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 Post subject: Butterfly Watching
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:51 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:23 am
Posts: 5
For our first Africa trip we're visiting South Africa and Namibia this September and October. We have a week in Kruger planned, and I'm sure we'll spend time in other SANParks. I'd appreciate recommendations for good butterfly watching sites, especially in the parks. I already have a copy of Woodhall's book.


 Post subject: Re: South Africa Butterflies
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:30 am 
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Baja, I wish you well on your trip. The area where I had the most impressive butterfly experience was on the S3, close to Pretorius Kop. That was in January though, so I am not sure if it will help you.

There were hundreds of little yellow butterfies congregating around buffalo dung. It was very beautiful to watch.

Pieter Steyn used to post some lovely butterfly pictures on the forum. I have not seen him around lately. Perhaps you could pm him and ask his advice.

The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

 Post subject: Re: South Africa Butterflies
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:42 pm
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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg

You'll find butterflies everywhere you go, so I can't really recommend any specific good spots. However, I'll mention a couple of species which should be common in September/October, and this will determine were you look for them. October is a great month for the swordtails (Graphium sp), and in particular the large striped swordtail (G.antheus), and these can be found in massive numbers near any water source where the males congregate en masse to drink fluids and dissolved minerals from the mud. There should also be a good number of whites around (family Pieridae), as these can be found virtually anywhere throughout most of the year. The whites also congregate at mud.

So I would recommend spending a bit of time near the water courses, but flowering bushes will also be worth spending some time at! I did some butterfly surveys for the KNP in March 2009, and all along the roads near the rivers (east of Skukuza), there were litterally hundreds of butterflies. On the days that I didn't have a ranger with me and had to stay in the car, I easily managed to get 30-40 species in almost every stretch of road I drove. So good luck!

"If you can only visit two continents in your lifetime, visit Africa.... TWICE" - R.Elliot

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