The Summer season at Arathusa
The summer season is upon us, and the rains will soon arrive. We can expect extremely hot weather during the day, and this heat often heralds spectacular thunder and lightning storms late in the afternoon. Everything turns a verdant green, and the trees start fruiting. Insects and reptiles are out and about, and a lot of our migratory birds return. The bush is brimming with life, constantly breathing and moving with lots of different sounds and sensory triggers.
This is another season of incredible sightings. A lot of our cats – lions and leopards in particular – aren’t seasonal in terms of having cubs, but it is a good time of the year for plains game (impalas, wildebeest and zebras) to have babies. The vegetation is nice and thick – ideal for these animals to hide their young. New mothers have access to lots of good food to produce nutritious milk for the little ones. We are already seeing lots of these young’uns running around, which is always exciting!
During the summer season, we get to see the smaller species emerge. We see dung beetles rolling around, and lots of activity with termites. Because the insects are more visible, we witness a lot of the birds swooping down to catch them. We also find many more reptiles on the move – tortoises, chameleons, and snakes.
The warmth brings the snakes out. Mambas, puffadders and occasional cobras are found while we are out on drive, often basking on the roads absorbing the warmth (generally in the late mornings and afternoons). We do find some of common (and harmless) snakes – like the red-lipped/herald snakes, the brown house and spotted bush snakes – in and around the lodge area catching lizards and small rodents. You’ll be comforted to know that the dangerous snakes are usually only found out in the wild.
The migratory birds we welcome back include cuckoos, kingfishers, rollers and some of the eagles (mainly the Wahlberg’s eagle).
In terms of our guests’ experience, the views of lush, green and beautiful bush are a big change from winter, which is characterised by dry and seemingly barren lands with a much more muted colour palette (winter does have its own magic, though…)
Guests can expect many more bush breakfasts and dinners as the climate is perfect for outdoor dining. We offer light and refreshing ingredients and salads on our summer menu, made with fresh produce sourced from local suppliers (as opposed to the hearty meals of curries and pastas in winter).
The infinity pool (ideally situated with an elevated view of our thriving waterhole) is perhaps the most popular locale during the hotter days. Most of our guests are found here, drink in hand, taking in the extraordinary view and enjoying the sightings of our signature lodge feature while they cool off.
What a wonderful time to celebrate life!