Spring has sprung

Kruger National Park · September 2019
By Henry Parsons
Field Guide

Unlike the Northern hemisphere which is experiencing autumn or fall and seeing a spectacular change in colours as the trees’ leaves are all turning beautiful different shades of orange and yellow, we are going into spring and witnessing many changes of our own. We are nearing the end of our dry season and are all anxiously awaiting our first proper rain. As with everywhere on our beautiful planet we’ve also seen a change in our climate; rains arriving later; warmer weather etc.

Everything is still dry and awaiting the rain; pools of water are shrinking and animals are all concentrated around or near water. This makes for incredible game viewing at the moment and with our first proper rains only expected in late November, is due to continue until then.

The first signs of spring are the blossoming of some trees; beautiful bright yellow flowers of the long-tailed cassia are often amongst the first; the scarlet red of the flame creeper along the Lebombo mountains is another that starts blooming in spring.

As some of you will remember, we had a controlled burn a few months ago and many of the different species of both Seneglia and Vechelia (previously both Acacia) are all flushed green. This means they are often frequented by giraffe and even some elephants.

The lions are also feeling rather amorous with spring in the air. We’ve witnessed the pride in the south mating on several occasions; the most dominant male of the three brothers mating on three different occasions with three different females which could mean the three females in question could all give birth relatively close together and ultimately rear their cubs together.

Speaking of cubs, both the Mountain Pride and Mananga Pride have now introduced their cubs to their prides and us, for that matter. To say they are incredibly cute is an understatement; the two cubs in the Mountain Pride and the seven cubs in the Mananga Pride are all growing and exploring their surroundings. Watching them play and develop the skills they will one day use to survive and hunt as adults is a real privilege. None of us can wait to see what will happen in the coming months through spring and into summer; exciting times to be on safari.

 

Photo by Margaux Le Roux

By Henry Parsons
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