Often seen for only a brief moment on the road, the slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea) is by far one of the most ferocious predators on the planet! Weighing no more than 700 g and 60 cm in length, it has a knack for hunting insects, small birds and a variety of mammals, reptiles and amphibians with pinpoint accuracy and efficiency. As the name suggests, the long slender body is accompanied with short, lightning-fast legs and a super long tail with a one-of-a-kind black tuft at the tip. There is great delight in driving around and seeing this species cross the road.
On being discovered, they will stop for only a moment to look back at you and in a blink of an eye disappear into the long grass or scattered shrubs. One could describe them as the ninjas of the African bush!
Fighting well above its own weight class, the slender mongoose has no fear of even large venomous snakes, subsequently killing and eating the unlucky serpent that sails across the path of this small but ferocious
predator. Adult birds will mob-attack and alarm-call at the unwanted sight of this mongoose and different species of mongoose (dwarf mongoose) will become very aggressive and offensive if one comes too close to a den-site that contains young. The truth is, nobody is safe when there is a slender mongoose scurrying around.
Using all of its super sharp senses when out and about, the slender mongoose is a diurnal species but will, at times, forage during warm and moonlit nights. Males hold territories that will include other females but does not play much of a fatherly role once the females give birth to their litters. Females are less territorial and will often forage and move around within sight of other females but will become fiercely protective and aggressive to anything that comes too close to her offspring. After all… there is nothing more frightening in the wild than a mother protecting her babies!
“Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.”In Rudyard Kipling’s book “Just So Stories”, in the tale titled “The Elephant’s Child”, the Kolokolo bird sends the curious young elephant to the Limpopo River where he can find out the answer to one of his numerous questions… What does the crocodile eat? This story explains how the elephant got his long trunk and it is a great, fun read.
We have been very lucky again this year with very big flocks of red-billed queleas visiting our concession for feeding and breeding. We had seven different colonies on our concession alone.
The mere mention of the word “spider”, and many people will have a shiver running down their spine, and most likely, the majority of guests coming on safari would not add seeing spiders on their wish list of top ten things to encounter and get close to when in the African wilderness. With that being said however, many people are actually pleasantly surprised and intrigued when they do see one of the most elegant of arachnids: the orb web spiders.
Bushveld rain frogs are a species of uniquely southern African frogs, and these little frogs are a firm favourite amongst many guides. Reason being is that when confronted by a potential predator, they inflate themselves, giving the appearance of being puffed-up marshmallows. They are cryptically coloured and slow moving frogs that spend most of their time underground, and when they emerge on the surface, they comically walk or run rather than hop as most other frogs do.