The mountainous grasslands and forested riverbanks around Mahai in the Royal Natal National Park are adorned by the most beautiful, though hardy, plants – a treat to even the most amateurish of botanists like me; so if you can help with identifying most of these beauties I’d be forever in your debt (I know at least that mushrooms aren’t plants, strictly speaking…)
I know this is a post that will be very pleasing to several of our regular followers!
With bright sunshine and warm autumn weather in the Drakensberg the butterflies come out to play in their numbers, and we go chasing them with camera in hand. These little beauties were all fluttering around Mahai in the Royal Natal National Park on Monday.
With South Africa preparing for a nationwide “lock-down” of a minimum three week duration in the face of the global pandemic, we’ve returned from the Drakensberg grateful for having had a chance to recharge our batteries in beautiful natural surroundings. We’ll be sharing many more photos from our latest trip in days to come and hope that they’ll bring you as much joy as the memories will for us in these trying times.
Well, not really – our bookings were made long before the current health crisis and we opted not to cancel, figuring that it is nice to know that for a while at least we can breathe the fresh mountain air of the Royal Natal National Park again. So here we are.
The Rainbow Skink, or Five-lined Skink, is an active lizard occurring in rocky terrain in savanna habitats from Kwazulu-Natal, through the Lowveld and Limpopo Valley to as far north as Kenya. They feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates. Males are territorial. Females lay one, perhaps two, clutches of 6-10 eggs in summer, with the baby skinks emerging around two months later. Females, adolescents and immature males exhibit the distinct lines and brilliant blue tails associated with this species, while the adult males have an olive base-colouration speckled with tiny white spots. Adults may grow to 20cm in length, including the tail. The IUCN lists the Rainbow Skink as being of least concern.