South Africa. On the Path of Nocturnals. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   




Travelling in June 2017, this three-week trip was very much planned with mammals as the priority, the key targets being a select group of nocturnal mammals, headed by iconic species such as Aardvark, Aardwolf, Black-footed Cat & Greater Bushbaby.











In order to maximise mammalian diversity, my itinerary incorporated some of South Africa's top localities. In brief, the trip began with a week travelling the length of Kruger National Park, before I then crossed to the north-west of the country to spend a few days in the amazing Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. From here, I dropped south to Augrabies Falls and thereafter to the Kimberly area to sample the delights of the night on property of Marrick Safari, also visiting the excellent grasslands of Mokola National Park. Concluding the trip, I travelled down to Cape Province for some days at the De Hoop Nature Reserve and Cape Town area, a chance to add a number of marine species and Cape Clawless Otter.








Over the course of the trip, I saw 84 species of mammal, including Brown Hyena, Cheetah, Leopard and, most importantly, Greater Bushbaby, Black-footed Cat and both Aardvark and Aardwolf. Perhaps most unexpected however was a Cape Dune Mole-Rat feeding above ground at midday, a bonus indeed. Needless to say, visiting Southern Africa's most renowned wildlife localities, the trip was also productive in terms of birds and other wildlife, including Snouted Cobra, Puff Adder and Cape Rock Scorpion. In the Kruger area, I also took an interest in the relatively small number of butterflies that fly in the southern mid-winter, seeing a total of 34 species. Away from Kruger, subject to lower night temperatures, butterflies were largely absent.



For ease of reading, this report is divided into the following sections:

PART ONE. Kruger National Park. Hardly needs an introduction, 20,000 square kilometres of some of the best wildlife country in Africa. Started my trip in the far north, at Punda Maria and Parfuri, then worked slowly southward, staying at Shingwedzi, Letaba and Satara. Wonderful wildlife everywhere. To read, CLICK HERE.


PART TWO. Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. Rolling red dunes of the Kalahari punctuated by the shallow valleys of the Auob and Nossob, slithers of grassland and acacia savannah supporting abundant life, both birds and mammalian. An amazing area, renowned for felines in particular, this slab of land protruding up between Namibia and Botswana is truly one of the gems in South Africa's rich crown of wildlife localities. To read, CLICK HERE.


Coming soon:

Part Three. Northern and Western Cape.

Part Four. Mammal Checklist.



Last Updated ( Monday, 04 December 2017 )
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