As summer approached in South Africa and hit us with its usual heat, we were all hoping that the rain would soon follow. Our rainy season goes hand in hand with the summer. So in the area of Kapama Private Game Reserve, we have wet, hot summers and dry cooler winters.
One day it was predicted to reach 41 degrees Celsius or 105,8 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, this is pretty hot but that afternoon as we were preparing to leave Kapama Southern Camp for our game drive, we noticed there was a storm approaching from the west where the mountains lay.
The safari game drive started hot and humid with the clouds building to our west. We were lucky to see a group of Buffalo as well as one of the prominent Males lions sleeping under a bush, all at the same watering hole!
Whilst we were taking in the beautiful sighting I pointed out the cloud formation overhead to my guests and that there was a good possibility of it raining quite soon so we got the ponchos out just in case.
Moving to the other side of the watering hole we observed the Buffalo cross the clearing in front of us. As we watched we felt the first, fat, heavy drops of rainfall. Not thinking much of it we continued to watch and photograph the Buffalo.
Suddenly the rain pelted down with great force, almost like a dam wall had burst! I didn’t even put on my rain jacket, I was just enjoying the cool, wet rain! It was the first proper rain we had experienced in months and was very much needed!
It was short-lived though. The rain was gone in just over 5 minutes. It hadn’t done much else than get everyone wet and dampen the earth a little. But the storm was travelling east and we watched it move over our heads and approach the Kruger National Park.
A spectacular sunset broke through the clouds after that and we sat for a couple of minutes and marveled at the wonders of nature. How there could be such beauty after such a big, sudden storm.
Moving on after the sun had set, we found a spot where we could have our drinks stop. It was nice and open and we were still able to watch the storm as it moved away from us. There was an awesome “lights show” as we watched the lightning flicker and flash across the sky.
After getting down from the vehicle we noticed that there were two Leopard Tortoises not too far from us. Poor creatures were probably thirsty after the dry season and were hoping for the rain to quench their thirst. Unfortunately, there was not enough rain to form any puddles for them to drink out of.
But not to worry, this was just the beginning! The rainy season has started and there are going to be many more storms and cloud bursts to look forward to!
Story and photos by Southern Camp Ranger – Rayna