It starts with the darkening of the sky and the distant rumble of thunder, a flash of lightning and the smell of the promise of rain. Rangers scurry to make sure that their ponchos are ready; it’s going to be a wet game drive! As a nature lover you welcome the onset of the rainy season and you are well aware of the need for the rain, but in the back of your mind you just want a dry drive. Here it comes, the first small drops land on your windscreen but you know that that is just the start of one of the afternoon thunder showers that we get so regularly here on Nambiti during our wet season.
The pitter-patter soon turns into a full on deluge, guests hide in their ponchos but as the driver of the vehicle you are afforded no such luxury, head out the side of the cruiser-reminiscent of Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber – you soldier on. On returning to the lodge you are able to see a very noticeable difference between the relatively dry guests and a ranger soaked to the bone. A warm welcome with a roaring fire in the lounge awaits the guests and it’s a favourite gathering point on returning to the lodge on evenings like these as guests share their adventures and what they saw while warming up with a complementary glass of sherry. The next morning guests are always the first to ask if the “life saving” ponchos are available, its funny how much those awkward and bulging beige coloured “wearable tents” soon become invaluable to guests during the rain and the cold and with 77,5mm of rain this past month they were put to good use.
The veld is alive with new life, impala calves are to be seen around every corner, the Blue Wildebeest are also starting to calf, giving the guests the thrilling opportunity to witness the bringing of new life. The Black-Backed Jackals are in heaven with all of the new small tasty morsels available for them to feast on if and when they get the opportunity. Serval are also feasting on the numerous rodent species that are on the increase and some guests had the privilege to watch one Serval stalk and catch three fat juicy mice in the space of five minutes, totally focused on filling its belly the Serval was oblivious to the spectacular sighting it was providing for the guests. A brand new Hippo calf has also captured the attention of guests but of all the new arrivals we are proud to welcome this wet season, it is one baby animal in particular that we are most excited about. Torpedo, our charismatic, earless Black Rhino cow has given birth to her first calf! This little bundle of uncoordinated energy is the highlight of game drives, bouncing around with all the youthful exuberance that one can imagine he brings the guests and rangers close to the verge of tears with joy at his antics. This small Black Rhino also gives hope in the ongoing fight against poaching and shines a small but significant light against all those people bent on ridding the world of these magnificent beasts.
In lodge news, we are pleased to announce the almost completion of the new kitchen and offices, we look forward to hosting our ever expanding family of Springbok Lodge guests in the larger dining room area. The new kitchen is just about complete – and is fitted with a lot of the latest mod-cons that money can buy.
We sadly bid farewell to Darryn Pennings, our head guide, but wish him well in all his new endeavours. He has chosen to move closer to his family in Namibia.
Follow us on instagram at @thespringboklodge for daily posts from rangers and guests alike.
Until next time, Keep Calm And Go On SAFARI!!!!
Mike, William, Bronwyn, Shaun, Tascha, Marte Lize and Bethuel