Singita Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park | April 2013

Singita Kruger National Park is very fortunate in terms of the diversity of botany in the area. This is based on a difference in the soils and topography in the east, with the rhyolite-based Lebombo mountains, versus the west with its extremely fertile basaltic soils and relatively flat grasslands. Flora, like fauna, has its preferences to where it likes to live, and the differences in soil type and topography allows for a wonderful spectrum. There are two particularly prominent trees that grow in the area. They are very much cactus-like plants, but are in fact from the euphorbia family. They certainly do give the atmosphere of a great Western movie! The trees are incredibly picturesque and generally grow in areas that receive a limited amount of rainfall. The first of the euphorbias is the Transvaal candelabra euphorbia (Euphorbia cooperi). This is identified by its beautiful branches with what can be described as upside down heart-shaped lobes. It typically grows on rocky ridges, but it is less reliant on these ridges than the similar Lebombo euphorbia. The more ‘cucumber’ shaped lobes of the Lebombo Euphorbia tree, with the flowers starting to come through as we approach winter. Trees of the euphorbia family have a white milky latex and are extremely toxic. They can be very dangerous to the eyes, and cause blisters and irritation to the skin if not handled with extreme care. Despite this, the traditional uses are fairly varied – they include using it as a fish poison, purgative, poison for hunting arrows and for treating lesions and wounds on cattle. As a result, the tree is not eaten by many animals. One animal that is known to browse certain euphorbias is the black rhinoceros, and it is thought to be for its stomach cleansing properties.

Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report April 2013