Autumn Attractions at our Eastern Cape Safari Lodge
The subtle changes in the Eastern Cape bush confirm that we are slowly moving away from summer and into autumn during May. We still enjoy lovely hot days but it is definitely becoming a little bit cooler in the mornings and evenings.
Impala Ram Rutting Season During May
While on safari you will most likely see a lot of impala activity as May is the start of their rutting season. This means the males fight to see who is the strongest and who will win mating rights with the female breeding groups. The strongest male secures the spot as top ram for the rest of the year and also ensures that his genetics are passed on to the next generation. This is a very tense time as the males are very aggressive towards other males and also chase the females around. During rutting season you will notice a lot of horn clashing and also some very strange guttural noises made by the rams. Good luck boys!
Striking Pink Flowers of the Candelabra Lily
Another beautiful plant showing its colours during this time of year is the candelabra lily (Brunsvigia sp.) with its striking pink flowers. The Afrikaans name is Maartblom, meaning March flower. The pink flowers are heavily scented at night to attract pollinators such as moths. The flower head dries out after pollination and then breaks off from the plant. This round flower head is then blown across the landscape and spreads its little black seeds as it rolls around.
The Paintbrush Lily Flowers During the Eastern Cape Autumn
Another plant that flowers at this time of the year is the paintbrush lily (Scadoxus puniceus). With the surrounding landscape still green it is always nice to see some extra colour emerging. The bulbous paintbrush lily stays dormant underground until it pops out as a striking red flower in autumn. It is quite a popular pot plant in South Africa and has been cultivated in the Netherlands since the early 1800’s. These flowers only stay a few weeks before they disappear to hide below the surface until next year.
Thanks to Kariega ranger Jone Fick for these lovely insights and photographs.
Did you spend any time at Kariega Game Reserve during the autumn months (March, April and May)? We would love to hear about your favourite autumn moments on the reserve. We invite you to share your pictures on our Facebook page.