Beautiful Butterfly Bounty!

One would be forgiven for expecting that the most memorable experience of a visit to the Kruger National Park would entail one of the big, charismatic mammals exhibiting some or other fascinating behaviour: a pride of lions making a kill, an elephant cow giving birth or a thousand-strong herd of buffalo stampeding to a waterhole, for instance. However, as I found out during my solo visit to the Kruger Park at the end of May, a bounty of beautiful butterflies can easily make those hairy-and-scary creatures fade into the background! In both Pretoriuskop and Skukuza Rest Camps I found blooming Lowveld Bittertea bushes (Gymnanthemum coloratum) and the surrounding gardens and lawns attended by literally hundreds of butterflies of at least 28 different species! They kept me busy and entertained for quite some time and I hope this gallery of pictures convey at least a sense of this awesome experience.

Of course, the butterflies were not the only insects making good use of the proliferation of winter flowers, and various other insects, most notably bees and wasps, were to be seen in attendance. A few dragonflies and birds then also made use of the opportunity to catch an easy meal on the wing.

Two weeks later we returned to the Kruger Park, this time to Shingwedzi Rest Camp about 280km north of Skukuza. Here we found fewer butterflies – perhaps winter had set in now, with nighttime temperatures especially being on the cold side – but there were still enough of them flitting around to keep us thoroughly engaged while spending the midday hours in camp.

I’d like to dedicate this post to a great friend to de Wets Wild and the biggest butterfly fundi I know – AJ Vosse ofΒ  “Ouch My Back Hurts” .

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38 thoughts on “Beautiful Butterfly Bounty!

  1. Pingback: Game-viewing in Kruger (May and June 2019) | de Wets Wild

  2. naturebackin

    Definitely awesome. What an amazing collection of butterfly photos, and with the butterflies named too! And then there’s more – I enjoyed the other insects too. With so much activity going on in camp it must be hard sometimes to leave to go out on a drive!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I hear you, Carol – wanting a game drive to end so I can get back to camp to check out the butterfly “hive” was a new experience for me – luckily the butterflies are late risers and go to bed early. πŸ˜€

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  3. aj vosse

    Thank you Dries!
    You say the sweetest things!! However, I’ll have you know… we’re jealous!
    Here in Ireland there are only about 32 species – so chasing butterflies is more of a fun exercise than a fundi-making endeavour! πŸ˜‰
    We’ve just scrolled through the galleries… Moira says I have to tell you that your post is special!!
    But… have I told you we’re jealous??
    We’ve had a cold, wet few days so we haven’t seen any… but hopefully we’ll soon see the second broods arriving!
    One thing I have noticed so far… Painted Ladies seem to be about more… and they are still regarded as migrants in Ireland! We saw a pair cavorting in mating flight a few weeks ago… so, maybe we’ll soon have resident colonies!
    Thanks again!
    BTW… did I say we’re jealous??
    πŸ˜πŸ¦‹πŸ˜ƒπŸ¦‹πŸ˜‰πŸ¦‹πŸ˜„

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I’m very pleased that you and Moira enjoyed this one so much, AJ (even if you were a little jealous) as I really had you in mind from the moment I came across this beautiful bounty of butterflies! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Now imagine seeing them all mixed together in groups numbering into the hundreds and fluttering all around you, Montucky – it was an amazing experience!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We have almost 900 kinds of butterflies in South Africa, Lois, so I still have a long way to go to learn about them all. But it is a journey I am willing to make!

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