05 December 2013 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Luminous lightning shots in South Africa

There are few things as spectacular as lightning, and marvellous displays can be seen all over South Africa at certain times of the year.

A February thunderstorm in the Kudu Private Game Reserve in Mpumalanga. Photo courtesy of Sheldrickfalls

The Love South Africa group on Flickr is constantly updated with fantastic images taken all over the country. Why not share your pictures, too?

Each week we choose photos from this group to showcase on our blog. This week we're featuring some incredible lightning shots taken by members of our Flickr group.

When the rain comes down it may not be ideal beach weather, but there are compensations. Many parts of South Africa fall in a summer rainfall region, and this is where you may get to experience the short, sharp thunderstorms characteristic of this time of the year.

Photo courtesy of Antonella AfricanSoul, aka Antophotasia Cape Town

The smell of rain falling on dry earth, the knowledge that crops and flowers are being watered, and the prospect of spending the rest of the day at a local restaurant in the company of friends are all compensations for the change in weather. But one of the biggest attractions is the chance to see a dramatic lightning display, like this one.

Photo courtesy of Ohan Smit

Lightning photography is tricky, and takes skill and patience. Photographer Clint explains how he captured the photograph below, in Tamboti camp in the Kruger National Park: 'I took around two hours of non-stop, 20-second exposures to finally have a bolt enter my frame. I used a torch to light up the foreground and the purple sky is completely natural and unedited.'

Photo courtesy of Clint, aka Wild in Africa

eMalahleni (or Witbank) is a large town in Mpumalanga with some 22 collieries in and around it, as well as a number of power stations and a steel mill, which means it's not the most scenic of towns in the country. But when a large thunderstorm rolls past, it too has its moment of glory.

Photo courtesy of Stefan Kleynhans

This picture of a summer storm was taken at Bluewater Bay in the Eastern Cape, near the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. It's a great stop off on your way to or from the Addo Elephant National Park.

Photo courtesy of Graham Hobbs

Finally, summer in Johannesburg is not summer without thunderstorms. The City of Gold is renowned for its lightning shows on a summer's evening. The best thing to do is take cover, unplug your electronic equipment and enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof. In this picture you can see the three, green-coloured minarets of the Midrand mosque (near the centre).

Photo courtesy of Anton Bosman, aka OddPix1

So when the clouds roll in, why not try your luck photographing lightning and then share your photos with the Love South Africa group? We're looking forward to seeing your photos soon.

Category: Attractions

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