As we settled into, what has become the norm for the rest of the world. Our lockdown began in late March, but being here, we quickly jumped into assisting the reserve management with ensuring that the reserve remains safe. This meant that we could still watch the unchanged rhythms of the Madikwe Game Reserve. It’s a fascinating time of the year…. The seasons change, and you can definitely feel the mornings start to have a noticeable bite in the air. Some birds move north and the bush changes colour, to a mix of oranges and reds, particularly in the area’s that have a fair spread of Bushwillow and Tamboti tree’s.
This year however, was thrown a curveball, with almost 100mm of rain falling late in March. This rain was very unseasonal, and as a result some plants started responding completely out of their normal flowering times. The Ground Lilies started coming up again and the Kalahari Pomegranates started spewing their abundant yellow flowers. So it’s been interesting, with a combination of the winter colours coming back, with a early summer feeling to it. Most of the month was dry, which presented some unbelievable photographic opportunities.
With the late rain, the insects have remained and their predators, the birds, have nested for longer than normal. The Kingfishers and Bee-eaters have been the stars of the show, particularly around Croc drift in the north eastern part of the reserve.
The predators wouldn’t be outdone either. With plenty of Lions in the area, the new pack of African Wild dogs were seen around Fig Tree and plenty of Hyena and Jackal activity. Some fantastic news coming out of the south of the reserve is that the new pack of African Wild dogs have denned and have produced 10 pups. This will definitely mean that we make a few more trips to the south west. Even in the camp, we have had sightings of Honey Badger and African Civet.
Here are some the other interesting creatures we found on our meanderings around the wonderland of the Madikwe Game Reserve. I hope that you all enjoyed the update and photos.
Darren and the Jaci’s Lockdown team.