Across everyone’s lips for the last few months has been the talk of drought. Along with that, the shaking of heads at the dry expanse that greets you as you look around at the bush and the surrounds of camp has stirred up many a conversation. While we have had small amounts of rain over the last few weeks, it hasn’t been enough to quench the insatiable thirst of the bush, nor has it been much to write home about.

But that’s about to change. While I’m not writing home, I’m writing from home with a happy report of the first summer rains at Londolozi. Life-giving, energy restoring, re-affirming rain.

There was much to say about how happy we all were to see these big, heavy drops of water fall from the sky, and drip from trees and roofs. I could have gone on about what the rain will do for the land and how happy it made all of us to feel new energy in the air, with the promise of regeneration and renewal. But before I could get into any of the philosophical stuff, I started the day on Monday, as the rain began to softly fall, by filming a bit of it for my own personal use, and to share happily with friends and family with the simple caption… “It’s finally raining!. As the morning progressed and the rain began to harden in a steady stream, I couldn’t help raising my phone’s camera to capture the joy around me as the whole of Londolozi celebrated. All around me were ecstatic faces, broad smiles and people standing in the rain with open arms, heads cast to the sky. This display of joy, along with the poetry of water falling and splashing in all the different ways it does was too much for me, and the camera kept rolling.

I couldn’t help acknowledging a few common themes flash through my mind as I witnessed the rain. One, very clearly, was that of joy and gratitude for something that so many people may take for granted. It was (and is) an incredible thing to witness how joy feeds off joy, and gratitude grows from gratitude-whether your own or someone else’s.  It was also a pertinent affirmation of the age-old idea that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and a reminder to simply be grateful for the fundamental things in life, and let the rest of the complicated, messy things go.

Finally, as the rain dripped off my nose, and I recognised the glorious, childhood feeling of squelching around in wet shoes and socks, it was a reminder to take yet another leaf out of nature’s book. It was a reminder that patience pays off, and that the things that we need will come eventually. You just have to have a little faith.

I’m sure that in the coming weeks we’ll capture more stories about the changing nature of the bush after this initial rain. We’ll rejoice in the extra green of the bush in the coming Week In Pictures, and we’ll report back on how the land and the animals have responded to the rain. Hopefully we’ll get much more rain as well. For now we’re celebrating the first real summer rain at Londolozi – wet feet and all!

About the Author

Amanda Ritchie

Marketing & Photography Manager

Amanda joined the Londolozi team early in 2015 & immediately took the Londolozi Studio to an exciting new level. Her unflappable work ethic & perfectionism are exemplary, & under her guidance the Studio has become one of the busiest areas on Londolozi. The ...

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on The First Summer Rains at Londolozi

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So happy to see that real rain has arrived. Lovely narrative and joyful video.

Bronwyn Laburn

Amazing stuff!!!!

Joanne von Zeuner

I read this blog with tears running doen my cheecks. We just returned from Londolozi 2 weeks ago. We were truly saddened by the drought in the Sabi Sand area. Wow. Just speechless and thankful. Enjoy and dance in the rain for me 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Thanks for sharing the happiness

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you, Joanne. I really believe in what I wrote in my blog- a little patience and faith goes a long way. Nature has it’s reasons and if we just ‘hang-tight’, the plan is revealed. Never the less, we are extremely happy for the rain (in fact, it rained again this morning and so we are squelching around again!)


I’m looking through our window at the rain that didn’t stop all day and I can’say I’m happy!
But we feel happy for you and for wildlife :just a different look at rain that can bring joy or irritation …

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for your comment 🙂


AT LAST !!!! I have been scrutinizing the weather forecast for the Skukuza areafor weeks and even months now, hoping for a quick relief of the fauna. I wish the stress on animals will soon diminish and I wish I could contemplate their joy. Best wishes to all of you from a rainy Paris!

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for your good wishes, and for keeping an eye on us, Jacqueline!


Thank the Good Lord for your amazing rainfall. I have tears of joy and a happy heart for all of you. Have been praying along with you all for this. Bring on some green grass and full dams for our wildlife family. Great article and thank you Amanda for sharing the joy and pictures with us. Have a great day all of you.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for your wishes Lea!

Tim Musumba

It is good that the rains are now back and the weakened herbivores can now have enough pasture and energy to survive more so the Buffalo’s!Lastly what did you mean by saying While I’m not writing home, I’m writing from home with a happy report of the first summer rains at Londolozi?

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks for your comment Tim. What I meant by “writing from home” was just that I live and work at Londolozi, and this is my home. So I used a play on the term “nothing to write home about”… hope that makes sense! 🙂

Mary Beth Wheeler

What happy news – and some of us Americans need some happy news this day!! Here’s to a wet and green bush!

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks Mary Beth… we are already seeing lots of new green shoots popping up around camp and the rest of the bush!

Amy Attenborough

Yaaaaay for rain!! Beautiful Mands. Video made by Rot’s rain dance and Calasse’s super sexy puddle leaping Crocs!! 🙂

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks Ams 🙂

Susan Strauss

I have tears in my eyes…Yay for the rain! And I agree that as an American this blog update could not have been any better timed today after yesterday’s events. It may be dire now, but the rains WILL come. Hang on!

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much Susan. We were all pretty excited as well!

Marg Guit

Rejoicing along with you. First rains always lift the spirits!
Being there in mid-October, I appreciate how desperate the situation was. Let’s hope there is more to come.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for the comment, Marg. Hopefully you’ll see the difference that the rain has brought on the blog in future months! We actually woke up to early morning rain this morning, which is very exciting!

Jill Larone

Great video Amanda, and I’m so happy the rain has come for you there!! I hope it continues until everything is lush and green, the Sand River flows and the animals are strengthened again, with plenty to eat! When that happens, please post a picture of the Elephants happily playing in the river again. 😊

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you Jill- I will be sure to get a picture of the Elephants in the river!

sandra harmon

watched this video with joyful-thankful tears!

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