Another summer has come to an end on Tswalu, confirming once again that the region deserves to be referred to as the Green Kalahari. Thanks to the presence of water, it has been a season of abundance and new discoveries. Guests who returned to Tswalu for the first time in several years could not believe the change in the landscape! A second consecutive summer of decent rainfall led to the emergence of grasses, creepers and small bushes, some that hadn’t been seen in many years. It was also a great breeding season for mammals as well as quite a few unexpected feathery visitors. Several new species were recorded, including the Common joker butterfly (Byblia anvatara), and Barleria lancifolia, a herb with delicate purple flowers. According to recent sightings, we should be ending the summer with a new set of lion cubs too! Stay tuned.
Dramatic Kalahari thunderstorms enthralled many of our guests, with exceptional light shows seen both from dune dinners and evenings at Klein Jan. Luckily, the rain rarely interfered with our game drive activities. Frequent rainfall also kept temperatures pleasant, which meant we could stay out longer and later in the mornings. The mercury only shot above 40 degrees Celsius a couple of times.
With the gradual easing of Covid restrictions, we were grateful to welcome guests from all over the world once again. Now that vaccinated travellers no longer need to provide a negative PCR test to enter South Africa, we anticipate even more visitors with a passion for wildlife and wide, open spaces – good news for conservation! Tswalu also welcomed back many researchers this summer, including some who hadn’t been on property for over two years. Dedeben, the research centre, has been abuzz with foreign accents and lively debate. Given the number and diversity of scientists and research projects lined up for the remainder of the year, exciting times lie ahead for both the Tswalu Foundation and guests who are interested in spending time in the field with researchers as part of their safari.
We hope you’ll enjoy the stories in the summer edition of the Wildlife Journal, a snapshot of exceptional sightings shared with our wonderful guests.