With their recent heavy rains that led to flooding in the Samburu National Park, Tourism Officials are blaming the worlds changing climate for these unusual events. This time last year Samburu was suffering one of the worst droughts in its modern history, the game dying and local tribesmen moving their herds in an attempt to keep them alive. This year the rains have destroyed roads and homes, arriving as a downpour that raised the river overnight so high that people had to climb trees to escape its rise.
It was not just a localised event either. Over 5 inches fell in the Masai Mara Conservation area over 100 miles to the south. No damage was done; indeed it was welcomed to refresh the grasslands which have now burst forth in new growth. The issue is that rain should just not fall in February. The main rains run from April to the mid/late June, the so-called small rains coming in November.
February should be dry, with grazed grasslands offering great views of the game and the animals gathering around water holes. But so long as there is rain and the animals thrive, does it really matter? I was in Kenya 3 years ago and almost got stuck in mud during March. I was there last year in June and didn’t see a drop of rain for a whole week. The weather is changing, less predictable and more violent. But so long as there is enough rain for the local herdsmen to feed their stock and the game animals to live, better rain at the wrong time than the droughts that kill thousands.