24 May I smell Winter
Winter is the time of change and adaptation. Temperatures are dropping down to below teens. The day is becoming shorter and shorter and the night long. You can witness Winter at night sky by the moving away of Orion to the West and the rising of Scorpio from the East. If you are a fan of astronomy, Winter in the bushveld is the best time to view stars as there are barely no clouds.
The behavior of both mega fauna and smaller fauna is also noticed. Withering of trees and grass is turning to a lavish Savanna brown and slate grey. In the bushveld, the best thing is the ability of the ecosystem to evolve. Heavy browsers like Giraffes are moving further North West of the reserve where there is a lot of Acacias (Thorntrees). Elephants slows down their chewing ability and depend on root tubers, ring barking trees and going up the mountains. The general game is starting to move around during the day when the sun is in full force; the opposite is true in Summer when game came out early morning and resting under shade in the afternoon and going out again late evenings when it’s cooler.
A lot of slippery scaly creatures that are cold blooded (ectothermic) like lizards and snakes slows down their metabolic rate. They spend a lot less time moving around and stay under rock crevices.
The beauty of the Waterberg comes out in the mountains where water bubbles come out of rocks due to heat and pressure. Winter is the best time to visit the bushveld for animal spotting because the bush cover is low.
Water is starting to be scarce as most of the dams are drying up. Some clever animals depend on morning dew. Thankfully this season we had some nice rains. The sounds of the bushveld are now owned by the Impala rams as it is their rutting (mating) season. Migrant birds already left the reserve, only for some notable number of Francolin, Drongos and Glossy Starlings. Nearly no insects around just a small number of locusts.
Game viewers in the reserve are low, rendering you enough time with animals at a sighting which is great.
At 57 Waterberg we are not worried about Winter temperatures as we make sure our guests have wind breaker ponchos and hot water bottles on the drive, not to mention African bush coffee.
So why not try the tried and tested good.
Until we meet again in Spring from your trustable Ranger Josphat Chinyanda