Welcome to summer in the Klaserie Private Game Reserve—an exhilarating and, dare we say, scorching affair!

As we transition from spring to summer, a magical transformation unfolds in our surroundings. The most noticeable changes? The rising temperature, often soaring beyond 45 degrees Celsius, and the palpable humidity. Yet, these elements serve as pleasant reminders of our location in this wild and captivating land.

Following the initial rains, the onset of summer brings a visible shift in the flora. Trees and grass respond eagerly, as if awaiting nature’s blessing, bursting into color and vitality. This not only adds beauty to the landscape but also provides essential nourishment for the grazers and browsers, creating a vital link in the area’s ecological cycle.

Tulela is nestled along the humble yet robust Ntsiri River, meandering through the mopane belts of the region. Mopane trees, distinguished by their characteristic leaves and bark, play a crucial role in the ecosystem. For humans, they offer practical and medicinal uses, while for animals, they provide both fodder and a “safe space” due to their abundance.

There’s a special connection between the people of this land and the mopane tree, an ancient bond. In late October and throughout November, a unique event unfolds—the arrival of a moth with a soul mission: to lay eggs.

The mopane worm, the larval stage of the emperor moth (Gonimbrasia belina), thrives on mopane trees. With a wingspan of up to 13.5 cm, the adult mopane emperor moth is a magnificent and conspicuous creature, capable of causing consternation among the faint-hearted with its bat-like flight.

The moth’s lifespan is fleeting, measured in days, dedicated solely to finding a mate. Equipped with large, feathery antennae, the male detects the delicate perfume of a virgin female over long distances. The subsequent eggs, laid in batches of about 150 on the trees in spring, give rise to young larvae that play a crucial role in the local food chain.

As these larvae mature, they become as thick as a man’s finger and about seven centimeters long, providing sustenance for both humans and animals. Birds and insects prey on them, while their pupae are sought after by jackals, warthogs, and antbears.

This is just the beginning of our summer adventure, with the promise of more heat and rain to come. Join us at Tulela for exciting bush adventures with our guests. Every day is a privilege and a lesson in this remarkable place—a haven of peace.

Stay tuned for more; let us know what you think!