Winter in the Lowveld is relatively mild. Even so, the long dark evenings, cold mornings and the unbearable dust make most us wish that spring would hurry along. So what are the signs that spring is returning to the Lowveld?
#1: The refreshing first real rain
It is the first real rainfall that heralds the coming of spring in the Lowveld. The iconic downpours, which wash away the layers of dust built up over a long dry winter and transform the landscape from dirty dingy beige to vibrant energising greens.
It is the spring rains that breathe life back into the Lowveld, making it seem brighter and bolder, turning the dramatic landscapes found within Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate into a photographer’s dream.
The return of African breeding-migrants from areas further north is a real sign that spring has arrived. Paradise Fly-catchers, Diederik Cuckoos and White-rumped Swifts magically appear over Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate, filling the air with their song as they seek mates and search for the perfect nesting site. While pairs of Wahlberg’s Eagles can also be found circling Likweti Estate in search of a place to breed.
The warmer mornings and milder evenings that heralding the arrival of spring, also awakens Likweti’s resident reptiles from their winter hibernation.
Leopard tortoises slowly emerge from their burrows and are often found sipping rainwater off the paved roads. While skinks and lizards can be found on the rocks, basking in the warmth of the midday sun.
#4: Newborns’ around every corner
With the first rains come the first newborn antelopes. Soon around every corner you will find the wobbly legs and unsure bleats of a newborn impala, kudu, nyala, waterbuck, or if you are lucky one of the rarer antelope species found on the Likweti Estate.
In fact during the months of spring, Likweti Estate becomes a wildlife crèche with nests full of chirping chicks, ungainly giraffe calves with their mothers and clusters of goslings swimming in circles around their parents at the dam.
The Lowveld is renowned for its rich, lush, vegetation and it is Spring that sparks this into new life. Spring is here when new leaves burst forth with the first rains, providing a patchwork of every green imaginable. As the mountains, ravines, open-grasslands and indigenous forests of Likweti Estate burst into life with a vibrancy that is unmatched, providing food, shelter and a place to roam for the countless species of animals, reptiles and birds which have made this special part of the Lowveld at Likweti Estate their home.