Two of our luxury lodges, The Outpost and Pel’s Post, are situated in the untouched Northern Kruger National Park. Each season in this special corner of South Africa offers visitors something unique and exciting to enjoy and as we head into winter there is a lot to look forward to – from the drier bush making it easier to spot game to the breathtaking night skies and spectacular winter sunsets. Here is what we are looking forward to during the next few months.
SO LONG SUMMER RAINFALL
Summer has come to an end, the seasonal rainfall has slowly dissipated and new and exciting times lie ahead for us in Northern Kruger National Park. The mighty Limpopo River soaks its water back underground and exposes the dry river bed, subsequently opening the borders between Zimbabwe and Mozambique and allowing animals to roam freely and establish their territories in new areas further south, creating an ever-changing ecosystem and a truly wild area for us to explore.
THE LUVUVHU CONTINUES TO FLOW
The Outpost is situated in the remote Pafuri region and a large part of the area runs along the Luvuvhu, one of the few perennial rivers in the Kruger National Park. With this pristine source of water cutting through the diverse gorges and floodplains, an oasis for wildlife is created in the drier season. This is a major attraction for large herds of buffalo and elephant moving through the area and utilising the vegetation that has recovered throughout the rainy season.
THE RESIDENT BIRDS ARE MORE ACTIVE
As we welcome the colder, drier season, the migratory birds make their long and strenuous journey to new feeding and breeding grounds. With less competition around, the resident birds that call this their permanent home tend to become more active. For example, the Racket-tailed Roller has increased pressure during the summer months when the migratory roller species like the European Roller and Broad-billed Roller compete for their territory and food.
WE’VE GOT A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
A young male leopard has been seen a few times close to the lodge. As a less experienced and younger leopard, he has established himself a smaller, more secure territory for the time being and it seems that he likes to stay in the vicinity. He will probably expand this area as he gets older and gains more experience in hunting and defense.
AN EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPE
We’ve had two years of low rainfall and we are expecting another dry winter. Most of the pan systems located in the floodplains have not been filled because the Limpopo River did not spill its banks, so the condition of the grazing material is not as good as we would have hoped for. Most of the baobabs in the area did not bear fruit this year and late blossoming flowers will lead to fruit not completing their cycle. This will impact the animals and make them more concentrated in certain areas. It will also mean more competition between members of the same species and between others. We embrace the new opportunities this will create and the excitement of the unknown – that is the magic of this mythical place we get to call home.