Nomads Nature Photography and Travel Reviews

Collection by Xander Buys

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Husband and wife team capturing the beauty of South African nature and reviewing the hospitality industry

Xander Buys
Caged - Lions are in serious decline across most of the African continent. According to the most recent International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessment, as few as 20,000 lions remain. The increasing trade in lion bones and other body parts is recognized as a major threat to existing lion populations, alongside habitat and prey loss, human/wildlife conflict and poorly regulated trophy hunting.

Caged - Lions are in serious decline across most of the African continent. According to the most recent International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessment, as few as 20,000 lions remain. The increasing trade in lion bones and other body parts is recognized as a major threat to existing lion populations, alongside habitat and prey loss, human/wildlife conflict and poorly regulated trophy hunting.

Caution - The Nile Crocodile is a large and aggressive species with a broad snout, especially in older animals. It has a dark bronze colouration and darkens as the animal matures. Lives in a variety of freshwater habitats but is also found in brackish water. It is an apex predator that is capable of taking a wide array of African vertebrates, including large ungulates and other predators. Crocodiles are ambush predators, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to…

Caution - The Nile Crocodile is a large and aggressive species with a broad snout, especially in older animals. It has a dark bronze colouration and darkens as the animal matures. Lives in a variety of freshwater habitats but is also found in brackish water. It is an apex predator that is capable of taking a wide array of African vertebrates, including large ungulates and other predators. Crocodiles are ambush predators, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to…

Plunge - The Lisbon Falls are the highest waterfalls in Mpumalanga, South Africa. They are located close to God's Window and the many other waterfalls in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, like Berlin Falls, Lone Creek and the Mac-Mac Falls. The Lisbon Falls are just three kilometres to the south of the Berlin Falls on the Lisbon River. The Lisbon River plunges down in a double stream, 90 meters high, over a semicircular rock face. There is a 100-meter footpath leading from the parking…

Plunge - The Lisbon Falls are the highest waterfalls in Mpumalanga, South Africa. They are located close to God's Window and the many other waterfalls in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, like Berlin Falls, Lone Creek and the Mac-Mac Falls. The Lisbon Falls are just three kilometres to the south of the Berlin Falls on the Lisbon River. The Lisbon River plunges down in a double stream, 90 meters high, over a semicircular rock face. There is a 100-meter footpath leading from the parking…

Curled - Kudu bulls bear massive, long, spiral horns which reach record lengths of up to 1.8 m. Horns grow to their full length at the age of six years. Bulls also attain much larger sizes than cows. Bulls can weigh as much as 300 kg with a shoulder height of 1.4 m and cows weigh 210 kg with a shoulder height of 1.25 m. Tawny-brown to grey-brown coat, marked with white stripes on flanks which vary greatly in shape, size and pattern. V-shaped band on the forehead and white spots on cheeks.

Curled - Kudu bulls bear massive, long, spiral horns which reach record lengths of up to 1.8 m. Horns grow to their full length at the age of six years. Bulls also attain much larger sizes than cows. Bulls can weigh as much as 300 kg with a shoulder height of 1.4 m and cows weigh 210 kg with a shoulder height of 1.25 m. Tawny-brown to grey-brown coat, marked with white stripes on flanks which vary greatly in shape, size and pattern. V-shaped band on the forehead and white spots on cheeks.

Camouflage - Giraffes are fairly social animals and get together in herds from time to time. However, there is no group bonding. Because of their very long necks, Giraffes are able to feed on the foliage of trees that is not accessible to other herbivores. The long prehensile tongue is used to pull pods and leaves into the mouth which are then stripped from the stems with the spatulate incisor teeth. Their skin colour is tan with light brown patches on females and dark brown patches on…

Camouflage - Giraffes are fairly social animals and get together in herds from time to time. However, there is no group bonding. Because of their very long necks, Giraffes are able to feed on the foliage of trees that is not accessible to other herbivores. The long prehensile tongue is used to pull pods and leaves into the mouth which are then stripped from the stems with the spatulate incisor teeth. Their skin colour is tan with light brown patches on females and dark brown patches on…

Concentric - The red-knobbed coot is an omnivore and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds. Its main food in most waters, however, comprises various waterweeds for which it commonly dives. Where it is disturbed it is likely to bully any intruder, even large birds such as Egyptian geese, if they do not defy its challenges. It can be seen swimming on open water or walking across waterside grasslands. It is an aggressive species and strongly territorial.

