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Thanksgiving time again
Traditionally our north American friends celebrate a day of giving thanks at the end of the harvest. 2nd October Monday in Canada, last November Thursday in the USA.
In Africa, this is around the time our new season’s rains start. It’s the end of the traditionally hot and dry safari season. The start of our rich and abundant green season.
We’re giving thanks for new rains
There’s no set date because we never quite know when the rains will come. As sure as the wind blows, every living thing celebrates when the rains start though!
Here’s 2 minutes worth of essential viewing. Turn the volume up. Close your eyes and listen. Worth giving thanks for….
…and when the rains do come…
That static build-up, accumulating clouds and the dusty skies lull for a bit…then big drops fall. Before long pools and furrows form and water starts to flow again.
Every emerging bug breaks out, seeds and buds swell too. Resident and migrant birds continue with their feeding and breeding frenzy. Within days the bush has burst into all manner of life.
Foals are dropping and great nursery herds form. Sweet grasses carpet plains, trees and bushes break into leaf and fruit. They draw grazers and browsers as predators take advantage of increasing cover.
Summer has arrived!
Other big events during this seasonal change
In Zambia’s Luangwa Valley a special herd of elephants return annually to forage on wild mango fruits.
One of our intra-African migrant birds, the “jewel thrush” is found in a few secret places. And Kasanka sets a stage for the planet’s largest mammal migration as millions of fruit bats gather for a few weeks.
In East Africa’s Serengeti and Mara eco-system fresh rains on fertile volcanic soils in the southern Serengeti produce sweet grasses. The migration moves swiftly south and river crossings turn into a violent frenzy. (Video clip courtesy Alan Fox)
Summer lasts too!
All the way through until the rainy season stops in around April. It’s truly abundant. Storms come and go. It’s warm and the skies are cleared of dust. Light conditions are dramatic with big sunrises, long days, warm evenings and wild sunsets.
Game is always about, usually easy to track but not always easy to locate or reach especially in the remotest places where the bush is thick or tracks overgrown. This is when you’ll need the best of the guides. It’s one of our secret seasons.
But if there’s one coastal but non-safari spot that stands out it has to be the Mother City of Cape Town. Dry in its Mediterranean climate from November to May. Where Africa’s finest wines and some of its best food traditions are a speciality. There’s rich culture, a clash of histories and a diverse floral kingdom to explore.