The debatable topic of fire; Friend or Foe, continues here at Londolozi. The management technique of using fire for savanna grassland has always been a heated debate. Some are of the opinion that this should only be done towards the end the dry season, as close to the first rains as possible.
This is done so that all the dry, moribund natural material will combust and return essential nutrients to the soil. This aids in the germination of seeds and most importantly a beautiful green flush occurs which attracts great concentrations of game. Others, however, are of the opinion that one should burn in winter preceding a cold front which brings a light soaking rain. The question of a lightning strike igniting an uncontrolled fire is also of concern to everyone as it could potentially cause unprecedented damage to the existing bushveld. Both theories work extremely well for both parties, providing the rains come of course.
Here we are in the middle of a cold front, a low pressure system bringing in cloudy weather, drizzle and lots of hot chocolate on the morning game drive. This cold front has brought the rain, which proves that the theory of burning in winter is in fact the right one. The scorched earth is already transforming into an emerald green blanket of grass, full of sugars and all the rich energy that the great herds demand. So we welcome the rain and end the debate, well at least for this year.
All Photos by: Rich Laburn