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Fauna & Flora

Lion

The African lion, Panthera leo, is an iconic animal, symbolising power and strength, and endearingly branded as the “King of Beasts”.

Mopane Pomegranate

During the month of Late September early November or just after the first rains you will notice while driving around on Ingwelala a bright yellow flower. This is the Mopane Pomegranate ( Rhigozum zambesiacum).

Mopani Worms

Have you ever wondered where mopane worms go after defoliating large tracts of mopane trees on the reserve? I did, and after investigation, found them to be quite fascinating little creatures.

Natal Spurfowl (formerly Natal Francolin)

I was in the Workshop the other day chatting to Nelson when he suddenly said to me “Oh, I forgot to show you something yesterday, come and have a look” - all with a dead straight face. 

Nightjar - Fiery-necked

A very special time in the bushveld occurs during the full moon phase. This is even more so during the warm summer months when one can comfortably sit outside on warm balmy evenings, bathed in glorious moonlight, and absorb the wonders of our natural world.

Nile Crocodiles

The abundant surface water has resulted in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) popping up all over. From the Class; Reptilia, Nile crocodiles are fairly widespread through central, western and southern Africa and also occur in the western parts of Madagascar.

Nile Crocodiles 2 - Nesting Crocodiles

Of late I have being punting the point of how wonderful the Nhlaralumi River is functioning with fewer upstream impoundments. The natural processes that follow are remarkable in such a short space of time since the failing of certain dams in January 2012.

Potato Bush

Nature provides plenty of tangible evidence that there is a change in seasons. However, an endearing olfactory clue for me that there is a shift in season is the early evening scent of the potato bush, Phyllanthus reticulatus.

Praying Mantis

Each (summer) season that passes on its own peculiarities, and this season was no exception. One phenomenon was an abundance of praying mantises, of various species, shapes, colours and sizes.

Processionary Moths

The larvae phase of Processionary Moths that appear in caterpillar type form are currently active and are best seen when crossing roads. Processions take place when migrations occur between feeding stations.

Purple-pod (or Lowveld) Cluster-leaf

Terminalia prunioides, commonly known as Purple-pod Cluster-leaf or Lowveld Cluster-leaf, and in Afrikaans as Sterkbos, is a striking tree in the landscape during mid summer.

Queleas

The most striking activity during the reporting period has been a sudden influx of thousands upon thousands of red-billed queleas (Quelea quelea). To describe their numbers and activities in words is almost impossible.

Rabies

Rabies is a fatal disease in humans and other mammals that is caused by a virus transmitted by animal bites. It is the oldest infectious disease known to man and has been present for more than 3000 years. 

Raisin Bush

Whilst driving around the Reserve, I have made an interesting observation regarding elephant utilization of Grewia spp. (Raisin bush).

Red Bushwillows

The abundant Red Bushwillows are deciduous by nature, and usually amongst the first to forewarn us of a change in season as their leaves turn from a brilliant summer green to a golden yellow.

Scorpions

What do we know about these creatures that we share a space with? Here is an interesting article about scorpions, their habits and habitats, with advice, do's and don'ts.

Secretarybird

The Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a well known terrestrial raptor, easily identified by its unusually long bare legs, long tail, crested head and unique gait.

Shepherd’s Tree

The Shepherd's tree (Boscia albitrunca) is an easy tree to identify on your travels around the Reserve, especially in the northern reaches of Buffelsbed and Sibon.

Shrikes' Nests

Thank you to Chris and Auriel Thorpe in Bungalow # 197 for sharing the fascinating world of the Southern White- Crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens) and Black Cuckoo-Shrike (Campephaga flava) with us.

Sjambok Pod

The Sjambok pod (Cassia abbreviata) is a deciduous tree that is easily identified through its exceptionally long tail like seedpods. An alternate common name is the Long-tail Cassia.

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