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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (12-14/02/2014) Day 28-30

Lower Sabie Camp
What a horrible mess!! Because of the loss of photographs and considering that we are not too far away, we decide to go back to Kruger National Park for a week in order for Gaelyn to replace the photographs of animals which she has lost. We broke camp early and headed for Nelspruit to buy a new computer. We are basically still in the beginning of the tour and she needs it to download her pictures on. A great expense unfortunately but a necessary one. We also cannot replace the pictures of the many wonderful sightings of leopard etc. we saw there and I had not taken many, but I could at least give her what I had as a start.
We started off at Lower Sabie, one of my favourite camps and checked in for two nights and on the first morning, headed down to Crocodile Bridge in order to take the sand road towards Berg en Dal. Vervet Monkeys were playing on the road sign which is a pyre of rocks and having a great time. They are fun to watch. (See video:
What absolutely good luck and a marvellous start to our week!! We came across a mating pair of lions right in the road with only one car there so managed to get some fantastic shots of the mating ritual as well as photographs. Gaelyn had not seen this before, so I was pleased she had the opportunity to witness it herself. Please do watch this video: The pair leave the rest of the pride for about 3 days and female always initiates the mating. During the process, he gently bites her on the back of her neck. One of the interesting observations I made during this was that after they have mated, which takes less than half a minute, the female would always roll onto her back afterwards. I wonder if this is part of the ritual or maybe helps with ovulation? I am going to find out and will update this post when I do.
One of Gaelyn’s favourite animals is the Hyaena and there were many youngsters around for her to enjoy watching. Only problem is, we had to stop at all of them. LOL!! (Not that I minded but please don’t tell her that. J )
Steenbok are one of our smallest antelope and stand at a shoulder height of about 2’. They are very agile and fast in running away as soon as you stop to look at them so it was surprising to get this one standing around allowing us to get wonderful photographs.
Whitefronted Bee-eaters most catch insects and butterflies flying past and need to be very quick to catch them.
 Twig Wilters belong to the same family as stinkbugs and put out an obnoxious smell when disturbed.
Julia Skimmers are not easy to photograph as they are very leery of one getting to close. I love watching them skim across the water and if one watches long enough, you will see that they always go and land on the same place. Get near to this and sit quietly and they will return to it after a while which is the time to get that picture. J
Finding this giraffe was so funny. His crazy hairstyle on his horns when compared to what it should be, provided us with a good chuckle. LOL!!
 First there was one on the sandbank, then two, then three. LOL!! Serrated Turtles come out to bask in the early morning sunshine.
One pond was covered in White Waterlilies and the Carpenter bees were having a ball collecting pollen. Waterlillies are edible and prepared in many ways.
Because there are so many, one tends to overlook the beautiful Impala. They are fantastic jumpers and can cover a distance of 30’ in one leap.
Majestic elephants are my favourites. Although males can weigh up to 5 tons, they are completely silent when walking.
Butterflies were everywhere and this Common Scarlet is just one of hundreds of species found in the Park.
Besides the mating lion, twice coming across the scarce and rarely seen Black Rhino was a real treat!! Unfortunately I do not have the right lens to get good distance shots and this one was a way off, so the shots I took of him are a bit fuzzy. J
This was one of the smallest Tortoise I have ever seen and so cute too.
I found this scorpion but cannot find out what it is called as I do not have my books with me. They look kind of scary.

What a great few days at Lower Sabie with excellent sightings as always. A pity our time was limited and we had to move on.


Gaelyn said...

The lions mating was definitely a highlight of our Kruger game viewing. And the scorpion I suppose.
I think the hyenas have adorable faces, even if their breath stinks.
Certainly was a good start to our return to Kruger.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It certainly was Gaelyn - just part of an altogether fantastic trip.