Botswana Travel Articles | October's Heat in Makgadikgadi

Makgadikgadi sunrise in October. Lee Kemp
The heat is intense, not the sweat-staining humid heat of the tropics or the sewer-stinking heat-vapours intensity of human cities, but rather a searing, dust scented intensity - and there is no relief in the shade, where an imagined breeze carries the heat further in to the soul. It is a time of discomfort for all wilderness creatures and for the people who live the seasons of Africa.Giraffes at sunset.The earth is tired from the long, dry winter and what vegetation is left is withered and brittle. At this time dust harvests swim across an unresisting earth, an earth scarred by a savage season.From early morning in October the heat pulls life into clustering groups straining into the diminishing shadows and beyond the shadows the, horizons dance in imaginary lakes, teasing heat-tormented creatures.

It is called "suicide month" for the air is still, breath-gasping still. It is a time of suffering, and there are victims, with only the wilderness undertakers reveling in the time.A frozen paw print.The Promise Beyond the Suffering

The heat is intense, but it is also invigorating for as the days pass the air becomes thick with a promise. Expectation builds in the suffering and all creatures are aware of the change, for it is written in the seasons.

A day in October: ...... and the sun rose in a cloudless sky again today, the mood of the time further expressed in the weariness of the dust-stained horizon ....October sunrise: The sun peeped over the horizon in a lazy red, yellowing in the smoke and dust as it rose into the sky, before whitening in heat as the season took its toll.Forerunners of Change

As the forerunners of a revolution, vagrants dare the season, but quickly disintegrate in the oppressive regime of the heat - but with each day the promise of a change increases as the seasons sense a shift in the balance ....

And then a morning may dawn in cloud, and the expectations reach fever pitch, but soon the heat pushes the cloud aside, and the earth gasps in disappointment - and screaming frustration takes over ....The promise of fulfillment will pass and instead spill out on the distant horizon. A feeling of intense frustration will fill the air, the feeling of seeing a lover who promised so much suddenly embracing another. Frustration rises ...

Another day in October: .... and the day is greyed in the fires of the season, smoke hangs in the air, daubing the moments in a stained haze ....Spectacular sunset.But the promise lingers in the storm cloudsby Leigh Kemp
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