Shamwari experienced a hot and dry summer from the effects of El Nino and followed with a dry winter. A small amount of rain recently fell as spring is approaching us from the 1st September. It has created a wealth of intense colours as the grasslands have now turned into a welcoming green once again.
Shamwari is luckily enough to boast 6 incredible biomes of different vegetation types. As the increase of rain we should start seeing bursts of colour as the different wildflowers start appearing with the summer rains. I recently saw a beautiful red coloured flower up on the high grasslands, Tritoniopsis caffra. Which has sword like leaves and vibrant red asymmetrical flowers that begin in September through to December.
The low lying grasslands will change with carpets of colour from pink, purple or yellow due to the Aizoaceae (Ice Plant Family), Asteraceae (Daisy family) and Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family).
The activity increases around the flower areas as birds and other small mammals are attracted by the many different pollinators such as bees, various insects, bats and some rodent species do their part in pollinating the flowers for the next generation of seeds to flower when the conditions are just right.
As I sat typing this, this morning I could hear the calls of a Burchell’s Coucal bird. Nicknamed the rainbird with its mellow hooting du-du-du-du call that is likened to water bubbling. It is often heard before, during and just after rain. We welcome spring and the splashes of colour from the many wildflowers that we can enjoy while out on game drive on Shamwari Game Reserve.