Welcome to the eleventh edition of Shakati Bush Facts. In this special edition, we will be introducing you to the Shakati 5. The Shakati 5 was created to represent the Bio Diversity of Shakati and represents different areas of our fauna and Flora.
We all know the Big, Small, Little and Ugly five, but the Shakati 5 gives a unique perspective, as it provides a view of all the natural wonders found on Shakati
The Shakati 5 includes:
- Grey Hornbill – Representing the Avian category
- Bat Eared Fox – Representing the Animal Kingdom
- Dung Beetle – Representing the Critters of the Field
- Monkey Apple – Representing the flora (also called monkey orange)
- Bush – Representing the Habitat
Have fun identifying these on Shakati!
The Grey Hornbill – Representing the Avian category provides a gateway to a multitude of avian wonders of the bush.
The Shakati 5 Birds Consist of:
- African Grey Hornbill – grey plumage, but the head, flight feathers and long tail are a darker shade. There is a white line down each side of the head and one on the back, which is visible only in flight. The long curved bill is black and has a small casqued and a creamy horizontal stripe. They have a distinct call in the bush and definitely listen out for them
- Paradise Flycatcher – It has a black head, neck and underparts, and chestnut wings and tail. There is a prominent white wing bar
- Woodland Kingfisher – The adult has a bright blue back, wing panel and tail. Its head, neck and underparts are white, and its shoulders are black.
- Red Headed Weaver – Head is distinctly red, white chest and brown back and wings
- Green Wood Hoopoe – Metallic dark green, with a purple back and very long diamond-shaped purple tail. Distinctive white markings on the wings and white chevrons on the tail edges make it easily identifiable, as does its long, thin, curved red bill
Bat Eared Fox
The Bat Eared Fox – Representing the Animal Kingdom provides a gateway to a multitude of animals found in the Shakati Bush
The Shakati 5 Animals Consist of:
- Bat Eared Fox – The bat-eared fox (also referred to as big-eared fox, black-eared fox, cape fox, and Delalande’s fox) has tawny fur with black ears, legs, and parts of the pointed face
- African Civet – The coat is unique to each individual, just like a human fingerprint. The dorsal base colour of the fur varies from white to creamy yellow to reddish. The stripes, spots, and blotches, which cover the animal, are deep brown to black in coloration. Horizontal lines are prominent on the hind limbs, spots are normally present on the midsection of the animal and fade anteriorly into vertical stripes above the forelimbs. The tail of the African civet is black with a few white bands and the paws are completely black. The head, neck and ears are clearly marked. A black band stretches across its eyes like that of a raccoon and the coloration of its neck is referred to as a double collar because of the two black neck bands
- Giraffe – The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns.
- Banded Mongoose – The banded mongoose is a sturdy mongoose with a large head, small ears, short, muscular limbs and a long tail, almost as long as the rest of the body. Animals of wetter areas are larger and darker coloured than animals of dryer regions. The abdominal part of the body is higher and rounder than the breast area. The rough fur is greyish brown and black, and there are several dark brown to black horizontal bars across the back. The limbs and snout are darker, while the underparts are lighter than the rest of the body.
- Blue Wildebeest – This broad-shouldered antelope has a muscular, front-heavy appearance, with a distinctive robust muzzle. Young blue wildebeest are born tawny brown, and begin to take on their adult colouration at the age of two months. The adults’ hues range from a deep slate or bluish grey to light grey or even greyish brown. Both sexes possess a pair of large curved horns
The Dung Beetle – Representing the Critters of the Veld provides a gateway to a multitude of creatures found in the Shakati Bush
- Rhino Beetle – The body of an adult rhinoceros beetle is covered by a thick exoskeleton. A pair of thick wings lies atop another set of membranous wings underneath, allowing the rhinoceros beetle to fly, although not very efficiently, owing to its large size. Their common names refer to the characteristic horns borne only by the males of most species in the group.
