For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kruger National Park -The other side - Part 1

As I did the travelogue on Kruger National Park not too long ago, on my trip this time I tried to find something different to show you “the other side” of things. It rained almost all the time and there were few opportunities to do photography, but it was relaxing nevertheless and I think maybe I managed to put together something of interest to show you. Bugs…..sorry, but no post is going to be complete without a few thrown in somewhere (LOL!!), so bear with me as I make my way through my days spent there. I will post it in chapters as it is too long to do in one.

Starting off my journey, I made an early start as it is a fairly long trip and left at 3:30am. By 4:30 it is starting to get light outside and after a heavy storm the previous night, the clouds were starting to dissipate……
or so I thought….5 minutes after taking the first picture, this is what I was riding through with the road hardly being visible… At this time of year (November) many of the babies are being born in the wild. This baby Vervet Monkey is a few weeks old and stays close to mother.
Babies weigh a few ounces when born and all the females in the troop will gather around to handle and care for it.
Vervets are mainly vegetarians, feeding on flowers, seeds, seed pods, berries and fruit.
When the Black Monkey Orange is almost ripe, you will always see them gorging themselves on the fruit.
This is a small tree no more than 6 metres (about 18 feet) in height.
The fruit is edible and about the size of a tennis ball or slightly larger.
They are a blue/green when young and turn yellow when mature.
Our local people will collect and dry these pods, then carve designs on them to sell at the local craft market.