Well, it seems the rains have arrived. We’ve had one huge storm followed by two of three days of consistent drizzle. When the sun finally emerged this morning, it shone onto an entirely new world. Where previously there was bare, dry ground, there is now a covering of green grass…
It’s also the time of year for giving birth. I’ve seen the first baby warthogs (such cute little piglets!), the first baby wildebeest and today I saw this very new giraffe calf. Check out how tufty its horns still are – and the remains of the umbilical cord.
Amphibians, reptiles and all sorts of insects are also out and about now. The changes that take place within a matter of hours after the first rains really are spectacular. For example these foam-nest frog nests have suddenly appeared above every newly filled water pan.
The wild dogs also change with the first rains. No longer being constrained by water availability, they move far and wide. All the pregnant impalas and new born calves also make their meals easier to come by, so in general this is a time of year when the dogs thrive. They certainly seem to be doing so here in the Save Valley Conservancy – at least the packs we can find! Several of the packs have moved away from their dry-season home ranges and we are still looking for them. We found the Maera pack today though, and the Star pack a few days ago, and confirmed all of them are looking fit, fat and healthy!