As the land dries and the trees bare, a new beauty emerges, the beauty of the Lowveld Winter. The dust rich flatlands, labyrinthine eroded sodic areas and sandy peaks are what winters are all about here in the lowveld and possesses a real delicate beauty of it’s own.
Greeted in the morning by the most spectacular orange hues of the slowly rising sun (which is further away from earth than in summer) along with the cold bite in the air, really make this one of the best times to be out on safari. The day then usually warms up by midday to the most beautifully mild temperatures and the perfect setting to just relax and take in the extraordinary natural world. Although the cacophony of bird calls that summer offers are absent, the winter species of birds now get their chance to shine, with the songs of Scrub-Robins and the bright colors of the Lilac-Breasted Rollers being an ever present highlight.
The lack of rain gives the terrain a real feeling of desolation, but as you explore you find a multitude of life and a reminder about just how resilient nature can be. It is in this time that the dullness of the bushveld is broken up by the gentle colors of a select group of plant species, from the deep red seed pods of the many Black Monkey Thorns (Acacia burkei) to the bright pink flowers of the Impala Lillys (Adenium multiflorum) make strolls through camp so fulfilling. Winter also provides us with a greater chance of tracking wildlife, affording us the opportunity to see deeper into the bushveld. Species such as Wild Dogs and Lions also use this time of the year to raise young as hunting also becomes easier for them with animals congregating at the last available water sources.
This time of the year really offers guests such a beautifully unique experience, and it’s really no wonder how a lot of regular safari-goers make this season their favorite.
Report and images by Andi