Satara Summer 2021 – In Awe Of Thunderstorms

Ever since I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the power of our African thunderstorms. And nowhere can these awesome powers of nature be appreciated more than out in South Africa’s wild places, where the view is big and wide and unpolluted by human additions to the landscape. Our trip to the Kruger National Park in December 2021 was punctuated by several of these storms as many parts of South Africa is currently experiencing a much better rainy season than we’ve had in several years.

There is however one storm that stands out above all others in our memories. In the afternoon of the 27th of December we were travelling along the S126 Sweni Road south of Satara, when dark clouds started appearing in our rearview mirrors as a thunderstorm approached from the west. We made it back to the main tarred road just in time before the first big drops started to fall. We had a few minutes to look on in awe as the dark clouds rolled up, lightning striking almost continuously, before the full might of the rain driven by a very strong wind passed over us. At times it was impossible for the car’s wipers to keep up with the deluge. We were almost back at Satara by the time the storm had passed over, heading in the direction of Nwanetsi.

26 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – In Awe Of Thunderstorms

  1. Pingback: Satara Summer 2021 – Banded Rubber Frog | de Wets Wild

  2. Pingback: Satara Summer 2021 – Frogging | de Wets Wild

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thankfully we were on the tar road when the worst of it passed over, Tracy, and when in Kruger we rarely exceed 25km/h while driving along, so it was much easier for me as the driver to enjoy the spectacle too!

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  3. wetanddustyroads

    Dit is van die mooiste reeks foto’s van ‘n donderstorm wat ek nog gesien het!
    Dis mos nou iets wat ons hier aan die Weskus nie sommer ken nie (en selde ervaar). Maar met ons onlangse “road trip” was die donderstorm by Golden Gate vir my een van die mooiste ervarings – iets wat ek nog vir lank sal onthou!

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  4. TaffaSaffa

    Having grown up in that electric storm alley in the Foreistata, I met two big makulu thunderstorms over the ocean, at Walker Bay and also the Breede River estuary. I so wish you could experience that. I just luvv God’s laser shows with 3D sound. Thanks for sharing your excellent photography.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Welcome here, Mythbusta!

      I very much enjoy admiring the thunder and lighting from a solid footing. Makes me feel very small and humbled that amongst all that power and magnificence there’s a place and love for me too. But I think being on the ocean in a storm like those you experienced might be a bridge too far for me. I should never have watched “The Perfect Storm”… 😀

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      1. mythbusta

        We lived up country while in exile from the Cape. During thunderstorms, we would draw open the curtains as our windows were from ceiling to floor. Then, armed with toasted cheese & salami sandwiches, hot chocolate and a pile of cushions, the four of us would be in awe by being somewhat thunderstruck.

        The jetty at Witsand and Sopiesklip are safe enough, perhaps even in the Perfect Storm. Sopiesklip is on Die Plaat between Hermanus and Gansbaai. Lightning was a pale yellow and did smell unpleasant, with a sulfurious tang to it. It had to be the salty ocean air/mist that had caused it. The drum rolls were particularly impressive. Even I, usually thunder proof, got a few scares.

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  5. Writer Lori

    Wow, what a fabulous series of photos! I find cloud formations endlessly fascinating and lightning never fails to thrill. We have some amazing thunderstorms here in Florida, too, and while the lightning scares me, I am also utterly transfixed. As Ann said, these photos capture all the drama of a storm magnificently….💕

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  6. Anne

    These breathtaking photographs capture the drama of thunderstorms: I can feel the rush of the hot air, see the leaves fluttering ahead of the build-up of dark clouds, hear the rolling thunder and am blinded by the flashes of lightning you show. Those first fat drops on your windscreen … the smell of wet hot tar … and the brilliant herby smell once the rain has passed. Your photographs evoke all of these things!

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