I am in love with the coastal town of Mtunzini! Apart from its lekker laidback, holiday-style atmosphere and beach-vibe, the entire area is simply pumping with wildlife; from Gaboon Adders cruising the suburban streets at night, to Palmnut Vultures lazing on the beach. Furthermore, nature-tourism facilities and opportunities are excellent with a plethora of trails, drives, monuments, outings, activities and adventures to be enjoyed.
In 1912 a missionary named Paschal Boneberg found an odd little frog in the streams behind Mariannhill Church near Durban...and the world was introduced to the Kloof Frog, Natalobatrachus bonebergi. These fascinating forest frogs have always been high on my wishlist, but I've always come up empty handed. That all changes when I teamed up with Nick Evans for an evening of kloofing in Kloof.
Welcome to Ngoye Forest! If you're a birder, you will end up here sooner or later, as this relict 3,900 hectare forest patch in the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal is the only place in southern Africa to see Green Barbet (aka Woodward's Barbet, if you're so inclined), among many other endemics. There is even now a tarred road right through the forest, so no excuses! I tried something a little different with the layout this time - hope it works!
My friend Justin Rhys Nicolau sent me this remarkable picture which he took in Namib Desert. I admit that I was stumped as to these two babies' identity (which I'm sure was Justin's devious plan all along). Can YOU guess to which species these two cuties belong? I'll give you some clues: it is a Namibian near-endemic which is sometimes active at night and spends part of its life in underground rodent tunnels...
Black-rumped Buttonquails, Turnix nanus, are certainly some of the most elusive and tough-to-see-properly of Africa's birds. Ringers Ursula Franke-Bryson and Tom Bryson couldn't believe their eyes when the little bundle in one of their mistnets at Mutinondo Wilderness in northern Zambia turned out to be this poorly known species. Read on to hear why I think buttonquails are probably some of the planet's weirdest birds!