It’s that time of the year again, Silvan summer. The bush seems to come back to life. And after the long wait for the first rains to appear, life in the bush changes every second.
Spring Blossoming into Summer
September, October, and November are the spring months in the South African bushveld. In the Lowveld, the mean daily temperatures during this period are 11 degrees (night) and 26 degrees (day). And the monthly rainfall is 22 mm on average.
What to Expect from a Silvan Spring
The first rains clean and clear the air, with signs of renewal everywhere. Fascinating plants start pushing their way through the soil. The well-known sausage tree, kigelia Africana, a member of the Bignonia family, has large, wine-red, and trumpet-shaped flowers full of nectar. Therefore, they attract birds and bees from dawn to dusk.
The sausage-shaped fruits are not of the delicatessen variety. And it’s only for animals with strong enough teeth to crush this rather hard “sausage” while still green.
Humans slice the fruit and apply it to skin abrasions, and reputedly also to skin cancers.
Sugary Treats for Sunbirds
The Weeping boerbean (Schotia brachypetala) is a large tree that produces a riot of dark red flowers in spring. It’s heavily laden with nectar which literally drips down the tree. As you might imagine, it attracts every kind of sunbird imaginable. Other birds and animals also come over for a sweet treat.
A Silvan Summer
In the Lowveld, summer lasts for more than the country’s average three months, starting in October and lasting till March. Summers can be scorching, with temperatures soaring to 35 degrees, occasionally even higher, with high humidity.
The evenings are warm and sultry, with highs of about 20 degrees. The rain usually falls in the form of late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. And the average precipitation is about 780mm per annum.
Setting the Scene
You can clearly see the changes happening around you, as the bushveld grows grey and yellow, turning into green thickets and grasslands. Many resources such as water and food become more readily available to all species. Trees start sprouting new leaves, and grass shoots start growing. Furthermore, the new beautiful wildflowers offer that extra bit of nourishment and injects life back into the bush.
During the summer months, the bushveld is at its most beautiful. Therefore, it’s the ideal time to visit if you haven’t seen it before. However, in summer, the veld is exceptionally dense, making it a bit more difficult to see animals. But animals will move around more often than in winter due to the abundance of food and water. So, you an spot the on en route!
Newborn Cuteness Alert
As the first proper rains have fallen, newborn season is a go. After a long six and half month gestation, baby impala are almost around every corner. The female impala hopes for the rain to arrive on time to make it easier to raise their young. The more mommy eats, the better the mommy’s milk will be!
The bushveld starts to provide new lush vegetation for all the animals, dams fill up, and dried-up river beds start flowing again, providing an abundance of water to those in desperate need. The animals that had their mating season in winter will start giving birth during the peak times of the wet season. Animals like impala, zebra, warthog and the blue wildebeest seem to be the first to drop their newborn babies onto the African soil.
Fauna, Flora and More
An abundance of fauna and insects also return to the area, including dung beetles, dragonflies and plenty of butterflies. Migratory birds return to the warmer regions of South Africa after visiting the northern hemisphere in the cold winter months.
Reptiles such as snakes and tortoises come out of hibernation and start getting more active as temperatures get warmer. And not to forget the chameleons that can be tricky to see in night drives.
Come Experience a Silvan Summer
As you can see, the change from winter to summer is something you don’t want to ever miss out on. Come visit Silvan in summer – it’s all going down right now and we’re waiting for you!
Contact the Rhino Africa Travel Experts to start planning your dream Silvan Safari trip today. I look forward to showing our world on safari!