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, February 25, 2015

Kruger National Park tours

Ten night tour to Kruger National Park Game Reserve - Tours can be tailor made to suite your needs. From camping to luxury accommodation.
Mating lions
All tours are designed for private people and friends travelling together – no groups will be mixed with strangers. As all departure points and requirements are different, only the costs in the Park are included. Once the person/group arrives at Skakuza Airport (Kruger National Park), they will hire a vehicle suitable for the individual/group and the tour guide will drive them around all day finding and interpreting what is seen. All roads are suitable for any type of vehicle. At times certain gravel roads may be closed during heavy rains but there are plenty of tarred/paved roads on which to travel and game view.
Male Kudu
35 Years tour guide and environmental education experience is put into making this the trip of a lifetime.
Which Camps in the Park will be used on tours can vary according to how much time is allowed when booking but I try to get to at least 3 different ones as vegetation is different at each and so are the animals and birds found there.

When booking, please indicate if you have special interests such as birding.
Wild Dog
Tours can be tailored to suit your needs: bigger/small groups, longer/shorter periods. Please ask for a quotation. Ideally, groups should not be larger than 7 people for maximum enjoyment.
African Wildcat



Park Conservation fee

1 x Sunset drive

Full-time guide


Not included:

Flights from your destination to Skakuza Airport pick-up point.

Car rental at airport. (Prices at Budged Car Rental, Avis and Imperial Car Hire can be checked out on their websites but many other companies exist)

Fuel for vehicle.

Tent/s, airbed, sleeping bag and pillow included.
Young Hyaena


No meals are included but the small store in the Camps have a variety of things which can be purchased.

All Camps have restaurants where meals can be eaten.

All Camps have communal kitchens where you can prepare your own – crockery, cutlery, pots, pans etc. are available.

All Camps have communal bathrooms – if you are staying in a bungalow, it has its own bathroom.

It is recommended to bring a light jersey/jacket even in summer as well as rain gear, a hat, swimsuit in summer and sunscreen.

All electrical points are 220v so adaptors are needed.

Internet access is available at most Camps but can vary in strength.

Modems for the Internet plus data bundles can be bought at the point-of-entry airports.

White Rhino

Prices quoted are subject to change according to the exchange rate fluctuation.

50% Deposit is required on booking and the balance 30 days before arrival.

Special needs such as wheelchairs must be specified when booking as the rates on accommodation will be different.
Winters are mild and summers can be very hot but the best time of year to view game is from May to November. At the height of our summer season, December to April, the grass is tall and cuts down visibility and photographic opportunities.
All game viewing depends on being in the right place at the right time so there is no guarantee on what will be seen on each day. Generally, at least 20 different kinds of mammals and many birds species can be spotted on a daily basis.
A third person sharing accommodation can be added at additional costs.
Please contact me on for all questions.


UK Pounds
UK Pounds
Safari tent
UK Pounds

Glossy Starling

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sani Pass, Underberg, Drakensberg Mountains

The Underberg is part of the southern range of the Drakensberg Mountains and passes through mostly flatish fields where cattle and a few maize farms are found on the KwaZulu Natal side.
During a quick 3 night excursion to the Sani Pass region, the days were hot and the evening cool. Sani Pass is covered in snow during the winter and peaking at 2 873 metres above sea level, the pass is also referred to as the Roof of Africa.
The many small waterfalls and beautiful clear streams provide a lovely place to cool off in during summer while hiking and the ideal place to spend a day swimming and having a picnic.
The Pass lies on the border of Lesotho and is a great adventure centre which includes hikes, climbing, 4x4 trails, horse riding, off-road motorcycle tours and mountain biking trails.
In winter, some of the area is used as ski slopes. Sani Pass is a popular mountain biking destination which plays host to the annual Sani Pass Transfrontier Mountain Bike Epic in December, providing two routes – 42km and 26km in length.
Local accommodation comes in many forms from backpacking, camping and luxury chalets and hotels to suite your requirements. These establishments offer tours of all kinds and some hiking and horse riding excursions are up to 5 days in length.
The road through Sani Pass is an extremely difficult one due to the lose gravel and should not be attempted if you are not an experienced driver with a 4x4 vehicle. As it is a border to Lesotho, a passport is required at the top if you are crossing.
This is a birding paradise due to the vegetation being so varied: from wetlands, mountain crags and grasslands. One of the rare sightings is the Egyptian Vulture. The Eastern Redfooted Kestrel is a common migrant from November to March.
For tours to this region including the coastal regions of KwaZulu Natal, please contact me. The tours concentrate on birding and horse riding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares – one of very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world.
It is situated in the Kalahari Desert which covers approximately 350,000 square miles (900,000 square kilometres) encompassing most of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa and is made up of both red and white sand dunes. This semi-arid region came into existence approximately sixty million years ago along with the formation of the African continent.
The Kalahari gets very hot; it can reach temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer. In winter the desert has a dry, cold climate where the temperature can reach 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Kalagadi Transfrontier Park has a list of approximately 280 species of birds of which only about 92 are resident. This is a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey.
The sparse vegetation provides spectacular photographic opportunities of the regal Black-maned Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Springbok, Blue Wildebeest, Eland and a huge population of the beautiful Gemsbok to mention but a few.
Survival in the Kalahari is difficult, animals need to be able to withstand extreme climates (both hot and cold). Evolution has produced some amazing animals native to this region who are well adapted for survival.
 Over four hundred species of plants have been identified in the Kalahari Desert many of which have thorns on them to prevent the animals eating them and so becoming extinct.
The Kalahari's sand is better than most deserts at retaining water, and therefore allows for more plant life than most deserts.
The San people have lived in the Kalahari for 20,000 years as hunter-gatherers. They hunt wild game with bows and poison arrows and gather edible plants, such as berries, melons and nuts, as well as insects. The San get most of their water requirements from plant roots and desert melons found on or under the desert floor. They often store water in the blown-out shells of ostrich eggs. The San live in huts built from local materials—the frame is made of branches, and the roof is thatched with long grass. Even though survival in the Kalahari Desert can be challenging there are several tribes that make it their home. A small group of these people still follow the traditional lifestyle as hunters-gatherers, as their tribe has done for thousands of years.
The Park is run by SANParks and bookings can be made through their website. Various types of accommodation is available including camping and chalets which come equipped with cutlery, crockery etc. All main camps have restaurants and small shops where necessary items can be purchased as well as swimming pools to cool off in the midday heat.
Important Notes from the SANParks website:

