For interesting information on flowers, trees and plants please click on this link:

For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.
Videos: YouTube

Sunday, January 26, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (18-19/01/2014) Day 3 and 4

A most peculiar incident
At this time of year the gates open at 06:00 so after an early wakeup call (for Gaelyn) with coffee and rusks, we set out to see what we could find.
Our first stop was at a high picnic spot overlooking Mankwe Dam in the centre of the crater and the first thing I found was this interesting baby cricket.


  The Park covers 55,000 hectare and because of the hills surrounding the crater, has many wonder vistas from the higher areas.
This late in the summer season there are not many flowers left to be seen but this was a very unusual one.
We followed the road north then west, stopping at the different hides along the way with Wanda Lust getting her fair share of the sightings.
Birds, especially around the watering holes, were plentiful and at one, a huge flock of Marabou Stork sat on the banks.
The day ended on a high note with us finding lions near the camp and a most peculiar incident ........ Gaelyn noticed that her towel was missing when we got back to camp but walking passed her tent, I noticed that it was inside. I told her about it and when she came over to get it, she unzipped her tent and discovered that her bathroom bag had been zipped open and all the things in it were thrown out on the floor. She showed this to me and I could not understand it. Never in all my years had I heard of someone going to riffle through someone else’s tent!! And what would they want to go through her bathroom bag for?? Very puzzling!!
Two young ladies from a nearby camping spot came and solved the mystery for us .... apparently a baboon had come over, unzipped the tent and her bag as he probably smelt the nice scented shampoo she had just bought and thought it was something to eat. The neighbours had chased them off, put the towel in the tent and zipped it shut. Puzzle solved! Gaelyn had a big laugh when we rode out again later as I took a small lock I had and put it on the zipper in case the baboon came back. LOL!!
Animals seen: Elephant, Kudu, Klipspringer, Dassie (Rock Hyrax), Giraffe, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Springbok, Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Red Hartebeest, Tsessebe, Hippo, Crocodile, Lion, Waterbuck, Warthog, Wild Cat, White Rhino, Baboon, Vervet Monkey and many more.

SA Diversity Tour (17/01/2014) Day 2

Rocks and rabbits
Coffee at daybreak, watching the sun come up over the bush, has to be as close to heaven as I will ever get, then an early start to our first stop. Gaelyn had not been to Pilansberg Game Reserve before and it did not disappoint. Within the first hour there, we saw almost everything the park has to offer except lions and this was a magnificent start to our tour. The weather was hot and sunny with just a few clouds in sight.

We headed for Manyane Camp and set up tents in a quiet spot (or so we thought). It was right next to the fence and had a procession of Scrub Hares and Impala passing through and grazing the whole night. On the other side, the Kudu wandered and at one time, we caught a glimpse of a Wildcat.
Due to the heat, we did not go out for a drive until 4pm and saw the plains filled with large herds of Impala, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Elephant, Giraffe and more. What a magnificent sight it all was. There has not been much rain in the area so the dams are not very full.
Pilansberg has in its centre a volcanic pan which is always filled with water and one can spend the whole day sitting in the hide build to one side. Passing a huge outcrop of rocks, the white markings left from the holes in it tell me that this is the home of many Rock Hyrax’s (Dassie) who are best seen in the early morning when they come out to sun themselves in the early morning rays.
A quick stop at a small pool to see the Hippo’s and time to head back for camp. The first time I visited this pool there was only one Hippo in it and people stopping there had to be careful as it did not like visitors and would frequently charge at the cars parked on the bank.

The night was quiet and a million stars were in the skies. Another great day had passed and the Impala and Hare were back to their nightly feeding close at hand.

Birds of Pilansberg - Part 1
Pilansberg wild flowers - Part 1

Thursday, January 23, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (16/01/2014) Day 1

Amarula and smiles
 An early morning start to pick up Gaelyn at the airport to get there before the morning rush. The plane was delayed by 35 minutes and due to not finding her luggage, was about last to come out but there was great joy at seeing her again and knowing we would be travelling together for the next few months.
A trip to Pretoria with breakfast at Wimpy (of course! LOL!!) a chance to do shopping for some needed things then back to where I was camping at Roodeplaat Dam as I figured she needed to recover from her flight the first day. As you can see we started off with the right spirit. J 

The rest of the time was spend sorting out things and relaxing with an early supper on the cards then off to bed to catch up on lost sleep.