Botswana: The Land of Extremes

It is said it never rains – it just pours. How true that is about Botswana.

It doesn’t just get hot here – it gets very hot. For the last month now temperatures have been well over 40C everyday. With no rain the vegetation has become very sparse, grazing is almost non-existent and the animals are looking very thin.

Yesterday, as Sue had things to do in Orapa, we decided to have an early evening braai in the Orapa Game Reserve. The wind had been blowing a gale all day so already things weren’t looking promising for starting a fire, but it did bring in clouds.

Shortly after entering the park it started raining and by the time we reached the pan it was pouring. The wind was driving the rain almost parallel to the ground and then it started hailing. It was the most amazing sight to see this massive storm hitting the reserve, and of course providing the vital water the park so desperately needs.

Most of the animals were seeking cover from this torrential rain, however the springbok didn’t seem to find it necessary to get out of the storm. They stood or lay right out in the open – being hit by hail at that speed must have been sore.

Botswana SpringbokThe park and the roads were becoming flooded and water was all over the place. We then witnessed the most incredible sight. There were tortoises all over the place, drinking from the puddles. Don’t laugh, but it was like a plague of tortoises.

A road in Orapa Game Reserve

A road in Orapa Game Reserve

The tortoises probably had their last drink about 10 months ago and they weren’t going to miss this opportunity and were getting as much as they could before the water seeped into the ground.

20Km away back home we had, had no rain at all. The wind was still blowing, so we braaied in our kitchen. With all the cloud and dust around we had the most beautiful sunset, reminding us why we call the road we live on, Sunset Boulevard.

The wind intensity grew and grew and we had the worse dust storm we have ever witnessed. Trees were almost bending in half and the inside of our house covered in a layer of fine dust.

Then as quick as the storm had started, so it ended. There was a total calm and above was the stunning African night sky.


About PeteMorrie

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2 Responses to Botswana: The Land of Extremes

  1. Suki says:

    Lovely to read of the rain in the pan and the dear tortoises! Amazing. Extreme experiences. Great share.

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