After a grueling El Niño-driven drought, the river finally flowed for the first time in 18 months after 33 mm of rain. El Niño is a phenomenon that occurs when warm water in the tropical latitudes of the western Pacific is displaced eastwards towards South America. As a result, the average temperature increases across the world, and rain patterns shift globally. For us here in Southern Africa, that has meant a long period of very dry weather, which has put stress on the flora and fauna, until the recent much-needed rains. This does not break the drought but goes along way to ensuring that the tree foliage will grow and the grasses will begin to return. The forecast is for a normal rainy season and this is critical to the reserve. Elsewhere in the entirety of the Greater Kruger it has rained even more and we look forward to the signs of summer: balmy heat and the much needed sound of thunder and raindrops. For an in-depth study of long-term weather and our chances for a good rainy season and beyond, see here, which is a monthly update on El Niño and its opposite, La Niña. by the climate prediction center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a department of the United States government.