The rains this year have been nothing short of extraordinary. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we have seen a decade’s worth of rains rolled into one extended season here in Tsavo and nature has responded to these miraculous circumstances in a big way. Some signs are impossible to miss: Greenery as far as the eye can see, ipomoea creepers blanketing the country side in an entanglment of cascading white flowers, a cacophony of birdsong, rivers and water holes filled to the brim.
Others take a more trained eye, which our pilots are perfectly positioned to see as they scan the wilderness from the skies. After each patrol, they report spotting more babies than ever before, born to all manner of species. There are lion cubs gambolling around their ever-patient mums; baby hippos with their tiny button ears popping above the river’s surface; lanky gerenuk calves, all neck and legs, flitting through the bush; tiny chicks just beginning to venture out of their nests. Elephants are also experiencing a baby boom, and if you look closely at passing herds, most have newborn calves scuttling in their midst.
In line with these miraculous times, we have had some truly extraordinary sightings in recent days: First, one of our pilots spotted an elephant mum with a set of twins by her side. For them to survive, there must be exceptionally favorable conditions, as calves are notoriously greedy feeders — so these two could not have been born at a better time. Then, on another patrol that very same week, he spotted another set of twins! These were two beautiful giraffes, mirror images of each other, nestling close to their mum. Giraffe twins is not a common site.
Given nature’s mysterious ways, things can change quickly. We know firsthand how challenging the dry season can be — and by contrast, how special it is to be blessed with rains for such an extended period. While we, like all of Tsavo’s wildlife, appreciate every drop of rain nature bestows on us now, these conditions will also serve as a beacon of hope during difficult times that undoubtedly lie ahead. After all, although the length and bounty of this particular wet season is an anomaly, at the end of every long dry season, there are rains waiting for us. And when they arrive, our wild world responds in the most marvelous manner.