There are less than four weeks between threatening death and blooming life. In mid-December, emaciated mountain zebras had to eat dry branches in order to survive. Now fresh grass is sprouting everywhere. And thousands of bulbs in the soil of the plains wake up from their “drought dormancy”…

114 mm of rain fell in less than four weeks, from December 22nd to January 15th. This is already about half of the annual average on BüllsPort.

Bulbs “wake up”

Other areas in southern Namibia received much more rainfall. The Tsauchab Rivier (dry river) flowed at full strength several times and transformed the clay pans of the Sossusvlei in the Namib into a lakescape. The huge new Neckartal reservoir west of Keetmanshoop even overflowed.

However, BüllsPort also had reason enough to be happy. The mountain slopes now shimmer in delicate verdure, the plains are covered with white-pink and wine-red blooming lilies. Bulbs of lily species such as Crinum macowanii (Cape lily) and Ammocharis coranica have been “awakened” by the rain from years of “drought dormancy”.

Rain saves mountain zebras

And the mountain zebras’ suffering from hunger has ended (see news report “Alarm bells…” from November). At the moment they can hardly be seen. Most of them must have moved to the plateau in the Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park in the west. After very heavy rain on the plateau there is particularly good pasture and plenty of open water.

The damage to gravel roads caused by torrential floods was limited in the area of BüllsPort. The Tsondab Rivier flowed very strongly several times, but thanks to the bridge at BüllsPort it could be crossed most of the time. What a lucky coincidence: the repair work on the bridge was only completed in December.

Rain Tsondab Rivier dry river bridge D1206 BuellsPort Naukluft

Flowing Tsondab Rivier (dry river) at the bridge of the gravel road D1206 near BüllsPort. Photo: Johanna Sauber

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