Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:01 pm

Over the past month and a bit I've been lucky enough to work and live in Zululand, Northern Natal. I've been guiding and doing a few other random things, but mostly looking for snakes! It's such an amazing part of the world, with so much to see and such a high level of diversity. I've had some great luck during that time, and found many reptile species that I hadn't found before. It wasn't just reptile sightings that have been great!

Eastern Purple-Glossed Snake (Amblyodipsas microphthalma microphthalma)

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Common Purple-glossed Snake (Amblyodipsas polylepis polylepis)

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Jan's Shovel-snout (Prosymna janii)

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East African Shovel-snout (Prosymna stuhlmannii)

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Transvaal Quill-snouted Snake (Xenocalamus transvaalensis)

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Variegated Slug-eater (Duberria variegate)

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Common Wolf Snake (Lycophidion capense)

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Rhombic Egg-eater (Dasypeltis scabra)

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Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia)

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Schlegel's Blind Snake (Megatyphlops schlegelii)

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Eastern Natal Green Snake (Philothamnus natalensis natalensis)

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Southern African Python (Python natalensis)

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Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

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Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera)

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Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica)

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Vine Snake (Thelotornis capensis)

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Puff Adder (Bitis arietans)

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Van Dam's Dwarf Worm Lizard (Zygaspis vandami)

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Eastern Sand Skink (Trachylepis depressa)

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Rock Monitor (Varanus albigularis)

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Transvaal Girdled Lizard (Cordylus vittifer)

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Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)

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Eastern Hinged-back Tortoise (Kinixys zombensis)

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Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

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African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus edulis)

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Red-legged Kassina (Kassina maculata)

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Bubbling Kassina (Kassina senegalensis)

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Mozambique Rain Frog (Breviceps mossambicus)

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Bronze Caco (Cacosternum nanum)

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Broad-banded Grass Frog (Ptychadena mossambica)

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Mottled Shovel-nosed Frog (Hemisus marmoratus)

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I do snake removals in and around the area of Hluhluwe. I've had some pretty adventurous ones so far!

I got a call to remove a Forest Cobra that was in a hollow tree. It was tricky enough to get it out, but I soon painfully discovered the tree was occupied by a swarm of bees! Luckily a staff member at the lodge had a bee suit, but only the top half! It was a lot of fun...

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Another call for a Forest Cobra high up a tree...

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And a female Boomslang, also up a tree!

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Game viewing isn't half bad either....

Black Rhino on the Eastern Shores of Isimangaliso Wetland Park

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Boat rides on the St.Lucia estuary allow you to get close to hippos, crocs, and birds.

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Yellow Weaver

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Egyptian Geese and Wooly-necked Storks

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White Rhino in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

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Wild Dogs

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Elephants in Tembe Elephant Park

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Nyala's at Mkhuze Game Reserve

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Warthog family

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Hippo at Muzi Pan just outside of Mkhuze

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Ndumo Game Reserve...

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Pelicans at Ndumo

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If anyone's keen on visiting the area give me a shout!
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Mitton » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:26 pm

WOW WOW WOW, fantastic photography Nick. I know most of the subjects are very difficult to photograph but you got it spot on! Well done!

Were most of the first few snakes found cruising or active herping?

Does your lens have a crack?
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby reptile » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:53 pm

Oh wow! Nice finds!
85% of all snakes are harmless!!!!
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Ruan Stander » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:55 pm

Exceptional post with some excellent photos !
That second egg eater is a lovely specimen, and I would get very nervous wrangling forest cobras in the canopies !
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Nick Evans » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:47 pm

Thanks guys!

Mitton, a bloody insect got into my sensor!!!!!!!! Managed to take it to a shop eventually, but it still ruined a few pics :smt013 ! Was hoping no one would notice ;)

Yes most of them were found while cruising.
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Fooble » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:48 pm

Incredible post Nick!

I'm pretty sure the Jan's Shovel-snout is a first for the forum spectacular.

This post really levelled you up!

Side note that is Cordylus jonesii
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Mitton » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:49 pm

Sorry man. Haha. At least it is small and easy to remove. Once again great pics.
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby vuduman » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:37 am

Excellent post.Thanks for sharing with us
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby ragner » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:17 am

Great post.
Just a question please.
Why do you remove the snakes that are far up the trees?
Surely they are out of people's way?
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:43 am

I know what you mean ragner. I also feel like they should be left alone, but if I don't remove them they will get shot. I was too late recently, and a forest cobra was shot and killed with a paintball gun. So they have to be relocated or end up dead.
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Westley Price » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:49 am

Awesome post man and exceptional photos.

Zygaspis is something I am yet to find and I am very keen to photograph them. All the fossorial finds are awesome!
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:48 pm

Thanks a lot Westley! I love the fossorial species, they're so interesting!

Photographing that Zygaspis was just.... :smt013
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Chris89 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:12 pm

Oh man. Inspiring finds Nick! Hey, hey, fooble, someone put up a P. janii a little while back, just saying hahaha. Those first couple of fossorial snakes are particularly awesome nick. May i ask, do you find them by actively searching or come across them, above ground, after dark? Also how the hell do you photograph a Ptychadena? How do you get anywhere near a Ptychadena? Top job man, well done on setting yourself up in that area, must be a lekker place to live. Keep it up!
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Nick Evans » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:59 am

Thanks Chris!

Most species were found while road cruising, including the Ptychadena! There's loads of them on the roads and you can usually catch them. Some, like the Zygaspis and P.stuhlmannii, were found by chance while walking around after rain.

Not a bad place at all!
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Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

Postby Fooble » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 pm

Chris89 wrote:Oh man. Inspiring finds Nick! Hey, hey, fooble, someone put up a P. janii a little while back, just saying hahaha. Those first couple of fossorial snakes are particularly awesome nick. May i ask, do you find them by actively searching or come across them, above ground, after dark? Also how the hell do you photograph a Ptychadena? How do you get anywhere near a Ptychadena? Top job man, well done on setting yourself up in that area, must be a lekker place to live. Keep it up!


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