Eastern South Africa 18th to 31st July 2007 Western Cape Extension

Streaky-headed Seedeater (Canary) (NE) Serinus gularis

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Streaky-headed Seedeater (Canary) (NE) Serinus gularis

Seen first at Underberg with a few more up Sani Pass.

Cape Siskin (E) Pseudochloroptila totta

A small flock was seen at Karoopoort.

Drakensberg Siskin (E) Pseudochloroptila symonsi

We had at least thirty birds on our explorations at the top of Sani Pass in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.

Black-headed Canary (E) Crithagra alario

Two birds were seen at Skitterykloof.

Buntings Emberizidae

Cape Bunting (NE) Emberiza capensis

On Sani Pass we had fifteen birds with additional sightings of smaller numbers in the Cape.

NOTE: Clements has recently elevated the former Cape Bunting subspecies E.c.vincenti of central Malawi to E Zambia to full species status, Vincent’s Bunting (E.vincenti).

Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris

A brilliantly colored species we had two birds in the Kruger NP, with more in Mkhuze and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR.


Note: Names and taxonomical order of the land mammals follow that of ‘ The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals’; additional names are given in parenthesis and are likely to appear other popular field guides.
Fruit Bats Pteropodidae
Peter’s Epauletted Fruit-Bat Epomophorus crypturus

Fifty of these very interesting creatures were seen at their roost site in Skukuza camp.

Cheek-Pouch Monkeys Cercopithecidae
Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus

This species is fairly common in wilder parts of Southern Africa, occasionally encountered close to human habitation. We saw our first groups in the Kruger NP with further sightings in Mkhuze GR, up Sani Pass and in the Western Cape.

Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus aethiops

Common and seen at most localities in eastern South Africa with good numbers in all game reserves.

Lorisids Loridae
Lesser Bush Baby Galago moholi

A single one of these incredibly fast creatures was seen on one of our night drives at Edeni.

Hares & Rabbits Leporidae
Scrub Hare Lepus saxatilis

We had only a single sighting, on a night drive in Mkhuze.

Squirrels Sciuridae
Red Forest Squirrel Paraxerus palliates

While birding in the dune forests around St. Lucia we bumped into three of these lovely mammals.

Tree Squirrel Paraxerus cepapi

We enjoyed great views of three at Edeni.

Cane-rats Thryonomyidae
Marsh Cane-rat Thryonomys gregorianus

We had two of these in front of Skukuza in the Kruger NP.

Groove-Toothed Rats Otomyinae
Sloggett’s Ice Rat Otomys sloggetti

We had about twenty of these engaging rodents around Sani Top Hotel and on the barren plains in Lesotho.

Rats & Mice Muridae
Striped Mouse Rhabdomys pumilio

One individual was seen in the West Coast NP.

Dogs & Allies Canidae
Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas

We saw these animals daily at Edeni.

Mustelids Mustelidae
Ratel (Honey Badger) Mellivora capensis

A mother and cud were seen on an afternoon drive at Edeni.

Mongooses Herpestidae
Small Grey Mongoose Galerella pulverulenta

An individual was seen at Strandfontein.

Slender Mongoose Galerella sanguinea

We had two sightings, one at Edeni and another at Muzi Pans, of this rather long, brown mongoose with black tips to the tail.

Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula

Five of these likeable characters were seen to the south of Satara camp in Kruger NP.

Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo

We were awarded a sighting of these comical little mammals in Kruger NP.

White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda

A large species and nocturnal we found a singleton on the night drive in Mkuze GR.

Yellow Mongoose Cynictis penicillata

We enjoyed a total of four while driving around in the Wakkerstroom area.

Suricate( Meerkat) Suricata suricatta

Wonderful critters and always a joy to watch we found ten in the grasslands around Wakkerstroom.

Hyenas Hyaenidae
Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta

We had a sighting of one just outside Skukuza.

