It’s said that the bush transforms overnight between the dry and rainy seasons.
While we don’t actually watch the grass grow, it is certainly true that after the first few weeks of rain, the landscape looks completely different, changing from dry and barren to lush and vibrant.
The rainy season here usually begins around November. The bush comes alive with vegetation, and green covers everything that was previously brown.
This also corresponds to the impala lambing season, which is another reason it’s an exciting time of year to be in the bush. Many other animal babies have also appeared around the reserve.
By mid-December, we hadn’t seen the amount of rain we usually expect for this time of year. Most watering holes had completely dried. The earth and animals were in desperate need of water.
In the last few weeks, the rains have finally come, and Lion Sands has undergone a dramatic transformation! The grasses are growing quickly and the bushes are so thick with leaves that driving down certain roads, I hardly recognise them.
The Sabie River, that flows in front of all four Lion Sands lodges, has risen substantially. Puddles or pans of water dot the landscape, and are a common place to find animals drinking or wallowing (rolling in mud).
The rainy season is characterised by intermittent storms and hot days. This is also the time of year that migratory birds return, making it a popular destination for birders. The chorus from these new arrivals is always a welcome sound.
It’s a magical time to be at Lion Sands Game Reserve!
Words By: Charlotte Arthun
Photos by: Morne Arnold (rhino, hyena, wild dogs) Ruvan Grobler (leopard), Charlotte Arthun (hippo)