The Art of Sauntering in Nature

Pace yourself outdoors. As the world searches for escapes from high pressure urban lifestyles, research is showing that a mere hour in nature on a daily basis has incredible therapeutic benefits on both physical health and mental well being. South Africans that do get out into nature on a regular basis have recently evolved into stopwatch addicts, racing the clock to raise their heart rate … Continue reading The Art of Sauntering in Nature

Garden Route Snakes

Puffadder : Bitis arietans. As the heat of summer settles in in the #GardenRoute, the snake population emerges from their winter shelters. The Puffadder is an ambush predator species, relying on it’s cytotoxic venom to rapidly take down its prey after a strike. Puffadders rely on cryptic disruptive camouflage to blend in and are reluctant to move when disturbed. Research has shown that in their … Continue reading Garden Route Snakes

Cast in Stone : The Cradle of Human Culture.

“I think you need to come and look at this again” called Dr Martin Lockley. Dr Charles Helm, his wife Linda and myself were walking away from an overhang of aeolianite with a series of fossilized tracks on the under surface to look at another series of fossil tracks which Dr Helm describes as a work of art. When an ichnologist and paleontologist as renowned … Continue reading Cast in Stone : The Cradle of Human Culture.

Be Prepared to be Safe when hiking in South Africa.

After the recent mountain rescue on Table Mountain this weekend, it is important to share some salient safety measures when hiking on any mountain, irrespective of experience. • use official foot paths only • carry more that one operational cellphone in your hiking party • plan your intended route in a way that you are off the mountain before sunset • carry an accurate map … Continue reading Be Prepared to be Safe when hiking in South Africa.

Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.

In the past 6 months there have been over 10 whale carcasses washed up, including a rare Sperm Whale, in the Garden Route. Depending on where they washed up, their handling varied from leaving them in situ to burying them or removing the remains for disposal elsewhere. Where possible, sampling was performed for DNA profiling and parasite collection. Generally, with the carcasses there is a … Continue reading Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.

Flaming Fynbos In the Garden Route

In June 2017 South Africa, and the world, watched in horror as a wildfire swept through the Garden Route destroying over 500 homesteads, farmland and timber plantations. The shear destruction left in the path of the blaze amounted to 22,000 hectares burnt, 7 lives lost and communities traumatized. The fire, like so many international wildfires that occurred in 2017, was the perfect inferno, the result … Continue reading Flaming Fynbos In the Garden Route

Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.

Date: Sunday 2nd September 2018 Location : Swartvlei Beach By Mark Dixon. Late Sunday morning the much awaited autopsy of the beached Sperm Whale carcass got underway. Joining the research team were Dr Stephanie Plon from NMU with Dr Greg Hofmeyr from Bayworld visiting briefly while en route to Cape Town. The most noticeable external observation was of the advanced onset of bloat that had … Continue reading Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.