- Dung Beetle – Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers
- Golden Orb Spider – vary from reddish to greenish yellow in colour with distinctive whiteness on the cephalothorax and the beginning of the abdomen. Like many species of the superfamily Araneoidea, they have striped legs specialized for weaving (where their tips point inward, rather than outward as is the case with many wandering spiders). Their contrast of dark brown/black and green/yellow
- Hawk Moth – The upper wings are brown with slight yellow wavy lines; the lower wings are yellow with some wide brown waves.
- Ant Lion – The antlion larva is a ferocious-looking animal with a robust, fusiform body, a very plump abdomen, and a thorax bearing three pairs of walking legs. The prothorax forms a slender mobile “neck” for the large, square, flattened head, which bears an enormous pair of sickle-like jaws with several sharp, hollow projections.
The Monkey Apple Tree – Representing the Trees of the Veld provides a gateway to a multitude of flora found in the Shakati Bush
- Silver cluster leaf – bark is a reddish or greyish brown colour and peels away in strips. The bluish-green leaves tend to be clustered at the tips of the branches. They are ovate with entire margins and both the upper and lower surfaces are clothed in silvery hairs. The flowers are white and are borne in short axillary spikes. They have an unpleasant smell and may be pollinated by flies. The fruit are winged nuts containing a single seed and turn a darker pink colour as they ripen. They grow well in sandy soil and are
- Wild syringa – Leaves are bipinnately compound, silvery-pubescent or glabrescent. Flowers are creamy-white, fragrant and in pendulous racemes of up to 300 mm in length. The bark is toxic, rich in alkaloids and tannins and used for tanning leather. Pulverised bark is thrown into water to paralyse fish.
- Large fruited bushwillow – rounded crown shape, single or multi-stemmed, with the bark that is smooth and whitish in colour. It is an attractive tree that should be utilized more often in gardens because of its beautiful scented flowers and extra-ordinary fruits
- Monkey Apple/Orange – Bark mostly pale grey with white and dark grey patches, smooth, occasionally powdery. Branches are unarmed though short, rigid lateral shoots may resemble spines. The opposite leaves – often tufted – are smooth to hairy, leathery, elliptic to circular, shiny dark green above and markedly paler below
- Karee – The tree has a graceful, weeping form and dark, fissured bark that contrasts well with its long, thinnish, hairless, dark-green, trifoliate leaves with smooth margins. It bears small yellow flowers followed on female trees by bunches of small yellow-green flattish fruits, which are relished by birds
The Bush – Representing the types of habitat found on Shakati, provides a gateway to a multitude of habitats found in the Shakati Bush
- Riverine habitat – Freshwater habitats include flora and fauna in and around rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and bogs. Although some plants and animals are found across most of these habitats, the majority have more specific requirements. The water velocity, its temperature and oxygen saturation are important factors, but in river systems, there are fast and slow sections, pools, bayous and backwaters which provide a range of habitats. Special flora grow along the river banks (riparian vegetation)
- Open savannah habitat – A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. Shakati has many savannah areas.
- Dense Bush habitat – Dense Bush habitat is very common at Shakati. It consists of a multitude of bush and trees. This can include: Flame thorn, Common hook-thorn, Sweet thorn, Tree-horn thorn, Paperbark false-thorn, Flat flowered aloe, Forest fever tree, Mountain silver oak, Velvet sweetberry, Wild seringa, Velvet-leaved canthium , Rock alder, Tinderwood, Lightning bush, Red bushwillow, Velvet bushwillow , Waterberg Bushwillow and many more trees and bush types.
- Acacia forest habitat -A Forest containing Acacia trees and is found at the northern part of Shakati. Green, broadened leaf petioles that function like leaf blades, an adaptation to hot climates and droughts. Some phyllodinous species have a colourful aril on the seed. A few species have cladodes rather than leaves.
- Rocky/Ridge habitat –Rocky and Ridge habitat areas close to the river and close to the chalets. There are also rocky outcrops at Shakatis north/western corner. This habitat is easily identifiable via the prominent rocks and ridges.
The Shakati 5 is a truly unique list, which represents the bio-diversity of Shakati Private Game Reserve. We created this list with Nature Conservation and Awareness in mind. Have fun looking out for the Shakati 5!
See you next time!