Tourists travelling from and to Namibia and/or Botswana, please acquaint yourself with the Customs procedures for the transportation of goods between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana that is available on the SARS website at

No foreign currencies will be accepted in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) on the South African side, only ZAR (South African Rand) will be accepted within the KTP.

Kindly note that the roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are not sedan friendly, although the roads are maintained on a monthly basis, sedan vehicles find it difficult to cope with the conditions. Vehicles which will be using any of the 4x4 routes in the park must note that the recommended ground clearance should be 190mm, to make the drive more enjoyable.

Tourists wanting to exit the park other than the point of entry must kindly note that all immigration controls must be done at Twee Rivieren / Two Rivers, and that a 2 night stay in the park is compulsory.

No children under the age of 12 is allowed at any of the park’s Wilderness camps.

Please also note that no firearms or wood will be cleared via the Mata Mata border control. Individuals wishing to clear firearms or wood should do so via Rietfontein border control.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (24-26/03/2014) Day 68-70 Augrabies National Park

This park is situated in the northern region, close to the border of Namibia. The camp is on the plateau high above the falls themselves with reception, restaurant and shop in the main building with wonderful viewing platforms over the falls.
Seeing the 56m waterfall in full flood was an exceptional experience. No wonder the Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise.
This is part of the Orange River and the gorge through which it flows is 18kn in length.
 The landscape is very rocky and arid but if you love walking/hiking, there are three wonderful trails to take, each a different length. Then again, as there are no animals in the park which can harm you, strike out on your own just don’t get lost!
The region seems barren except for the eye catching sentinels which are Quiver Trees
but on closer inspection, there is a whole host of wonderful flowering plants and shrub with thousands of beautiful butterflies and insects.
At the Falls themselves, you find the Augrabies Flat Lizard which is endemic there.
On a drive, many animals are to be seen such as Klipspringer, Hyrax, Giraffe, Tortoise and a host of buck species.
 Some of the highlights along the way are: Moon Rock, Swart Rante, Echo Corner, Oranjekom and Ararat viewpoints.
Along the way, you are sure to see various species of lizards which all survive in this harsh climate.
Vegetation may be scarce but you are sure to see many species of Euphorbia’s and the Shepherd’s Tree which has many uses and medicinal properties.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hole-in-the-Wall - Eastern Cape

This is one of the most stunning places I have been to and lies in an almost spoilt region in the northern part of the Eastern Cape at the mouth of the Mpako River. If you are looking for tranquillity, great hikes and lazing in the sun on the beach, this is the place to go.
Asking a local tour guide, a young man of about 20, what the old people say formed the Hole-in-the-wall he said “They say there was something like a tsunami in the river and a lot of things were brought down by this and made the mountain disappear so it could get to the sea.” :)
 Another legend says it refers to a young maiden who fell in love with one of the mythical ‘sea people’. Such was the love of this sea person for the maiden that he and his people rammed a hole in the side of a lagoon wall with the help of a huge fish so they could reach her; she was never heard from again.
The whole region is one of high hills with forests in the ravines with the Umdoni tree forming a large part of the vegetation. This tree has very edible berries and the local people love to eat them.
You can spend the whole day (or three) walking along the fantastic coastline. Everywhere you turn, the vista is spectacular.
The Hole-in-the-Wall is an archway carved out of the sandstone by wave action. The tour guide tells me that you can walk almost up to the cave during low tide and at high tide on clam days, people swim out and climb to the top of the rocks and jump into the sea – an activity NOT recommended as people have lost their lives doing this.
In one area a deep cliff has been cut into the rocks and with the waves hitting the walls, make a spectacular scene for photography.
The beaches are safe for swimming so bring lots of suntan lotion if visiting in summer. The weather in the region is fairly mild in winter so can be visited then too.
 Having extolled the beauty of the place, I must add that this is not an easy place to get to for anyone, let alone overseas tourists
Going south about 40km from Umtata, there is a turnoff to Coffee Bay. Although the first 70km is tarred, it takes at least 2 hours to get there as the road is very twisty and your average speed is slow. Besides this, there are no fences in that area so the roads are filled with goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, horses and donkeys which you have to watch out for. The last 10km to Coffee Bay is gravel and besides some road works going on there, not bad. From the Bay, it is another 9km to the Hole-in-the-wall and this is a very bad stretch. An ordinary car will struggle with the uphills on this unpaved road as there are at times large rocks and fissures which is impossible to get through unless you have a 4x4. Once there though, one’s jaw drops at the sheer beauty of it all.
There are a few places to stay at: 2 backpackers, a small resort with hotel and a B&B, some places catered and others accommodation only so they cater for all budgets. Prices are reasonable at all of these. The hotel has a small shop where one can buy the odd refreshment and a shop of sort selling necessary items such as coffee, sugar, bread etc but one must take your own food if not being catered for at your accommodation.