Concentric - The red-knobbed coot is an omnivore and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds. Its main food in most waters, however, comprises various waterweeds for which it commonly dives. Where it is disturbed it is likely to bully any intruder, even large birds such as Egyptian geese, if they do not defy its challenges. It can be seen swimming on open water or walking across waterside grasslands. It is an aggressive species and strongly territorial.

Illusive - The Burchell’s Coucal is more often heard than seen. Its call, which is a cascade of bubbling notes, usually emanates from the deep undergrowth, the habitat that this species prefers. It mainly calls in the morning, but it will also call throughout the day and even on moonlit nights. It is sometimes called the Rainbird because it calls before, during and after rains. This Coucal occurs in most of South Africa, except the arid west. It is common on the Highveld. It is found in…

Illusive - The Burchell’s Coucal is more often heard than seen. Its call, which is a cascade of bubbling notes, usually emanates from the deep undergrowth, the habitat that this species prefers. It mainly calls in the morning, but it will also call throughout the day and even on moonlit nights. It is sometimes called the Rainbird because it calls before, during and after rains. This Coucal occurs in most of South Africa, except the arid west. It is common on the Highveld. It is found in…

Dishevelled - One of the characteristic predators of the African savanna the Spotted Hyena was long thought to be solely a scavenger, but it is now known that it is one of the most successful hunters. Its sloping features and ungainly walk, together with its eerie call have earned the Spotted Hyena a bad reputation. Long thought to be of the dog family the Hyena is now thought to have more cat-like features. The Spotted Hyena is well known for its macabre chuckle or "laugh".

Dishevelled - One of the characteristic predators of the African savanna the Spotted Hyena was long thought to be solely a scavenger, but it is now known that it is one of the most successful hunters. Its sloping features and ungainly walk, together with its eerie call have earned the Spotted Hyena a bad reputation. Long thought to be of the dog family the Hyena is now thought to have more cat-like features. The Spotted Hyena is well known for its macabre chuckle or "laugh".

Disturbed - Banded Mongoose males are only heavier than females during the immature stages. In adulthood both sexes are similar in size and mass, weighing about 1.5 kg. This Mongoose is characterised by triangular shaped, pointed faces and flat broad ears. They have long bushy tails and a long coarse coat. Colouration is greyish-brown with an unmistakable series of light and dark vertical bands across the back and flanks. Underparts are lighter with elegant dark legs.

Disturbed - Banded Mongoose males are only heavier than females during the immature stages. In adulthood both sexes are similar in size and mass, weighing about 1.5 kg. This Mongoose is characterised by triangular shaped, pointed faces and flat broad ears. They have long bushy tails and a long coarse coat. Colouration is greyish-brown with an unmistakable series of light and dark vertical bands across the back and flanks. Underparts are lighter with elegant dark legs.

Bastion - Robberg Nature Reserve is a national monument steeped in history, with prehistoric rocks and Stone Age artefacts. The reserve, situated 8 km south of Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, is not only a nature reserve but also a national monument. Rocks from this region date back 120 million years to the break-up of Gondwanaland and evidence of middle and later Stone Age inhabitation has been found in a few of the caves along the peninsula.

Bastion - Robberg Nature Reserve is a national monument steeped in history, with prehistoric rocks and Stone Age artefacts. The reserve, situated 8 km south of Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, is not only a nature reserve but also a national monument. Rocks from this region date back 120 million years to the break-up of Gondwanaland and evidence of middle and later Stone Age inhabitation has been found in a few of the caves along the peninsula.

