September 2021

The N’wanetsi Concession rainfall

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The N’wanetsi Concession rainfall

Solomon Ndlovu
By Solomon Ndlovu
Field Guide

It has been a very good year, and we have received about 392 mm of rain since the beginning of 2021. Mother Nature has surprised us with unusual rainfall in early winter (end of May).  The rivers are full of water and still flowing, and it is the longest I have seen the N’wanetsi River flowing in more than ten years. Usually, the river flows for a week after receiving heavy rain around January or February and stops flowing shortly thereafter, with only a few areas along the river where one will find pools of water. Most of the rain usually comes from the south eastern side of Kruger National Park in the direction of Maputo in Mozambique, from the Indian Ocean. The eastern part of Kruger got more rain than the western part.

Because of this we have seen a lot of general game coming across from the west looking for good grazing and water. We have seen large herds of buffalos and elephants in the concession. We are now in our spring and we are experiencing trees flowering. Animals like baboons, monkeys, giraffes and kudus are very happy as they have been feasting on the flowers. The game viewing experience has been exceptional as animals do not need to travel far for food and water.

N’wanetsi Concession rainfall

The conditions have also increased our leopard sightings along the N’wanetsi River and Xinkelengane Drainage. As the grass is starting to open up in the basalt grasslands, the leopards have moved to the much thinker areas along the river’s and drainage lines, in order for them to set up the perfect ambush for potential prey. Some incredible sightings have been happening along the Ntibitsane Drainage. The drainage runs along the north-eastern side of the concession. The Dumbana female leopard and her two cubs have been spending time along this drainage line moving east and south west to the N’wanetsi River.

Elephant sightings have also increased along the N’wanetsi River from the lodge all the way north towards the Central Depression area. We had a few sightings of elephants feeding between Lebombo Lodge, the Boutique and Sweni Lodge. Guests had the privilege to view most of the game from their rooms, looking over the N’wanetsi River.

Every morning on game drive, we enjoy looking at the trees and seeing the change developing daily, with new leaves and growing and multiplying. The smell coming from all the flowers is so incredible, and it is a great way to start the day. Mbeki’s Crossing has beautiful water lilies on the western side of the crossing, and it does not matter which side the sun is
lighting them up, as they always give off rich colours that catch your eye. Crocodiles have also spread out all the way from N’wanetsi River to Mbeki’s Drainage, the drainage still has flowing water. Mother Nature has indeed spoiled us this year!