The first rain drops that hit the ground after the long and dry winter months are rapidly transforming the arid landscape into green plains with lush vegetation and breathe new life into the dry and dusty land. Thorn trees are becoming alive and adorning themselves with blossoms, migratory birds are returning to their breeding grounds and the plains are filled with new life.
The rainy season is the time of the year when many of the antelope species give birth to their offspring – a time when food is abundant and plentiful. After a gestation period of up to 9 months, females usually isolate themselves from the group and commonly give birth to a single calf or lamb which remains hidden for the first few weeks until they are old enough to follow their mother. Most juveniles have a light brown coat after they are born which serves as an effective camouflage and survival strategy: The brownish colour blends in with the surrounding grass and soil and thus, increases chances of remaining undetected by predators. The mother returns a few times to its hiding place to nurse her offspring, whereupon it changes its position and inconspicuously awaits her return. After a few weeks the offspring will join the herd and soon develop its species-specific colouration.
Even though Okonjima has only seen a few unimpressive rain showers so far and we are still waiting in anticipation for the big downpours and cloudbursts that will transform the dry riverbeds into flowing streams, the plains are revived with plenty of new life – making every drive a extra special experience.