation of the bushveld, a very different picture to that of only a few months ago. The bush is still filled with a wide range of autumn colours as the Tamboti groves change to shades of orange and the Kiaat trees to hues of ochre as they start seeding. The landscape is changing from a brilliant green and subsequent flame colours, to brown and grey as it takes-on its drab winter guise.
Winter months are however a pleasant time to experience the bushveld with mild daytime temperatures and chilly temperatures towards dawn and dusk.
Most natural pans have started drying out, but many of the larger water holes still hold sufficient water for this time of the year due to late summer rains and overall, the bush seems to be in a lot better condition than it was at the same time last year. Hopefully our rainfall patterns will normalise in the next rainfall season.
Large mammal distribution has changed significantly over recent months as these species move to new areas in search of better grazing. Many of the water dependant species are starting to congregate around water holes which have recently become a hive of activity.
The impala rutting season is drawing to an end and we should start seeing the new lambs dropping sometime during November to December. This is also the time that most vulture species start nesting and breeding in the Greater Kruger, and many of the large Knobthorns currently have active vulture nests. It’s also the time when wild dogs and hyenas start denning; an exciting time to be in the bush.
After a prolonged drought within the Greater Kruger protected areas we wonder what Mother Nature has in store for us for the forthcoming rainfall season. Climate predictions are becoming more and more difficult to predict with global warming and climate change.