March 15th, 2011, posted in Climate & Weather, travel
The end of November is the end of the tourist season, with the number of insects on the increase as the air temperatures increase.
It’s 06h00 – just after sunsrise and already it is 24ºC (ºF). The ground is dry, thirsty and begging for rain. Sleep is hard to come by – the air you breathe is hot and trying to home-school Joshua has become a 06h30-08h30 rush – his concentration drops with every degree the mercury climbs! He’s in the pool at least 4 times a day – his little body needs all the help it can to prevent heat-stroke and of course we can easily drink 2 litres of water and still need something more – which when juice and sodas come to our rescue!
Breeding herd of elephants in camp
It’s a pleasure to watch the elephants come into camp for their daily mud-bath – its so crazy how relaxed they are, drenching themselves with mud to help keep them cool and I’m starting to wonder if that may be a better option than sunblock?
Elephant bull at Mvuu lodge
The fishing is still good and we’ve just hosted a team from the TV series, WildFly and Inside angling – super men who fished from sunrise to sunset every day, with them was Chris Bladen who only fly-fished, no compromise – no bait, no spinners, only flies! Yes the 2010 season has been quite an adventure, meeting people from around the world, making new friends and learning much from the creatures that inhabit the Lower Zambezi Valley as well as its visitors.
Chris Bladen's Marlin
September 26th, 2010, posted in Climate & Weather, Creatures Great & Small
Just after sunset as the cooler night air began to flow into camp, the still September air was suddenly filled with sound of raindrops. There is no rain in the Lower Zambezi Valley during the hot dry months of September and October but there was no doubt about what I could hear – it was the sound of raindrops on the dry leaves that had been blown off the trees by the August winds.
I stepped out from under the thatched lounge area to feel the raindrops but instead felt nothing and only heard the rustle of leaves under my feet. The sound of raindrops hitting the ground stopped and now I was mystified! The following afternoon, just after sunset it happened again…
Pieter identified the tree that grows there as a “Rain Tree”, Lonchocarpus capassa . Early the next morning, I went to have a look at what the raindrops could have been but could not see anything. A few days later, to my delight there were thousands of tiny purple-blue flowers on the ground of which I have a picture to show you and for those interested, it’s not the flowers that are referred to as rain, but water from an insect…
“Many Africans are very superstitious about L. capassa for it is one of the so-called rain trees, and some specimens do ‘rain’ for a week or more during the hot dry months just prior to the actual breaking of the rains. This phenomenon is found in other unrelated genera and in this case is caused by the numph of a small insect, a species of frog-hopper, Ptyelus grossus, belonging to the order Hemiptera. As a protection against the sun, the nymph covers itself with a frothy substance similar to patches of foam, popularly called ‘cuckoo-spit’, caused by common, closely related species. The insects obtain nourishment by piercing the bark of the tree with their sucking mouth parts (stylets) and sucking up the sap at great speed. They eject almost pure water equally fast, and this drips from the tree in sufficient quantity to form pools on the ground below…
flowers from Loncocarpus
April 7th, 2010, posted in Climate & Weather, Uncategorized
Could we class the internet as a form of employee? Could it be classed as cheap labour? The internet makes money for many people. The internet is a messenger. The internet supplies me with information. I certainly use the internet to bank and shop. In a rather abstract way, the internet works for me…
I write this post from the African Bush, too far away from an exchange to have, ADSL, too far away to make use of fibre optic cables, surrounded by hills prohibiting cell phone signal and thus unable to use 3G or GPRS.
My means of communication with the outside world is via a satellite internet connection. Most days it works fine and since most of my business is done via e-mail, Skype and IM, all I need to do is keep my website up-to-date, right?
During my working week I make time to write a few articles to blog about, but mostly I put together tours for people wanting to visit Africa and this takes time, only because I match each client’s interest to a tour, I do not like sending them on typical tour packages, rather, I like to find out a little more about these people, what type of accommodation they would prefer, what they would like to see and the time they have set aside to visit, then I check availability and put a selection together for them to choose from. This involves e-mailing and checking availability where ever possible online, so having internet is vital to my efficiency.
However, when we have an electric storm, I have to unplug the satellite connection to avoid being electrocuted and whilst this may afford me the opportunity to prepare e-mails or blogs, the minutes and sometimes hour tick by… Today the cloud cover is low and thick and every now and then the satellite losses its connection and I have to wait for the connection before continuing. Due to the weather, today the internet did not work for me!
October 12th, 2009, posted in Climate & Weather
We love the sound of rolling thunder. Here in the Limpopo Waterberg we get storms much the same as those in the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal. The clouds build up and then the flashes of lighting bring a spectacular display of light energy, crashing sounds and best of all, rolling thunder. We need to unplug all our appliances if we want to save them from getting struck and completely burnt to a frazzle. Those lightning protectors do not work here and the telephone cable glows blue when the lightning hits one of the old farm lines. Living a rural life can still put on an awesome lightning display to match the best laser shows out there!
bush veld storm clouds