Tag Archive: South Africa

Ufumene Game Lodge

A favorite destination for our family is the Ufumene Game Lodge. Ufumene is located in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) on the Cradock side of the Olifantshoek pass. The lodge is very family orientated, whether the kids go horse riding and the adults go for a long tranquil walk, its a place to relax and get yourself recharged.
The following photos are a collection of some of my favorites from the area surrounding the lodge:

Mother and Child. Newly born giraffe. Such serene animals.

Giraffe mommy and baby

 

This is a macro shot of a Lavender flower. I shot this with a 500mm Sigma lens with a 25mm extension tube attached so I could get in really close.

Lavender macro

 

On receiving my new Canon 7D mark II, the first thing that went through my mind was; how much noise am I going to get with a starscape. This was a 30 second exposure with an ISO of 4000.  I was truly impressed by the minimal noise that I got in this shot.

Starscape at Ufumene

 

This is an Hadeda Ibis, a pretty common bird in the Eastern Cape.

Hadeda ibis

 

One of the landscape picture I took of the surrounding area around Ufumene Lodge

Mountains At Ufunmene

 

One of the many birds of prey in the area.

Raptor

 

A beautiful sunset at Ufumene. Everyday has a unique sunset.

Sunset at Ufumene

 

One of the great animals to see when visiting Ufumene, is the Sable Antelope. They are magnificent animals.

Sable Antelope

 

The Cape Sparrow is one of the many birds you will encounter at the lodge. Ufumene is a birders’ paradise.

Cape sparrow

 

Another landscape over the small dam outside the lodge. It can really produce some stunning effects

Sunrise at Ufumene

 

Road to tranquility.  Another landscape shot with touch of HDR

Mountains At Ufunmene

 

Another shot off the dam. Love the clouds.

Dam at Ufumene

2014 Super Moon

Here is another Super Perigee Moon for 12 July 2014. A moon that is more brighter than the average moon and also closer to earth. This moon was superimposed onto a stary background to liven it up a little. Another Super Moon will also occur on the 10 August and 9 September this year. This Super moon image was taken in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

2014 SuperMoon

Flatties – Family Selenopidae

Here are a few shots of the Wall Crab Spider, often known as the Flattie spider. Flatties comes from the Family Selenopidae. The wall crab spiders  are members of a group of families collectively called crab spiders because of their laterigrade (sideways-moving) legs. This family consists of about 175 species in four genera, of which Selenops is the best known. The family is primarily tropical with the genus Anyphops confined to Sub-Saharan Africa and the genus Hovops confined to Madagascar. The spiders are very flat and are commonly found on walls or under rocks. They are very quick and very difficult to capture and their coloring makes them often quite difficult to see. All of this family have eight eyes.

This first Flattie was photographed at Ufumene Game Farm, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

flattie spider on rock

The next two photos are the same spider, just a very close macro of its face. It is sitting on top of a drum skin.

flattie on a drum skin

 

flattie macroThanks to Wikipedia for some of the information used here.

 

Garden Bokmakieries

These are two Bokmakierie pictures shot in my garden in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Its latin name is Telophorus zeylonus and it belongs to the Malaconotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bush-shrikesPuffbacksTchagrasBoubousHelment-shrikesBatises and Wattle-eyes.
This shot was taken with a Canon 7D with a Sigma 150-500mm Lens
Garden Bokmakierie

… and this one was taken with a Canon 7D with a 100-400mm L IS lens

Garden Bokmakierie

A Collection of Stinky Stink Bugs

Over the past few years I have collected various macro photos of different bugs. A number of those bugs smell pretty terrible when disturbed or threatend. Here are a few of those stinky insects:

Green Stink Bug (Family: Pentatomidae)

Green Stink Bug

Brown Stink Bug (Family: Pentatomidae)

Brown Stink Bug

Another Brownish Stink Bug (Family: Pentatomidae)

Light Brown Stink Bug

Twig Wilter Bug (Family: Coreidae)

Twig Wilter Bug

A Collection of Ants

Over the years, I have taken many macro shots, some being ants. Here are some of the shots  have taken mostly with a Canon 7D with a Raynox DCR250 filter attached to give a little amplification.

