Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cape peninsula reptiles

My recent trip to South Africa was focused on water based activities so unfortunately I didn't have time to take a trip to any of the major game reserves. I did spend half a day at Solole game reserve which is a small game park on the Cape Peninsula which is effectively within the suburbs of Cape Town. Work is being done to restore the flora there to natives of the Cape Floral Kingdom, and antelope, buffalo and a sole black rhino have been introduced so far. What caught my eye though was the number of small reptiles that were abundant in the area.
This is a Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra)

and this is the Cape girdled lizard or Black Zonure (Cordylus cordylus)

I was pleased to see these species as it showed me the area was relatively unspoiled for the smaller animals and that the whole ecosystem could be maintained.

Down by Solole's excellent restaurant this huge Leopard Tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) was wandering about (hat included for scale). I got the feeling he was a regular used to treats from the salad bowl.

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