It’s not all about the big and hairy

Sabi Sand | February 2020

There are few things as amazing as listening to the chorus of frogs in the evening on the way back to the lodge, especially following a good downpour of rain, or watching a dung beetle rolling his enormous dungball in search of a mate.

Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, (including mine at times) there is an amazing array and diversity of some of the smaller creatures on our property at the moment.

This time of year is arguably the best time to see many of the “creepy crawlies”, especially following the great rain we’ve had in the last few weeks. The likes of snakes, spiders and scorpions are often taken with a step back and grimace but the truth is often that “the only difference between scary and beautiful is knowledge.” They are also equally if not more important than much of the larger game and are always a sign of a healthy ecosystem!

I have never been a big fan of numbers to impress but here are just a few to show how diverse an ecosystem we are lucky enough to have: there are 447 species of reptiles found in southern Africa alone and no less than 132 species of amphibians! Not to mention the estimated 100 000 species of insects with many new or as yet undiscovered!

It is definitely worth a stop on your next drive, even if it is a short one, to hop off the vehicle to appreciate some of the smaller things at eye level.