Wednesday, February 20

When the going gets tough.....

Summer in the African bush can be tough, especially for those who shudder in the presence of creepy crawlies.
In sweltering, sticky heat, the beetles, spiders, mosquitoes and reptiles are all making the most of summer before the rains depart.

Of course, in these modern times we have it way easier than our forebears did, back a hundred years and more.

Air-conditioning, bug spray, medicines and comfortable vehicles to move around in, can make the whole experience seem quite effortless, until....

Mozambican Spitting Cobra sit down on the toilet, only to look up and see a snake wound around a rafter;


...cobwebs cling to your face and hands as you walk up the footpath every morning;

Golden Orb Web spider enormous dung beetle collides with your face on the game drive;


 ...another beetle catches in your hair under the lights during dinner;

...just as you sit down to eat dinner, the arrival of the stink bugs make the plagues of Egypt look pathetic;

...during some dry days between rain storms, the ants come pouring out in their millions (you should see me dancing the “ant-dance” whilst I'm trying to sort out the vehicles before a drive!!).

A colourful grasshopper

Fortunately for my guests and me, we are only in the real “hot zone” for a few days and for the other animals we get to see at this time of the year, every spider, dung beetle and snake is worth it!

If you are keen on birds, summer is definitely the time of year to be in the bush. Apart from all our locally breeding species we have thousands of summer visitors escaping the winters of the northern hemisphere. In late summer, they are to be seen everywhere as they feed intensively to build up fat stores for their long flight home.

European Roller

Southern Carmine Bee-eaters

The grass is long, the bush thick and morning dew drenches the vegetation. Many animals, including the predators prefer the open road and path ways early on a summers day.

So good sightings of lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena, rhino and elephant can be had........

More difficult to find at this time of the year are the giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest and the more solitary antelope.

To make up for this though, are all the great tortoise, lizard and other reptile sightings.

I won't even start on about the wild flowers, sprinkled everywhere in the golden green grass......

So, the following photos are just a small sampling of some of the great experiences we've had on safari over the last four weeks.



Joyful said...

Beautiful photos! What does a tourist do when they meet a snake at the loo?

Were you on a long safari of several weeks or several short ones over the few weeks? Do you work with a team?

Coral Wild said...

Hello Penny.

When meeting a snake retreat as fast as possible, and close the door behind you:)

I had 4 safaris over the 4 weeks ranging from 3-5 days long, with guests from Australia, Britain, France and Denmark.

This time, they were also in 3 different parts of South Africa - Hluhluwe/iMfolozi in KwaZulu Natal and 2 different sections of Kruger - so a lot of variety.

99% of the time I work alone (perfect job for a "control freak"), apart from the Operations team back at the office in Jo'burg, and the Parks staff we interact with in the game reserves.

I do all the driving, guiding and cooking (when we self cater) - so the hours are quite long.....

Worth every minute though:)


Firefly said...

Ahhhhh, the joys of living in Africa. We endure all of that with a smile.

Coral Wild said...

Yes Firefly - one can only smile:)

Joyful said...

Wow! You do the cooking too! You must have a lot of stamina. I also assume that you are doing camping trips rather than accomodated ones and small groups, though perhaps I assume too much. Do you have a website for the safaris (routes, costs, etc.). I'll look around the two sites I have for you.

Coral Wild said...

Hi Penny,

Most of the trips I do are "accommodated" and small groups - most often 2-4 people.

So not that much hard work - just long hours:)

The company I work for most often are at
and that will give you an idea of the itineraries etc.


Gaelyn said...

You've had some excellent sightings. I found the tall grasses in Kruger from all the rain made it difficult to see some of the wildlife. And I'm glad to have missed the snake although did enjoy seeing lots of spiders.

Joyful said...

Thanks, Sue! I'm hoping to get to Africa within the year but not quite sure where I am going. I'm doing my research at the moment so I appreciate the link.