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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diversity in South Africa

Although it is only the approximate size of Texas, USA, South Africa is known as “a world in one country” and certainly lives up to its reputation.
Map of South Africa
 Two-thirds of the borders consist of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Indian Ocean in the east, with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique forming the other third to the north.

Young male lion in Kruger National Park
 The vastness and richness of diversity in fauna and flora as well as topography, the current currency rate of exchange and the moderate climate for most of the year, makes South Africa a very affordable and sought after destination by overseas visitors.

Drakensberg Mountains
In the north west, we have our largest game reserve, Kruger National Park which was established in 1898 and this alone would be worth a visit. It is the size of Israel, 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 square miles) and boasts 145 mammal species, 505 birds and almost 2,000 species of plants. Over 1.4m visitors are received there every year from every country in the world. In 2004, the 300km border along Mozambique and the 30km with Zimbabwe was opened to make this a Transfronteir Park. Iron Age artefacts have been found in the region. Almost 80% of the northern region is bush, and game farms/lodges abound. Waterfalls are found everywhere in the Mpumalanga region and a smaller version of the Grand Canyon can be seen in the Blyde River Canon with God’s Window and Bourk’s Luck Potholes a delight to behold.

Augrabies Falls
The eastern coast, KwaZulu Natal, is warm most of the year due to the influence of the Indian Ocean with immense forests wherein stunning wild orchids are to be found. A sunbathers paradise of beaches and surfing destinations. The region is sub-tropical to tropical with farms of sugarcane and fruit such as pineapples and bananas being mostly in evidence. Off-shore is a divers paradise with towns such as Sudwana established for this reason. Cage diving with sharks is quite an experience and is offered by various companies for the more adventurous traveller.

Bourk's Luck Potholes
Inland from the Eastern Cape shoreline, is a haven for the nature photographer with high mountain passes, fantastic winter flowers such as species of Aloes and Proteas which are found nowhere else and forests. Ostrich farming is the major industry and learning to ride one is a must. Ancient caves such as Cango is not to be missed as well as some of the most beautiful Game Reserves like Addo Elephant Park.

Early morning sunrise in Kruger National Park
Black-bearded Protea

South lies the iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2012 and is surrounded by vineyards and fruit orchards. Here the two oceans meet and marine life abounds for diving enthusiasts. The Drakensberg Mountain range begins here and is 1,000km (620 miles) in length -almost the whole length of the country. In the winter the high altitude ensures slopes which are covered with snow for skiing and in summer, a myriad of hiking trails are to be found amongst the lush vegetation.

Coastal town of Port Elizabeth
Old mining town of Pilgrims Rest

Further north west, the arid, semi-desert regions of the Kalagadi (Kalahari) reign supreme with undulating red and white sand dunes to feast the eyes upon. Many animals have adapted to this dry environment and can be found nowhere else. The area consists mainly of sheep farms who find the low vegetation palatable. This is the region, Angora sheep are raised and a large mohair industry has been build around it.

Sudwala Caves
Blyde River Canyon

The central regions consist of mainly maize and cattle farms. It is flat terrain and in the centre lies Kimberley which in earlier years, most of our diamonds came from. The museum in town has the largest man-made hole ever dug. When mining operation ceased in 1914 over 14m carats of diamonds had been extracted there.

Pearl Emperor butterfly
Although I am more of a nature lover and mostly do tours to our wildlife sanctuaries, please join me in my travels in discovering the natural beauty of this small and astounding country I call “home”!

Golden Gate Nature Reserve


Gaelyn said...

I've enjoyed visiting most of these places with you as my guide.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks you Gaelyn. It is always a pleasure to show you around this small world of mine. You are a wonderful client and friend.