Tag Archives: South African Safari

The Book Scorpion (pseudoscorpion)

A pseudoscorpion, also known as a false scorpion or book scorpion, is an arachnid and can be found on Sibuya Game Reserve.  

Photo taken by Chris Ovens

Pseudoscorpions are generally beneficial to humans since they prey on clothes moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae, booklice, ants, mites, and small flies. They are tiny and inoffensive, and are rarely seen due to their small size, despite being common in many environments. Pseudoscorpions often carry out phoresy, a form of commensalism in which one organism uses another for the purpose of transport.

Pseudoscorpions spin silk from a gland in their jaws to make disk-shaped cocoons for mating, molting, or waiting out cold weather. However, they do not have book lungs as most of their closest relatives, the spiders, do. They breathe through spiracles, a trait they share with the insects.

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Wildebeest – Did you know?

The ungainly gnu (pronounced “g-new” or simply “new”) earned the Afrikaans name wildebeest, or “wild beast,” for the menacing appearance presented by its large head, shaggy mane, pointed beard, and sharp, curved horns.

  1. Wildebeest is a mammal that belongs to the family of antelopes and is one of the largest antelopes.
  2. Wildebeest looks like a close relative of a bovine because of its disproportionate body. It has large, box-shaped head, and strongly built front part of the body. Hindquarters are slender, just like in other antelopes.
  3. Wildebeest has a mane just like horse. Both males and females have curved horns.
  4. Wildebeest is a grazer. It eats mainly short grass. Wildebeest needs to drink water at least every other day.
  5. Calves (babies) are able to walk as soon as they are born. Few days after birth, babies can run with the rest of the herd.

 

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Sibuya offers team-building & conferencing programmes for companies or conference groups.

 

The African buffalo

The African buffalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. The adult buffalo’s horns are its characteristic feature; they have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield across the top of the head referred to as a “boss”. They are widely regarded as very dangerous animals.

Savannah-type buffaloes have black or dark brown coats with age. Old bulls have whitish circles around their eyes. Females tend to have more-reddish coats. Forest-type buffaloes are reddish brown in colour with horns that curve back and slightly up. Calves of both types have red coats.

The African buffalo is one of the most successful grazers in Africa. It lives in swamps and floodplains, as well as mopane grasslands and forests of the major mountains of Africa and also found on Sibuya Game Reserve. This buffalo prefers a habitat with dense cover, such as reeds and thickets, but can also be found in open woodland.  While not particularly demanding with regard to habitat, they require water daily, so depend on perennial sources of water.

African buffaloes make various vocalizations. Many calls are lower-pitched versions of those emitted by domestic cattle. They emit low-pitched, two- to four-second calls intermittently at three- to six-second intervals to signal the herd to move. To signal to the herd to change direction, leaders emit “gritty”, “creaking gate” sounds.

Water Monitor

This rather large species of water monitor (Varanus niloticus) is also known as a leguaan in South Africa.

Monitor lizards are, as a rule, almost entirely carnivorous, consuming prey as varied as insects, crustaceans, arachnids, myriapods, molluscs, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Most species feed on invertebrates as juveniles and shift to feeding on vertebrates as adults.

Water monitors are excellent swimmers, folding their legs in and using their tails like crocodiles, and can stay underwater for well over half an hour. They can run astonishingly fast over a short distance and invariably head for water when disturbed.

A Water Monitor making his way across the road into the longer grass on Sibuya Game Reserve.
These lizards can grow up to 2.5 meters long and this fellow looks pretty close to that.

Mantis

Mantises are distributed worldwide (and can be found on Sibuya Game Reserve in Eastern Cape, South Africa) in temperate and tropical habitats. They have triangular heads with bulging eyes supported on flexible necks. Their elongated bodies may or may not have wings, but all Mantodea have forelegs that are greatly enlarged and adapted for catching and gripping prey; their upright posture, while remaining stationary with forearms folded, has led to the common name praying mantis.

(Baby Praying Mantis – Photo taken by Ranger Drikus on Sibuya Game Reserve)

Mantises are mostly ambush predators, but a few ground-dwelling species are found actively pursuing their prey. hey normally live for about a year. In cooler climates, the adults lay eggs in autumn, then die. The eggs are protected by their hard capsules and hatch in the spring. Females sometimes practice sexual cannibalism, eating their mates after copulation.

Mantises are among the insects most widely kept as pets.  Because the lifespan of a mantis is only about a year, people who want to keep mantises often breed them.

Nigel, our resident Nyala at Forest Camp

Description

Adult males and females look totally different.  Males are slate grey to dark brown with up to 14 distinct white stripes across the back going down the flanks.  They have white spots on their thighs and belly.  Females do not have manes or fringes of long hair.

Habitat

They are restricted to reedbeds and adjacent grasslands of the Okavango and Chobe. During the annual flood they move out of the reedbeds for a short period.

Nyala Nigel 2

Diet

As a herbivore, the nyala’s diet consists of foliage, fruits, flowers and twigs. During the rainy season they feed upon the fresh grass. They need a regular intake of water, and thus choose places with a water source nearby.  Today the nyala are found in South African protected areas in the KwaZulu-Natal Game Reserves of Ndumo Game Reserve, uMkuze Game Reserve and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park and Sibuya Private Game Reserve. According to statistics of 1999, 10-15% of the nyala occur on private land.

Lion Sleeping Habits

These kings of the jungle get quite a bit of shut-eye!

It turns out that “I’m a lion, hear me roar!” should probably be changed to “I’m a lion, hear me snore!” The king of the jungle racks up enough sleep to make the average house cat look extremely active by comparison. Take a look at just how much time the big cats spend snoozing.

Photo taken on safari in Sibuya Game Reserve

Photo taken on safari in Sibuya Game Reserve

How Many Hours Do Most Lions Spend Sleeping?

Male lions spend 18 to 20 hours a day snoozing, while females get 15 to 18 hours of shuteye. The lionesses spend more time hunting and taking care of cubs, which is why they get slightly less sleep. And following a large meal, lions may even sleep up to 24 hours—talk about a catnap!

What Time of Day Do They Sleep?

Lions tend to be nocturnal, doing most of their hunting after dusk when it’s cooler, so most of their sleep is accumulated during the day.

Where Do Lions Sleep?

To escape the hot sun, lions tend to find sleeping spots under the shade of bushes.