This year has seen the dangerous combination of record low rainfall and soaring temperatures in the Madikwe Game Reserve. The below collection of photos records the past few weeks in the reserve, dealing with the drought and trying to reduce the effect on animals and people.
The Marico area used to be home to a large number of cattle farms with associated boreholes. When the park was initially opened, many of these were closed off in favour of using the Molatedi Dam. Unfortunately, this year the dam is at record low levels.
Until the rains come, fire remains a particular risk. A veld fire started but luckily, thanks to co-operation between all the lodges in the reserve, the disaster was averted for the wildlife, property and people of the park.
The drought has meant that many of the boreholes need to be relocated, geo-tagged and re-dug. In the below photo, Etali Safari Lodge owner, Koos Potgieter, showed us how to use a divining rod to find water underground.
Staff toiled through the heat to make certain that life-sustaining water reaches all areas of the park. They are the real unsung heroes!
Koos and Rob, a park wildlife specialist, inspected the solar-powered pump that transports the precious water to Tlou Dam.
And finally the elephants reaped the reward of all the hard work at the Etali Waterhole.