Unlike some other African countries, where there are few boundaries between human settlements and wildlife; fenced reserves are a way of life in South Africa, with all wildlife contained within either government or privately owned game reserves.
A few years ago Thanda Private Game Reserve doubled in size when it leased land to form the Mduna Royal Reserve; a beautiful undeveloped and mountainous piece of Zululand which borders the western side of Thanda. Whilst it has always been possible to traverse the two properties by road the majority of the boundary fence remained in place meaning that for the wildlife most of the movement was through small gaps in the fences or across grids.
Recently however the Ulwazi and Wildlife Team were ecstatic to be able to remove a significant portion of the boundary fencing and we are very excited to see how the wildlife takes advantage of these changes.
The European Roller (Coracias garrulus) is the only member of the Roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco. The European roller is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa in two distinct regions, from Senegal east to Cameroon and from Ethiopia west to Congo and south to South Africa.
This is a Solifuge (also known as a Red Roman or Sun Spider). It is in the Arachnida class but is neither Spider nor Scorpion. Fascinating creatures with massive chelicerae but no venom glands, they can grow very large and are rarely seen, so we were very excited to see one in the middle of the road earlier today;-). Spotted on Thanda Safari.
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