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Black Rhino
Mammals

Black Rhino Stare-down

We are on our sound safari at Sausage Tree Safari Camp in the Balule Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger National Park. It is 8am as we drive around a bend in the road and suddenly a large Black Rhino is spotted feeding behind a bush close to the road. We stop, switch the

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Leopard
Mammals

The Leopards’ Love Song

It is now the third morning in a row that a leopard has been calling over and over around the house any time from 3am through to daybreak.  On day 1 it was still calling at 7am very close to where we were walking, and we decided that we should discontinue the walk until later

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Dung Beetle
Insects

Insect Musicians

Three groups of insects, crickets, katydids and cicadas may be called insect musicians. The first two, crickets and katydids create sound by stridulation, i.e. rubbing specially modified body parts against each another. Cicadas on the other hand have a unique noise making organ, a tymbal which is located on the front side of the hollow

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Red-billed Oxpecker
Birds

Tracker Birds

Tracker birds introduces a really exciting new initiative “Tracker Mentoring” which is the brainchild of our good friends Dr. Kersey Lawrence and Lee Gutteridge. This series of on-line tracking courses is aimed at stimulating an interest in tracking among children, young people, adventure students and the general public as well as giving experienced trackers a

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Birds

African Pitta Time!

Well described as one of Africa’s ‘most wanted birds’, the African Pitta is a spectacular, vividly coloured bird. It occurs in deciduous thickets in the Zambezi River Valley in Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as along certain parts of the Luangwa River in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and in northern Mozambique. It arrives to

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Recording Snakes
Reptiles

Reptiles under the mic – part 1

Relying on your ears alone often means that you are missing some amazing sounds and experiences from the natural world. This all changes when incorporating a set of headphones and a recording device. Some years ago we were given the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to record vocalisations of a range of reptiles at the amazing Hoedspruit Reptile Centre close to our home.

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Recording Barking Gecko
Reptiles

Reptiles under the mic – part 2

Most lizards are unable to vocalise but there are a few exceptions. Tropical house gecko males
(Hemidactylus species) attract female mates by using chirping signals and pheromones and also give a low frequency chirp during male-male fights.

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Singing Ants - Recorded Ant Sounds by Derek Solomon
Insects

Singing Ants

Some years ago, when chatting to soundscape ecologist Dr Bernie Krause he asked “have you ever heard ants communicating?”.  He said “find an ant’s nest in the garden and place a lavaliere microphone over the entrance and sit back with your headphones on and wait to see what happens…”

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Ventriloquial Frog
Amphibians

The Ventriloquial Frog

The Breviceps family of frogs (commonly known as Rain Frogs) must hold the award for the grumpiest looking frogs in the country. There are 14 species that are endemic to southern Africa and many are difficult to separate from one another unless you know their calls and look at their distribution maps. They all have chubby, small rounded bodies and flattened faces that, according to at least one reference book, makes them look like little balloons. When disturbed they inflate their bodies adding to the balloon-like appearance.

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