The change of seasons in the Sabi Sabi bushveld is distinct and dramatic. Particularly wonderful to experience is the start of summer with its vivid electric storms. Distant flashes of lighting darting across the sky followed by crashes of thunder herald the arrival of heavy clouds, dropping their load of life-giving water onto the thirsty land. This is what the parched, winter earth has been waiting for. As the first drops of rain fall, pans and pools quickly fill and rivulets of water begin to trickle down, creating abundant water resources for all fauna and flora. What joy to watch the animals playing, drinking, splashing, and wallowing in nature’s most precious resource when the rains finally arrive.
Virtually overnight the seemingly lifeless winter vegetation transforms from shades of brown into lush green canopies and sprawling dense ground cover, simultaneously providing nourishing food and shade from the sun. At this time of year the temperatures at midday are high, and animals will often be found resting, escaping from the summer heat. The mornings are cool and pleasant, and late afternoons may see a thunderstorm passing through, disappearing almost as quickly as it arrives. As the sun moves across the horizon, the grazers and browsers are found quenching their thirst at waterholes, exploring or foraging, whilst the nocturnal hunters start rousing themselves for the night hunt to begin.
Creatures of every size and shape enjoy the revival and rebirth of the land, whilst at the same time taking part in the eternal fight for survival. Adorable new-borns delight guests on safari with their clumsy playfulness and cute antics. Cautiously eyeing the world they remain within close range of their mothers, forever on the lookout for danger. These small creatures are easy targets for the ever-opportunistic predators who follow the youngsters, watching and waiting…..the dense vegetation provides cover and camouflage to carnivorous hunters, enabling them to get ever too close and ready to pounce.
As the days become longer and the nights much shorter, the Sabi Sabi Rangers and Trackers carefully watch the sky in anticipation of the return of migratory bird species. And every year, guided by the sun, the stars and a mysterious internal compass, they return to our reserve. Soaring back through the southern skies, and feasting on plentiful sources of food, the migrants return – many of them to their nests from previous years. This is the time to mate and care for their young, feed well and regain their strength, until it is once again time to take to the skies and leave….and the next part of their unending cycle of life begins once more.
Human life is not quite as simple or unchanging. Our lives are governed by technology and the astonishing speed of transformation. The change in seasons often goes fairly unnoticed until spring blossoms burst into bloom, or snow storms blanket northern cities. But here in the bushveld the patterns remain constant. Knowing that there is an unspoiled and unchanged bushveld, affected only by Mother Nature, is what keeps our guests returning time and time again to the sanctuary that is Sabi Sabi. And even though our lodges undergo upgrades to keep them at the very highest standards possible, the lasting constant is our hospitality and the philosophy of who we are – an ethos that has made our award-winning lodges unique since their inception almost four decades ago.