Genets and Civets Viverridae
Small-spotted Genet Genetta servalina

We had a total of two of these on our night drive at Edeni.

African Civet Civetticus civetta

A single one was seen on our first drive at Edeni in daylight, quite unusual for this nocturnal mammal.

Cats Felidae
African Wild Cat Felis sylvestris

A good-looking tomcat was seen on our way back from Sani Pass.

Lion Panthera leo

We had a memorable sighting at Edeni of a pride numbering about ten. We also found a group of eleven sprawled out at a waterhole on the main road to the south of Satara.

Hyraxes Procavidae
Rock Hyrax (Dassie) Procavia capensis

We had three of these odd beasts up Sani Pass.

Elephants Elephantidae
African Elephant Loxodonta africana

First seen in Edeni, with numerous sightings in the Kruger NP.

Zebras Equidae
Common (Burchell's/Plains) Zebra Equus quagga

The unmistakable striped horse of the African savannah, we enjoyed sightings of good numbers in all the game reserves in the east.

Rhinoceroses Rhinocerotidae
Square-lipped (White) Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum

Our first sightings were of two at Edeni, after which we found a few more in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR.

Hippopotamuses Hippopotamidae
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

We had about twenty in at Edeni, with more at Nsumo Pan and St Lucia.

Pigs Suidae
Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus

We enjoyed sightings of these in Edeni, Mkuze and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR.

Giraffes Giraffidae
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis

Many were seen in Edeni with further encounters in Mkuze GR.

Bovids & Horned Ungulates Bovidae
African (Cape) Buffalo Syncerus caffer

We saw a few in Edeni, about three hundred in Kruger and a few more on the drive in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR.

Oryx (Gemsbok) Oryx gazella

We saw one of these magnificent animals at Edeni, unfortunately introduced in the area.

Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros

These magnificent antelope were seen in Edeni, Kruger and Mkuze GR.

Nyala Tragelaphus angasii

This striking antelope is endemic to this part of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Southern Mozambique. We had plentiful sightings in all the game reserves in Zululand.

Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus

We saw two at Edeni.

Common Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus

This large and oddly marked antelope was seen well at Edeni and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR.

Southern (Common) Reedbuck Redunca arundinum

Two were found in fields up the Karkloof.

Brindled Gnu (Blue Wildebeest) Connochaetes taurinus

This mammal was frequently encountered in all game reserves in the east.

Red Hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus

Five seen in the Drakensberg foothills around Himeville.

Blesbok Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi

We saw many in the high elevation grasslands around Wakkerstroom.

Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis

One buck was seen in the Wakkerstroom area.

Impala Aepyceros melampus

Arguably the commonest antelope in the game reserves of the east, it goes without saying then that we enjoyed plentiful sightings.

Steenbuck (Steenbok) Raphicerus campestris

These dainty antelope, famed for their habit of burying their dung, were observed in the Kruger NP and the West Coast NP.

Blue Duiker Cephalophus monticola

One of these tiny and very shy buck was seen briefly in Dlinza Forest.

Natal (Red) Duiker Cephalophus natalensis

This stunning dwarf antelope, a rich chestnut in colour, was enjoyed at Mkuze GR as well as in St. Lucia.

Bush (Common/Gray) Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia

This, the commonest duiker in South Africa, was seen on numerous occasion in the east.

Fur Seals Otariidae
Cape Fur Seal Arctocephalus pusillus

This cold-water dweller was seen in the icy waters of the Cape.

Interesting Reptiles

Angulate Tortoises, a very localized endemic, were very common in the West Coast NP. Many Marsh Terrapins were seen at Edeni, with some more in Mkhuze. The colourful Drakensberg Crag Lizard was seen up Sani Pass, with both Southern Rock and Southern Tree Agamas also recorded, both in the Zululand Reserves. Nile Crocodiles were a common sight at Edeni, Kruger and in Mkhuze and St Lucia.


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