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Fauna & Flora


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.


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. 

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.


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.


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


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.


An adult hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) that died from fighting injuries at Buffels Hide revealed some interesting intra species behaviour.

Honey Badgers

When travelling around the Reserve, keep a look out for what seems like “clay balls” as depicted in this picture. 


The following text is an account from a Member who came face to face with a hyena in camp early one morning.


The characteristic sound of the impala rutting season can not be mistaken in the African bushveld and this ancient ritual of activity peaks during the month of May.

Jackal: Side-striped

An unmistakable call is that of the Side-striped jackal (Canis adustus) which is accentuated in camp during the cold crisp winter evenings, piercing the night air as its high pitch echoes and hollows, disclosing its whereabouts.

Kite: Yellow-billed

It is hard to believe that winter is behind us and within the month the first of the Yellow-billed Kites (Milvus aegyptius) will return for their annual summer visit. At Ingwelala it is the subspecies M. A. parasitus that we have come to know and view appreciatively.

Knob Thorn

The knob thorn (Acacia nigrescens) brings a beautiful colour to the landscape at this time of the year. Knob thorns are plentiful in the Lowveld, their yellow flowers drawing a distinctive contrast

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