In wet season the savannahs are typically flooded and lush green whereas during dry spells from January to March their grass typically looks yellow and their then concrete like soil can even get cracks due to drought. In the latter period bush fires are not uncommon and capybaras, cattle, horses, caimans and other habitants of the llanos increasingly struggle for survival.
On the bright side: Animals are easy to spot during dry season as the vegetation is not as dense and lush and wildlife concentrates near water sources (see photo on right: various genus of birds gather around a waterhole). Off roads are now dry and easier to navigate. During wet season some areas of Los Llanos are best reached by boat - a real adventure!
From dry season's desert like savannah look with large groups of birds around the scarce waterholes to the Llanos' lush and green look during rain season, each period has its perks.
Gallery forests offer greater protection from fire which would kill tree seedlings. These green corridors are important for the Llanos' ecosystem as their soil is fertile, their forests rich in fruit and seeds and their water supplies reliable even during dry spells. Gallery forests provide shelter to a range of species including monkeys, macaws, anteaters and hoatzins.
Moriche palm fruit is edible and used to make juice, jam, ice cream, a fermented "wine", oil, desserts and snacks. The trees always grow next to water or even in the water and is important to many animal species; several bird species, such as the red-bellied macaw and chestnut-fronted macaw, use it for nesting and food. Tapirs, peccaries, fish and monkeys depend on the fruit. It is not uncommon that moriche palms are part of a gallery forest.
Planning to travel?
A great gateway to Los Llanos is the city of Yopal, located at the Piedemonte Llanero and melting Llanos with Andes, catering for spectacular scenery, excellent birdwatching, wonderful horse trekking, hiking, mountain biking and insights into the eclectic mix of Andean culture and Llanero culture. Guesthouse Villa Pepita mixes the colonial charm of the Andean region of Boyaca with the Llanos' rugged and wild cowboy spirit.