12 Dec

The Rains Have Arrived at Lapalala

The life-giving rains have finally arrived at Lapalala Wilderness — much to the joy of the birds, animals, plants and humans that occupy this beautiful but arid landscape.

The new lush greenery has covered up the morbid grey of the winter; and all plant life has exploded into being. Our wonderful migrant birds have returned; much to the joy of all the rangers. The whole team is out and about and searching for those summer rarities, trying to boost their bird lists and securing those bragging rights.

The animals are loving the weather, and the antelope are starting to get back into shape as the food quality improves each day. Many of the antelope species are dropping babies into the world, and guests are often heard saying: “ awwww — cute little babies”. The formidable lions have been all over the park, and are still looking happy and healthy. We found one pride on a guided walk in the western section of the park, busy eating a young wildebeest calf.

The big male has been roaming around the area, calling out for intruders into his territory and spending time with one of the northern females. One female seems to be getting ready to den and we are hoping cubs are on the way. Let’s wait and see.

We saw cheetah twice in three days, and once with a fresh kill. It’s great to see them so successful and managing to avoid their biggest competitors for food: the lions. This might be simply because the park is so big and vast.

Our elephants have been avoiding us at all costs — but there have been reports of a new baby in one of the big herds, which explains their behaviour. We are working hard to find this exciting new member of the herd.

The buffalo have been seen around the dam, and the old boys are looking good as all the new grass has perked them up substantially. We are waiting excitedly for the new heard of buffalo to be released in the reserve too — and that will bring a new dimension to game drives.

The spotted hyenas were released in the reserve this month, but we have not seen them again as they have been exploring the area and settling in. We are listening for those first whoops in the night, which will signal that the hyenas are feeling more at home.

We will keep you all updated!