by Kosie Lategan, Tswalu Head Guide
This was surely a summer to remember at Tswalu Kalahari as we welcomed guests back to the reserve and started guiding full time again. Our guests typically experience early morning and late afternoon or evening game drives during the summer months, choosing to spend time during the heat of the day resting in their rooms or relaxing at one of the pools. This is also the time animals rest, and there is often a steady stream of animals approaching the waterholes in front of the Motse and Tarkuni camps.
Over the course of this summer, we experienced cloudy and overcast weather conditions for a week or more at a time, and game drive departures often had to be adjusted as it was raining and wet. Early mornings became mid-morning drives and a lot of the time we had to head out earlier in the afternoon to avoid the late thunderstorms. The mornings were also cooler than I can remember. As temperatures climb in summer, sightings of some of the elusive and nocturnal species only happen late at night and guests who want to take a night drive usually do so after dinner.
All the rain brought about a radical change in the reserve and many of the guides, trackers and long-standing members of the Tswalu community, including Gus and Dylan, commented that they had not seen the reserve so green for many years. Tracking and finding animals became more challenging, but viewing animals in this environment was spectacular. The landscape also made for some amazing photographs.
Even now, towards the end of summer, everywhere we drive there is a lot of life in the bush from an increase in birds and butterflies to almost all animals with offspring. It feels as if the Kalahari has been anticipating this bumper, abundant season for many years.
Summer in the Kalahari can be tough, due to the heat, but also extremely rewarding. There is definitely a buzz in the bush and it is always worth exploring.