13 October 2008
Lapalala’s first storm of the season was spectacular! The wild expanse of the reserve was brought into stark relief against the night sky, as jagged lightning carved the night with luminescent light.
The thirsty earth has received rain after months of dryness.
Lapalala’s core conservation team have been waiting for the first rains, so that summer hot burns could be conducted as part of their veld management programme.
The dry top growth ignites almost immediately. Hot orange heat of fire soon blends with the intensity of the African sun.
The heat of the fire and its smoke flushes insects from the undergrowth.
Raptors, such as the yellow-billed kite come in to take advantage of the bounty.
When burns take place in a reserve the size of Lapalala, special tools are sometimes used to get the job done. Elias shows us a drip torch…
As Elias walks through the bush, a trail of flame ignites in his wake.
After initial bursts of heat and flame, the fires soon die down, revealing a new veld landscape, ready for the next rains.