Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

For your reports/images, made outside Europe and the "Mediterranean" countries. Not to be too narrow minded and limited to our European/Mediterranean herps.

Re: Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:42 pm

Hi Jeroen

In some areas, like central KZN, Winter is indeed the best time to find snakes under rocks.

Northern KZN (Zululand) is different. Summer is the best time for snakes as that's when they're most active. Road cruising is very productive. Most of what I find, including frogs, are found on the roads at night. Chameleon's are abundant on the vegetation on the sides of roads. Road temperatures are usually over 30`C well into the night, while air temperatures vary. The best temps are at around 25`C or more, but I've had great luck on cooler nights. Humidity and rainfall is a big factor! I've also noticed less activity on nights with full moons. This year, the rains came a bit late, but by February we've usually had a good few downpours. Road cruising can also be rewarding for mammal sightings, hippo, bushbabies and genets are regularly seen. I also see antelope, crocodiles, rodents such as Cane Rats and hares, nocturnal birds (Nightjars and owls) and I've even seen leopard crossing the road!!

Day time herping is tough going! Temperatures reach up to 40`C or a bit more in the summer months, and average around the mid thirties. Obviously cold fronts come and go dropping the temperature. There is not much to flip or lift, unless you go to a farm where there is usually a lot of pieces of wood, corrugated iron etc. Early morning and late afternoon walks can be productive, especially if you lift the occasional log. Summers good for call outs. Many people have snakes entering their homes, and fortunately, would rather call to have it removed than kill it. The great thing about Zululand is 90% of calls are for dangerous snakes, cobras, boomslang and puff adders. It makes it more exciting!

Yes GertJan, it's not a bad option!

If anyone is keen on visiting the area you may contact me: nickevanskzn@gmail.com
Nick Evans
 
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Re: Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:28 pm

Thanks for the excellent elaboration!
Jeroen Speybroeck
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