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Fauna & Flora

Dicoma Tomentosa

A plant that drew much attention this season is the herb type plant called Dicoma tomentosa. It is currently abundant on the reserve favouring road verges and open areas.

Double-banded Sandgrouse

A thoroughly rewarding start to the day at this time of the year is leaving on a short game drive down Argyle Road at the break of dawn.

Dragonflies

Dragonflies have ancient ancestors dating back to at least 300 million years ago. From the order Odonata, dragonflies form the suborder Anisoptera, about 3000 species are known globally.

Dung Beetle

Undoubtedly one of the most commonly noticed insect activities is that of the dung beetles, particularly those rolling dung balls.

Dwarf Mongoose

The Dwarf Mongoose, the smallest of the mongoose family, is a typical mongoose: It has a large pointed head, small ears, a long tail, short limbs, and long claws.

Elephants

The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest and heaviest terrestrial mammal in Africa and has an extensive range from south of the Sahara Desert to South Africa. 

Elephants - the Bulls of Ingwelala

Ingwelala is a beautiful bushveld retreat situated in the middle of a vast wilderness. Together with the Timbavati Reserve, Klaserie Reserve and the Umbabat Reserve it comprises of 180,000 hectares.

Fever Tree

The fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) is one of the easiest thorn trees to identify. A distinctive identifying characteristic is the green to yellow bark. It tends to be a greener yellow in its early years, turning more yellow as it ages.

Fireflies

In some of the “know your places” the summer evenings produce a stunning spectacle in the form of fireflies as they go flashing about, advertising their whereabouts. 

Fireflies 2

Visitors to the Reserve post the onset of rains will have noticed the multitude of fireflies visible after dusk, some interesting facts about these phenomenal little insects are worth mentioning here:

Fish Eagle

It is a very special moment each morning to be woken by the call of the African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), especially given the fact that at this time of the year the Ingwelala water courses are usually bone dry. 

Flame Creeper

The Flame Creeper (Combretum microphyllum) when in flower is a brightly coloured creeper to look out for on your travels around Ingwelala.

Freshwater mussels and mongooses

These banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) have really cashed in on a protein supply of freshwater mussels, located in stagnant water pools along the Nhlaralumi River. The feeding behaviour and skill set of the mongooses is fascinating and the biology of the freshwater mussel is intriguing.

Frogs

Where there is water there are frogs. Members in Bungalow # 197 brought to my attention these tiny Marbled Snout-burrower frogs (Hemisus marmoratus) occasionally found in the swimming pool.

Giraffe

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an animal that has always fascinated me, its shape and size unmistakable in the African savanna with its intriguing physiological adaptations.

Grey Heron (Ardea Cinerea)

Grey Herons are commonly found in South Africa, and it may be confused with the Black-Headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala).

Grey-headed Bush Shrike

The cool winter mornings in the bushveld are currently being greeted by the somewhat mournful call of the Grey-headed Bush-Shrike (Malaconotus blanchoti).

Ground Hornbill

The Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri is a conservation icon of South Africas savannas. Once widespread and fairly common, a recent analysis of the species status in South Africa has revealed that both its range and numbers decreased

Guineafowl

A definitive sound in the dawn chorus at this time of the year is the enthusiastic contribution from the Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris).

Helmet-shrike - Retz’s

Retz’s Helmet-Shrike (Prionops retzii) occurs widely through Africa, south of the equator. Preferred habitat is riverine woodland, mopani woodland and deciduous. Sexes are alike in appearances.

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