No safari experience is complete without a few reptiles and insects to add to your sightings.

They may be smaller and less impressive than the Big 5 or other large mammals and birds but they are an integral part of the ecosystem. The bushveld and larger animals would not survive without the small creatures.

The gallery below is about reptiles and insects, from the very large Nile Crocodile to the very small dung beetle and dragon fly.

 

This is a very young, probably only a few days old, Leopard Tortoise. This species is the most common of the tortoises in Southern Africa and also grows to be the largest at 60cm long and up to 15kgs in the wild.
The regions largest, by far, reptile is the Nile Crocodile. They can grow up to 6m in length and weigh 1000kgs although this size is rare in the wild nowadays.
This croc caught a rather large Barbel (or Catfish).
Crocodiles are cold-blooded so they leave the water to sun themselves and warm up. They can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Nile Crocodiles havea  formidible array of teeth.In crocodiles, then the mouth is closed the fourth mandibular stick up and can be seen whereas in alligators these teeth are hidden when the mouth is closed.
Dragonfly still to be identified by MyVirtualSafari. If you do know this species please email steve@myvirtualsafari.co.za
Red-veined dropwing Dragonfly
Copper Dung Beetle with ball of elephant dung. Dung Beetles lay their eggs in a ball of dung and bury it in the ground. The larvae can then feed on the plant matter in the dung.
Close up view of a Flap-necked Chameleon. Notice the eye are looking in different directions....you can also see the flaps on the nexk, giving it its name.
Flap-necked Chameleon
Marsh Terrapins coming out of the water to investigate. This is not a common occurance and seems to be a learned habit from people throwing scraps of food at them in this particular pond....a behaviour not to be encouraged.
A large Leopard Tortoise
Tree Agama male with its conspicuous bright blue head. Often see on in trees in the restcamps of Lowveld game reserves.
A Rock Monitor Liizard with its catch of a Mopani Worm.