Alert - One of the more common antelope of the African savannah, Impala have been referred to as the Macdonalds of the bush as they are of the most common prey for predators. The distinctive markings on the rump also resemble the company logo to a degree. The Impala is preyed upon by most of the large carnivores and the young often fall prey to Pythons. The Impala is therefore on constant alert. Should one of them spot danger, it will snort an alarm and the whole herd will scatter.

Alert - One of the more common antelope of the African savannah, Impala have been referred to as the Macdonalds of the bush as they are of the most common prey for predators. The distinctive markings on the rump also resemble the company logo to a degree. The Impala is preyed upon by most of the large carnivores and the young often fall prey to Pythons. The Impala is therefore on constant alert. Should one of them spot danger, it will snort an alarm and the whole herd will scatter.

Haze - Plettenberg Bay is a seaside town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. The sandy Central Beach and Lookout Beach both have surf breaks. To the south, Robberg Nature Reserve is a rocky peninsula with trails and the Stone Age Nelson Bay Caves. Northeast is Birds of Eden, a free-flight bird sanctuary in the indigenous forest, and an elephant sanctuary. Whales come near the coast in migration season.

Haze - Plettenberg Bay is a seaside town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. The sandy Central Beach and Lookout Beach both have surf breaks. To the south, Robberg Nature Reserve is a rocky peninsula with trails and the Stone Age Nelson Bay Caves. Northeast is Birds of Eden, a free-flight bird sanctuary in the indigenous forest, and an elephant sanctuary. Whales come near the coast in migration season.

Prickly - Elephant trunks have multiple functions, including breathing, olfaction, touching, grasping, and sound production. The trunk's ability to make powerful twisting and coiling movements allows it to collect food, wrestle with other elephants, and lift up to 350 kg. It can be used for delicate tasks, such as wiping an eye and checking an orifice, and is capable of cracking a peanut shell without breaking the seed. With its trunk, an elephant can reach items at heights of up to 7 m.

Prickly - Elephant trunks have multiple functions, including breathing, olfaction, touching, grasping, and sound production. The trunk's ability to make powerful twisting and coiling movements allows it to collect food, wrestle with other elephants, and lift up to 350 kg. It can be used for delicate tasks, such as wiping an eye and checking an orifice, and is capable of cracking a peanut shell without breaking the seed. With its trunk, an elephant can reach items at heights of up to 7 m.

Flutter - Gull nests are usually mats of herbaceous matter with a central nest cup. Nests are usually built on the ground, but a few species build nests on cliffs, including the kittiwakes, which almost always nest in such habitats, and in some cases in trees, and high places like Bonaparte's gulls. Species that nest in marshes must construct a nesting platform to keep the nest dry, particularly in species that nest in tidal marshes. Both sexes gather nesting material and build the nest.

Flutter - Gull nests are usually mats of herbaceous matter with a central nest cup. Nests are usually built on the ground, but a few species build nests on cliffs, including the kittiwakes, which almost always nest in such habitats, and in some cases in trees, and high places like Bonaparte's gulls. Species that nest in marshes must construct a nesting platform to keep the nest dry, particularly in species that nest in tidal marshes. Both sexes gather nesting material and build the nest.

Joyous - Like most members of the horse family, zebras are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Mountain zebras and plains zebras live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Bachelor males either live alone or with groups of other bachelors until they are old enough to challenge a breeding stallion. Unlike the other zebra species, Grévy's zebras do not have permanent social bonds.

Joyous - Like most members of the horse family, zebras are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Mountain zebras and plains zebras live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Bachelor males either live alone or with groups of other bachelors until they are old enough to challenge a breeding stallion. Unlike the other zebra species, Grévy's zebras do not have permanent social bonds.

Furl - Fiddleheads or Fiddlehead greens are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond. As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground. The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin. It is also called a crozier, after the curved…

Furl - Fiddleheads or Fiddlehead greens are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond. As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground. The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin. It is also called a crozier, after the curved…