Friday, 31 May 2013

Alan Ainslie - Wildlife artist

Alan Ainslie is one of South Africa's most celebrated and respected wildlife artists. His work ranges from prints to drawings, paintings and sculptures. He was commissioned in 1984 to produce paintings for a wildlife calendar. By 1987 the well known conservationist, Clive Walker, was opening Ainslie's first solo exhibition and since then his paintings have been included in exhibitions with world renowned artists such as Harris-Ching (New Zealand), Keith Joubert (South Africa), Kim Donaldson (South Africa), and Paul Bosman (USA). He has also  been commissioned for many life-sized sculptures and donates many of them as prizes for nature conservation competitions and fund-raisers. He has done portraits for some of the world's greatest leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Nadine Gordimer, Albert Luthuli and Desmond Tutu. His graphic designing skills have brought him to design numerous stamp series.

To see his work click here

Monday, 20 May 2013

Family Holiday

Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in the Southern Cape. It has an abundance of game with buffalo, lion, rhino and many more. They have excellent facilities for both day visitors as well as those who are wanting overnight accommodation. The reserve is child - friendly and since it is malaria-free, everyone is protected. Safari rangers are experienced with children and everyone is welcomed onto game drives where viewing animals up close is an exciting experience that all can enjoy. With exquisite overnight accommodation that caters for even the most refined guest, you are sure to enjoy the comforts Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve has to offer.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Dwindling African Game

There is a major crisis brewing under Africa's skin and if we don't act fast we will be faced with dire consequences that will leave us in an irreversible and  heartbreaking situation. Africa's game is dwindling fast and there are many factors that are creating this problem, unfortunately they all seem very difficult to control.

Africa's climate is changing. The growth of deserts and the destruction of forests is causing a great disturbance within the animal kingdom. Habitats that are destroyed force animals to adapt or die. Many of them, for example the African Elephant are threatened as their habitat and food is being destroyed to make room for human developments. Many animals are not breeding leaving a huge gap in the next generation. They are changing their migration patterns or disturbingly just dying out. According to Anthony Nyong, a professor of environmental science at the University of Jos in Nigeria, “Climate change could undo even the little progress most African countries have achieved so far in terms of development.”

Read more on the Rhino poaching problem in South Africa
Image from African Point

Poaching in the last 20 years slipped under the radar and now that the problem has been uncovered, we see that our animals are on the verge of being destroyed. There is a colossal catastrophe in South Africa with almost a wipe out in Rhinos. With almost 2 Rhinos being poached a day and stories of entire elephant populations being poached for ivory, there is a massive need for this bloodshed to end.

With the change in animal life and plant life Africa could face consequences that will be irreversible. Africa received a lot of its annual income through tourism. If there is nothing left to attract tourists, there will be a massive withdrawal from the continent. More worrying, the extinction of these animals will cause an imbalance in the eco-system which will be very hard to reconcile. 

The destruction of one part will lead to an avalanche of destruction throughout the African game as well as plant population, and finally leading to us. If humans continue living as though there are no serious consequences for this behaviour we are on a one way track to a very different African continent to the one we know today. 

Read more on Endangered Bird Life

For more information and to make bookings to see these animals contact us by clicking here:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Black Market Wildlife Trade In South Africa

Wildlife Black Market Trading
Image courtesy of Kuwait 2000
It is true that our wildlife is under attack. Every day, on average, 2 of our Rhino are killed for the illicit rhino horn trade in Asia. A few years ago elephant tusks where under siege and now it has been brought to light that our smaller animals are just as threatened as our larger ones.

The wildlife trade is very lucrative, making billions of US dollars a year. Often in the places that the animals are taken from, people living in poverty areas harvest the animals and are paid a tiny fraction of what these animals are then sold for. The kingpins of these organisations sell the animals for thousands of dollars making a huge profit for themselves.

Due to the fact that trading is illegal, animal numbers cannot be monitored and often the exact amount of animals that are taken out of their habitat cannot be measured. It has a disastrous effect on animal populations and often the extent of the damage is only noticed when numbers are dangerously low and very often it ends up in a huge need for conservation or complete extinction of the animal species.

At Plettenberg Game Reserve we are dedicated to conserving and protecting our animals first and foremost. If you would like to see our animals and visit us, click here for more information. To contact us click directly here. Visit our blog site here for more blogs on wildlife.

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For more information on the wildlife trade click here

Friday, 3 May 2013

Birds of Prey in South Africa

Dis you know there are 6 groups of Birds of Prey in Southern Africa?

1) Group 1- Secretary bird.

This bird of prey kills snakes and rodents by stamping on their heads with its long, very strong legs. They can be identified by their hooked bills, very tall appearances, bear faces and drooping appearance.

Secretary Bird
Image courtesy from North RUP

2) Group 2- Osprey

This is a medium sized Eagle. It is found all over the world.

Image courtesy of National Geographic

3) Group 3- Accipitridae

Eagles: There are 13 species of Eagles in South Africa They are medium to large birds of prey and can be categorized by their broad wings and feathered legs.

Buzzards- We have six species of buzzards in South Africa. They are very similar to eagles but do not have feathered legs.

Goshawks and Sparrowhawks: These birds have rounded wings and long tails with yellow or red eyes. They are small to medium sized with specially adapted toes designed to help with gripping their prey.

Harriers: These birds are distinguished by their low-glide flying when they look for prey. They are medium sized birds with long narrow wings and tails.


Group 4: Vultures

These birds are categorized by their bald heads with very long broad wings. They are scavengers which means that they eat carcasses. We have 8 species in South Africa.  
Image courtesy of National Geographic

Group 5: Falcons and Kestrels

These birds are small to medium sized birds with long narrow pointed wings with large heads. Kestrels hover or forage when hunting and roost in large groups called flights. Falcons are areal hunters that swoop at great speeds from enormous heights when hunting. Neither of these birds make nests but lay their eggs on cliff sides. They hunt at dawn and dusk.

Group 6 Owls

Tytonidae Family: This group includes grass and barn owls which have distinctive heart shaped facial disks which equips them to channel sounds exceptionally well and assists them with binocular vision. 
Strigidae Family: These are all other owls.  They are distinguished by their ear tufts and large eyes. Calls like hoots, whistles and shrieks can be clearly distinguished from other birds. Mostly nocturnal, these birds are also active at dawn and dusk. These silent flyers hunt insects, small mammals, birds and fish. 

Most of South Africa's birds of prey are under threat of extinction. Read here for more information on the state of South Africa's birds under threat. Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve aims to educate and promote the conservation of these birds. 

Contact Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve for a chance to see one of these birds in their natural habitat. We offer daily game drives by expert game rangers who are very knowledgeable about these birds and can assist you. Click here to contact us now for more information and enquiries by clicking here