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An endearing trend that occurs each winter in the camp environment is the frequent visits, if not semi permanent residency, of a couple of old bachelor buffalos. These bulls are also affectionately known amongst wildlife enthusiasts as “dagga boys” - most probably originating from the Zulu word “dagga” meaning mud, describing their keenness to spend many hours lazing about in muddy wallows.
Through November, the African wattle (Peltophorum africanum) was an endearing feature in the landscape. It is a fairly common tree on Ingwelala and this season their collective and simultaneous flowering delivered a spectacular yellow hue amidst the summer greenery.
At this time of the year the aloes have just finished providing the most beautiful colours against the drabness of passing winter. The flowers are alive with buzzing insects and birds feeding on the sweet nectar.
A fascinating event is that of a few Wahlber’s Epauletted Fruit Bats (Epomophorus wahlbergi) roosting under the eaves of the office block. What intrigues me is that these bats used to roost under the eaves outside the back entrance to the old kitchen/library, and have returned to a very similar geographical location.
The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is a snake often seen on Ingwelala. Paging through the 2011 sightings register reminded me how often this reptile is encountered, and avoided by most at all cost, certainly by me on at least one occasion.
The Chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) is a species that needs no introduction at Ingwelala. It is well known to all. Despite its opportunistic behaviour of “break and entry” to source food in human dwellings and leave a foul trail of numerous unpleasant calling cards, it is a highly intelligent mammal that lives in a highly organised, social community.
A common pedestrian seen crossing the reserve roads these days, is the flap-necked chameleon, Chamaeleo dilepis. They are currently abundant, their only misfortune as a population being the numbers that have been prejudiced by road kills.