April 09th, 2012
There is something almost indescribable when the rain starts in Africa. The smell of the rain as it hits the parched earth, dry and dusty and rain-free for over 3 months, that titillates the senses and awakens your eyes to yet another new dawn in Kenya.
We have been dry, seriously dry and hot since January. We watched while Europe enjoyed a very mild winter – not good for Kenya for two reasons:
- The colder Europe gets the more likely the cold air will be pushed south meeting warmer air from the African continent and bringing with it welcome, if severe, thunderstorms.
- A mild winter often means Europe and North America don’t start thinking about their African holiday planned in their summer until much later in the year and by then accommodation can be at a premium and so hard to find.
On Sunday night we had our first deluge, unexpected but most welcome. By morning the air was crisp, the smell simply marvellous and much of the dust washed away. Because it has been so dry the rain literally seeped into the ground and virtually no water remained on the surface. Good news for the water table.
Almost daily these last 4 weeks we have watched cattle herders bringing their emancipated cattle further and further afield and they seek fresh grazing, something that is increasingly hard to find.
In the game parks and reserves the dry river beds have been dry for weeks, even the permanent rivers are low yet the animals unerringly seem to find water. The drought, we hope is over. April should signal the start of what we call the ‘grass rains’ swiftly followed by the ‘long rains’, farers will have planted their crops and we can only hope the rain is bountiful and long staying.
Naturally there will be places in Africa where the rain has failed or where they have had too much. This harsh continent is unforgiving but bountiful as well. The grass will soon be green again and the flowers in full bloom. A safari just after the rain has finished, usually in May, can be so rewarding. Almost no visitors, the country is looking at its most beautiful and there is little or no dust. Strongly recommended is all we can add
We are looking forward to helping you get your clients into the heart of the newly lush African bush – contact us today with questions or requests!