3mm Ant with its lunch

Ant with lunch

 

 

Less is more ( an entry for a local competition )
less is more

 

3mm Ants having a morning chat.

Ants having a morning chat

 

A really upset ant taken at Koffylaagte Game Lodge in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This ant is commonly known as the Bal-byter ant (Camponotus fulvopilosus)

Bal-byter ant

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Awesome Green Jumping Spider

Here is a beautiful green jumping spider. I believe it to be of the family Salticidae and of the Genus Thyenula. The species is probably juvenca. This male was found in my back yard in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and was quite a challenge to photograph as it was more interested in jumping onto my lens and leaving its silk strands all over it, that hunting for its next meal. These jumpers are supposed to be a  ground-dwelling species and  live in subtropical forests and savanna.
Thyenula juvenca male

Depicta Copper – Aloeides depicta

The Depicta CopperAloeides depicta is pretty small butterfly ranging from 26mm to 29mm in the males and 29mm to 35mm in the females. Depicta is a relatively variable butterfly, colour-wise. The upperside being a ground colour orange with a wide grey-black border.  The hind wing underside is sandy to buff-brown, occasionally reddish.
The distribution of  this Aloeides is fynbos, Nama Karoo along mountain chains from Matjiesfontein to Gydo Mountain and also Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth. It’s habitats include hillsides and rocky ledges. It’s flight period is in the warmer months of the year being September to June. The Depicta Copper’s larval food is  Aspalathus. Aspalathus is the genus to which the rooibos tea plant belongs, is the largest member of the pea family endemic to South Africa.
These pictures were taken in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Another Shot of a different Depicta copper:

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

The Pearl Emperor – Charaxes varanes varanes

From the Genus, Charaxes – Emperors, comes this absolutely stunning Pearl Emperor.  The Charaxes species are generally brightly colours in shades of orange and red or iridescent blue. They are aggressive and territorial and will chase or push other butterflies away from food sources. The larva are usually green. The pupae are also green, sometimes with white stripes or streaks, rounded with more or less pointed head.
The Pearl Emperor, however, has orange and pearly-white wings and very conspicuous against foliage. The underside colour us quite variable, often golden brown, but can look like the picture below with almost a greenish-brown-silver look to it. The wings’ veins are also green in colour. These are relatively big butterflys with males from around 65mm – 70mm and females from 70mm – 90mm.
The distribution of the Pearl Emperor is Eastern Cape from Mossel Bay to Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West provinces.
Their habitats include: forest edges, flatlands and the coast. They fly all year round in warmer areas with a week peak in September to November and a stronger peak from January to June.
Their larval foodplant consist of: Allophylus africanusAllophylus dregeanusAllophylus natalensis and also Cardiospermum halicacabum. This shot was taken at “The Island” reserve, near Seaview Lion Park, outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa“.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

A shot with the wings open of the same butterfly.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

Bar-Throated Apalis

The Bar-throated Apalis is a small African passerine bird (relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds) belonging to the genus Apalis of the family Cisticolidae.

The Bar-throated Apalis or Apalis thoracica inhabits forest and scrub in Southern and East Africa from southern and eastern parts of South Africa north as far as the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
The Bar-throated Apalis is a slender bird with a long tail and is 11 to 13 cm in length. The plumage varies depending on the subspecies: the upperparts can be grey or green while the underparts are white or pale yellow. All forms have a narrow black band across the breast, white outer tail-feathers and a pale eye. The black bill is fairly long and slender and is slightly curved. Females have a narrower breastband than that of the males. Juveniles have buffer underparts and may have an incomplete breastband.
Pairs sing a duetting song with the female’s call being higher-pitched than that of the male.
The oval, purse-shaped nest is made mainly of plant material. Three eggs are laid, these are bluish-white with reddish-brown spots. The breeding season lasts from August to January.
This species forages for caterpillars and other insects amongst vegetation, often forming mixed-species flocks with other birds.
This photo was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Information from Wikipedia

Bar-throated Apalis