Conservation and Environment in South Africa: Monthly Updates
Monthly Updates from 2016
Rain is finally here – this is wonderful news for the wildlife and the villagers. In a few days, the bush has transformed from a desperate lifeless area to a nice green one. The wild herbivores and omnivores are eating grass and leaves, moving away far in the bushes. Before the rains, we could see about 100 elephants in one day, but now we barely see one because the vegetation is has become dense. Water is now all around us and it has filled up all of the temporary waterholes.
In Botswana recently, we have been desperate for rain. Sadly, there has been no significant rainfall in the last two months. The lack of rainfall is concerning, especially for the wildlife. There are a number of consequences: food and water become hard to find and fires become more prevalent. In a drought, fires are our worst enemy at the Botswana Conservation Project. Volunteers and staff recently fought a bush fire and we also watered the bush to provide food for the wildlife. The current landscape is heart breaking. To have a better idea of how it looks during a drought, please follow this link.
Water is a valuable asset in Africa and for the rest of the world too. Water is everything in Africa and without it our wildlife will not survive the dry season between May and September. In our area we have several permanent and temporary sources of water.
It has been an amazing two months. Our volunteers encountered a rare sighting of mating lions (Panthera leo) and at night we could hear their magnificent roar. While we were sleeping in our tents we experienced such a spectacular moment, we heard their roars close by and could feel it through our whole body. We also hope that in 110 days, lion cubs will be around and our volunteers and staff will have the pleasure of seeing them in the wild.
The dry season is coming and the typical weather with it. Cold night and sunny day were such a pleasure after our really hot summer. We had an amazing sighting; two brother cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) have been spotted hunting together near the area where the female was spotted a month ago. We are hoping for the best for this rare, vulnerable and threatened species.
Such an amazing beginning of the year, first week volunteers had the chance to see some mammal’s census, Leopards (Panthera pardus) and lions (Panthera leo). We are so happy to encounter more and more lions in the area (4 sightings in two months!). We also had the most elusive cat sighting with a female cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). It was my first sighting of this rare animal in Wild at Tuli, such an unforgettable moment.