Family: Sparassidae (previously Heteropodidae)
(The one found in my tent in Punda Maria. Not quite sharp unfortunately.)
In South Africa the Sparassidae include 7 genera; Eusparassus, Heteropoda, Olios, Palystes, Panaretella, Parapalystes and Pseudomicrommata. Olios, Palystes and Parapalystes are the most common genera in the Western Cape. Palystes common names include huntsman spiders, rain spiders, lizard-eating spiders and large wandering crab spiders.
This family contains very large hairy spiders with legs all turned sideways and forwards so the spiders can move sideways as well as straight ahead. The outer segments of each leg have dense scopulae which facilitate lateral movements. The typical body and leg colours are grey, brown and black, often with enough mottling to provide useful camouflage when the spiders are resting on bark surfaces. It is usual to find huntsman spiders under bark, although they will sometimes be found on the walls of man-made constructions.
They are very fast-moving, and they can deliver a painful bite. Please note that ALL true spiders have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this species, some people may be allergic to the venom, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle this true spider. Affects of this true spiders' natural defenses may vary between people.
Palystes occurs mainly on plants where it hunts various insects but is also regularly found in the home where they are fond of hunting Geckos (usually the common Marbled gecko, Afrogecko porphyreus). Spiderlings eat flightless fruit flies, and pinhead crickets. Adults eat crickets, and other large insects.
, source 2
and a very good page
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c