Everything in life is generally unpredictable and this week has just proved that once again.
Monday kicked off with a relatively wet Game Drive, but students were awarded with a sighting of a rather wet and miserable looking elephant bull, happily doing what they do best in Marula season! Later that afternoon, we had Cobus introduce everyone to the weird and wonderful world of creepy crawlies (Arthropods), and went out after lecture to see what was ‘out and about’ after the rain. Tuesday all day was dedicated to the theory behind rifles, and after the lecture everyone agrees, a tool in a guide’s life that needs to be respected!
Photo: Jolandie Botha
Little did we know that this would also be the turning point for our week, and not in a good way. Out of the blue, the clouds built up, and they didn’t need much convincing to produce rain, and rain it did!
Pretty much most of Africa’s fauna and flora has adapted to need little rain, but how do they cope with lots of it? In just three days, we received more than our annual expected rainfall! The rain started soaking in to the earth beautifully, up to the point where everything was saturated, but then it kept on raining and raining and raining. Soon, little streams start resembling small rivers and small streams develop where they never use to occur.
Our local river in the area, the Makutswi (as seen in the photo above), which is normally dry or holds very little water for up to 9 months of the year was fed by all these newly developed streams and drainage lines, rising steadily by the minute until it broke over its banks, creating a path of destruction, and doing a bit of landscaping by removing a few trees. Needless to say, after all this rain, the Makutswi river ended up reaching its all-time highest level in recent years early on Thursday morning.
To all the concerned friends and family members of our students, not to fret – they are all safe and relatively dry. The campus dam reached an all time high, but there is no threat to the living areas at campus, and luckily, no damage from the rain (besides an unhappy internet antenna).
Due to all the rain that we have received, we were stuck indoors for the remainder of the week, so students got better acquainted with rifles (in the form of dry runs), watched a few documentaries and studied, a lot! Mother nature definitely won this round!. Still, today, there are areas further downstream that cannot be reached, although the water levels are dropping quickly.
Tomorrow morning our students will write their Arthropods and Rifles tests and head off for a well deserved week off. To our students travelling during the off week, be careful, be safe, and enjoy every second of it, because we are in for a busy third semester!
On a separate note, a huge welcome to the Bushwise Hospitality students, who started off on very wet terms! Enjoy your bush & wilderness orientation course!
Until next time,
Charles and The Bushwise Team