NAIROBI PARK DIARY

So much mud

Many species of wildlife enjoy it when the park is wet

In Summary

The 'short' rains have now become the 'long' rains

A flooded section of Nairobi National Park
A flooded section of Nairobi National Park
Image: GARETH JONES

Nairobi normally has two seasonal rain cycles annually. At the beginning of November 2019, what is known as the “short rains” began. At first, the rains seemed normal.

However, as the weeks become months and the intensity of the rains did not stop, so the Nairobi National Park became a very wet muddy place. The normally accessible park roads suddenly became very challenging and even not drivable in places.

Even as I write now at the beginning of February 2020, it is raining outside, and this is the start of the fourth month of rain. The “short” rains have now become the “long” rains.

Many parts of the park have become swamped and very boggy in places, therefore causing the road surfaces to become thick, muddy, undrivable challenges, especially the notorious black cotton sections. KWS have a sign at the main gate stating the roads are in a bad state and are not drivable, even for 4x4 vehicles.

However, even though this muddy wet season is frustrating in that it is not suitable for us humans to view much wildlife, many species of wildlife thrive when the park is wet. Just imagine some rhino all covered with nice, fresh, wet mud, after enjoying wallowing in a muddy stream. Then seeing the wet mud on them as they were singing a rhino song like “Mud, mud... glorious mud! Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!”

Seasons come and seasons go, we are not in control of the weather. God has ways that are higher that our ways. I believe at times it is good for wildlife to be without human interference.

There are many sensitive species that thrive best when left alone. It is expected that during the month of February, the rains will stop so the park can begin to dry out.