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BOOK REVIEW - Invertebrates of Southern Africa & their Tracks and Signs

Invertebrates of Southern Africa & their Tracks and Signs

A must-have book for nature lovers – encouraging them to look a little closer. Invertebrates of Southern Africa and their Tracks & Signs covers a never-before-explored aspect of Southern African nature and is an essential new addition to the library of every nature lover.

It was researched and written over the last four and a half years to open a door to a little known micro-world that exists all around us. Invertebrates – which include commonly seen creatures such as butterflies, spiders, beetles, worms and scorpions – are everywhere. The signs of their day-today activities are all around us if we know where to look.

The life cycles and behaviours of many animals are discussed, with a special focus on interactions between mammals and invertebrates – a fascinating subject in itself. While working on this book, Lee Gutteridge spent many hours in the field with expert entomologists and arachnologists, many of whom commented that; even though they had spent a lifetime in the field, this experience, of invertebrate tracking, had changed the way that they see the invertebrate world. With funding received from the Oppenheimer family, 250 copies will be donated to indigenous trackers, whose knowledge Lee appreciates and respects.


Lee Gutteridge is an experienced, enthusiastic and well-known wild life author, nature guide and trainer. With 25 years of experience in the bush, he has come to realise that guiding is not just about knowledge, but more importantly about how one shares the knowledge. Lee trains other guide and tracker teams at some of Africa’s top lodges, with programmes focusing on a wide range of subjects including track identification.

BOOK REVIEW - Running Wild The Story of Zulu, an African Stallion

Running Wild The Story of Zulu, an African Stallion

It’s February 2000, tropical Cyclone Leon-Eline collides with the Mozambican coast and in forty-eight hours the Limpopo River breaks its banks. It has risen eleven metres
above its normal flood level. Then the riverbanks start to crumble. On Mashatu Game Reserve frantic horses are thrashing around in the rising water. Hay bales two metres high fly past, bouncing like rubber balls. Saddles and wheelbarrows sit in the tops of trees. Ruff manages to break down the paddock gate, herd the horses through the gap and chase them out into the wild. The horses of Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris spend most of their time out grazing and know the lie of the land; most of the horses return but not Zulu. He is thought to be lost to the scourges of the Bushveld.

Years pass before Zulu is discovered to be not only alive and well, but running as the lead stallion of a herd of wild zebras. He is recaptured and returned to the safari stables as a much bolder and wiser stallion – knowledge he passes on to the other horses as well as the humans of Limpopo Valley.

Following in the footsteps of Jock of the Bushveld, Running Wild is an African story for all ages. It is a tale of resilience, of courage and endurance, a book that will uplift, enrich and warm every lover of the African bush.

Tenikwa - Wildlife Rehabilitation & Awareness Centre

Much of South Africa’s wildlife is being forced to adapt to surviving on urban fringes as more and more open spaces become transformed into human dwellings. This continued escalation over the last decade has created a steady decline in our wildlife population. The Founders of Tenikwa, recognising the growing need for intervention, as early as 2002, have since played an important role in working consistently towards reversing this unfortunate trend.

Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre is ideally situated in one of the most biodiverse hotspots along South Africa’s Garden Route, (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) sustaining 43% of South Africa’s plant and animal life and embodying over thirty terrestrial habitat types.

A non-profit organisation, Tenikwa works in close partnership with Nature Conservation authorities and is registered with the South African Veterinary Council, with permits issued by both Cape Nature and the Department of the Environment.

Tenikwa is also one of the very few centres in the world that accepts marine, as well as terrestrial species for rehabilitation. Over these last ten years, in the region
of 25000 visitors per year have visited Tenikwa’s Awareness Centre and their staff has grown from 4 to 30, thus contributing to much-needed employment in the area.

Tenikwa’s Wildlife Awareness Centre was opened to the public by Len and Mandy Freeman, the Founders of Tenikwa in 2007. Their objective being to raise awareness and to provide a sustainable form of funding for the crucial role played by the Rehabilitation facilities.


Fracking the N3 corridor

Don’t Fiddle with our Water Factories

The water-bearing ecosystems – grasslands, forests and krantzes along the N3 Gateway are under threat from companies wanting to explore for unconventional gas. These ‘water factories’ of Mpumalanga, KZN, Free State and North West are essential for our survival, especially with the ever-increasing drought in the areas where many of our strategic rivers originate.

South Africa is a water scarce, semi-arid country, and less than 10% of the land in South Africa generates half the water we have available in our streams, rivers, and dams - the water factories. These include the Vaal Basin (which supplies Gauteng), the Buffalo River (which supplies a large part of KZN and joins the Thukela River at the Mooi River confluence), the iMfolozi River, which rises near Vryheid, the uMngeni River catchment which supplies 1000 million litres per day of potable water to a vast area including Howick, Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

The role of the Drakensberg and foothills as the water factories cannot be underestimated. Intact grasslands are important for storing rainwater in wetlands or as groundwater which is gradually released throughout the year. It is vitally important to protect these areas which sustain the flow of clean water, supporting the lives and livelihoods of people downstream. Other free ecosystem services provided by these grasslands include pollination, soil production, floodwater attenuation, carbon storage, cultural and tourism amenities.


Thonga Beach Lodge

In a remote corner of northern KwaZulu Natal, a small slice of heaven awaits all who are battle weary from the incessant demands of our daily lives. It’s called Thonga Beach Lodge. This slice of heaven comes with a warning, however. Once you taste it, you will be left with an insatiable appetite for more.

What ingredients go in to make this particular slice of heaven so irresistible you may be asking. Well as any good chef worth their chef’s hat will tell you it’s all about combining only the best locally sourced ingredients then adding that one final secret ingredient and VOILA you have Thonga Beach Lodge. Now let’s take a closer look at some of the special ingredients that make up Thonga Beach Lodge.

Exquisite Setting

An enchanted forest of Milkwood trees encapsulates the lodge. Shy samango monkeys forage within its thick leafy canopy which is also home to more than 296 species of bird. Set within the boundaries of the UNESCO World Heritage site of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thonga Beach Lodge offers guests miles of unspoilt, dazzling white sandy beach where foamy white waves lap the shoreline and the distinctive smell of the salty ocean fills your nostrils with each breath. Bottlenose dolphins jump and play just beyond the backline, and if you time your stay just right you’ll be privy to the silver moonlight illuminating the sky and bedazzling the sea as it slowly rises over the ocean.


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