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The beautiful cold - Winter in the Serengeti

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Baridi Nzuri is a Swahili phrase that means the beautiful cold or beautiful winter and since the June Solstice winter and its magic has illuminated the southern Serengeti. Water is very scarce. Cold wind blows the dried golden grass and the pastel colours of the sky give light to majestic days.

Dancing silhouettes of the horizon, animals are now facing a time of both hardship and magic. Food is scarce yet the unconditional love of their young will push the herds, prides and troops to limits beyond. There are no kings in the dust blown immensity; everyone is master of its own fate. Decisions have to be taken and life is the sole judge. 

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The resident prides of lions will have to split temporarily or to travel further to ensure survival of all. The mothers of cubs will have to be the most skilled hunters as opportunities become the promise to live another moon. The innocence of cubs playing carelessly under their mom's watch portrays very well the duality of this amazing season. Both harsh and splendid, winter will shape the future of the mighty lions. 

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Cheetahs have finally regained their plains as it is best to them: large numbers of gazelles away from the madness of the migration when too many hyenas and lions maraud. The cubs will learn to hunt and will follow the path of their experienced mothers. As the crown of a perfect natural balance, the cheetah from his perch dominates the vastness of south. The first rays of the cold light allows for incredibly iconic visions of pristine Africa, when cheetahs become guardians of the plains…

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The erratic dance of the climate will astonish you as it does for all the inhabitants. Winter is a mystical time: the cold winds carry the wildest stories for who is willing to be present. The heart of Africa does not sleep and the Serengeti is always at play…

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By Isbjorn Viot, Camp Manager at Sanctuary Kusini