sabi sabi ranger stories

finally what we were waiting for

The heat was intensified by the lack of summer rain and the bush was dry and static. At 4h30 in the afternoon, everybody gathered in the lounge area for the usual cup of tea, coffee and snacks.

We left the lodge in our open Land Rover with a group of very excited tourists, no one certain what to expect on their first game drive.

A dark cloud and lightning caught my eye and I realized it was raining in the adjacent Kruger National Park, but the storm was still a distance away from us. I explained to my guests that the bush was very dry at the moment, as recent rain seemed to have missed us!

After about 10 minutes of driving, we found a family of warthog - a mother with her two-week old piglets. They were going into their burrow, which I found rather strange as they usually only did this at sunset. We managed to take a few good photographs before they disappeared, and then we felt the rain!

I quickly handed out the 'ponchos' (raincoats) to my guests, not quite soon enough as it was suddenly raining very hard. Now I knew why the warthog family went into their burrow so early!

We realized that the rain was not going to ease up and so decided to head back to the lodge. By now it was raining so hard that I could hardly see where to drive. We eventually reached the lodge, soaked from head to toe. Everybody was escourted back to their rooms, where they had a hot shower and returned to the bar to celebrate - the first rains of Summer!

The rain continued throughout the night, with the rain-gauge measuring 60mm the next morning.

The bush changed within 24 hours - vegetation was greener, termites flew around to start new colonies and many different species of frogs started calling to find a mate.

A thunderstorm in the bushveld is an amazing occurrence and I wish everybody could have the chance to experience it at least once in their lifetime.

Wim Vorster

Ranger - Bush Lodge

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