New Year 2020

For much of the world, the festive season is one of flurries of snow, crisp mornings and warm drinks, large belt loosening meals and general overindulging and overabundance, the southern hemisphere, however, does things a little differently… December is traditionally the height of our rainy season, with hot, humid days, interspersed with torrential, tropical, downpours. (That being said in our changing climate the rains we rely on to keep our country green, to swell the maize in the fields and fill Kariba dam for our power and electricity are markedly suffering…) However, it is a time for family to come together and celebrate what we have, for most, with a traditional nshima, a little meat, and some tomato relish.

Although camp is closed during the rains, the animals for whom we exist still continue in their daily routines, but not in the dry dust you might remember. The bush is verdant and humming with a mesmerising spectrum of emerald, the tree canopy a thick camouflage shafted by the occasional incisive sunburst, and the mud thick and squelchy - all the better for a much-deserved elephant spa!

As we approach the eve of 2020 tonight, here is a small snapshot of something far removed from the riotous fireworks and crowds, but perhaps a revelry of its own. As the clouds build in the hot afternoon to towering anvils, and the storm giants in the skies begin the drumming the thunder and send great ropes of searing lightning crackling across the horizon, the bush thrills with the expectation and promise of rain and rejuvenation. The rain will break, sending a sweeping curtain of water across the Zambezi, leopard skinning the languid water and setting the red mud to dance. Wet is everywhere, dripping through the forest from tightly woven branches and creepers, in the tangled manes and tufted tails of our resident Chakwenga pride, blurring the smart stripes of the zebra and droplets caught like diamonds in the eyelashes of elephants.

And so, from us all at Kayila, Anabezi, Amanzi and the Ana Tree Collections Team, we wish you, our guests, friends and all fellow enthusiasts of the wild, a truly exceptional end to 2019 and a phenomenal start to an exciting year ahead.

We can’t wait for what next season will bring!

Written by Tara Vivian-Neal

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