The days leading up to this have been rather dismal,  loads of rain and generally typically summer weather meant there was little in the ways of reptile activity in and around Durban. I decided late on Friday afternoon after packing a few things and finishing up with some work to head out to St Lucia. With weather looking promising it was after about 180kms into the trip I spotted the tell-tale sign of a moving rock on the fringe of the highway. By the time I swung around an oncoming logging truck had managed to hit and it died instantly.

Another 40km’s later I arrived in the small town of St Lucia, greeted by the hordes of mongooses on the grass outside my accommodation, not unusual to red ruiker darting in and out of the undergrowth and see Hippos coming out in the late afternoon to get their graze on right in the middle of town. I unpacked my things and took a walk down towards the estuary

Sunset game on point

Heading back to my accommodation to grab some dinner before setting out for a night of road-cruising, I found a few Setaro’s Dwarf Chameleons just outside my room.

After a quick photo session I get the road, it wasn’t as warm as I’d hoped but the surface temperature was still around 28,5 degrees celsius warm enough for reptiles and amphibians to be on the move thats for sure. Within the first few minutes i picked up a couple of Guttural Toads usually not a great sign of things to come.

I headed back to my accommodation to get a few supplies and stumbled into this guy in the grounds of the accommodation.

I found this great looking Argus Reed Frog, but after taking it out to have a closer look, pulled a rookie error and let it get away without any actual photos – not ideal! I few more Reed frogs followed on this round.

With a late onset of rain and being a weekend there is always a lot of training going in and out of town which means there is a lot of carnage on the roads, particularly frogs with casualties every 2-3 m you drive mostly Tinker Reed Frogs, Painted Reed Frogs and Guttural Toads.

A welcome find was the Mozambique Shovel Snout – Prosymna janii which I found crossing the road at around 21:19, the first time i’ve seen the adults of this species the previous specimens i’d seen had all been juveniles. The adults are far more impressive!

Prosymna janii

A nice surprise!


Another weekend at place that seldom disappoints with its finds.

by Tyrone Ping

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