Day 4  – Leaving Augrabies Falls National Park – Springbok (300,2km)

Continuing where we left off with the second segment of a trip across Namaqualand.

Around 20km from Augrabies Falls National Park we encountered our first casualty a Karoo Sand Snake and an hour or so later a Dwarf Beaked Snake. The temperatures were exceedingly warm getting out the car to stop for road kills or take photos felt like opening the door of an oven at it was only 10am.

Refuelled at Pofadder petrol is expensive here compared to where we had come from, although middle of nowhere towns it is to be expected. The rest of the drive to Springbok was tiring, stopped at checkers for some groceries nothing else was open Sunday to be expected. We headed out of town to our accommodation on the outside looked a bit “the Hills have eyes-ish” but turned out really great. Large two bedroomed apartment with all the amities we needed for R600 a night is nothing – expect the water tasted-like mud so avoided that again. 

Psammophis notostictus

Karoo Sand Snake.


Dipsina multimaculata

Dwarf beaked Snake.

Welcome!

Checking social weaver nests for activity.

Checking social weaver nests for activity.

The accommodation in Springbok.

In the deceiving “cool” of the late afternoon we walked around the guest-farm and not before long started to see our first forms of reptilian life. Many Western Rock Skinks, Namaqua Dwarf leaf Toed Gecko, Webers Gecko, Karoo Girdled Lizard, Namaqua Sand Lizard. After this time it was apparently the “cool” of the afternoon was not so cool and proceeded to get a touch too much sun – tomorrow will need to be better prepared.

We photographed a whole hoard of the days finds and then began to make dinner and rest up a little for what woudl hopefully be a good time out looking for nocturnal reptiles around town.

Trachylepis sulcata

Western rock Skink.

Trachylepis sulcata

Western rock Skink.

Pachydactylus weberi

Western Banded Gecko.

Goggia rupicola

Namqua Dwraf Leaf Toed Gecko.

Karusaurus polyzonus

Karoo Girdled Lizard.

Pedioplanis namaquensis

Namaqua Sandveld Lizard

After a bit fo cleaning up and setting up our game plan for the evening with gear an camera equipment in check we set off. The night time temperature drop was more than we’d have like and to be honest we weren’t expecting to see much.The first stretch along a pass turned up a beautiful striped Brown House Snake, several Quartz Geckos and a feisty Coral Snake.

We decided to take another route through town and head to the other-side of where we had been searching and again turned up many Quartz Geckos , Bibrons Geckos and on our return a beautiful Many horned Adder. Finally we heading back to our accommodation around by 23:15 and I could finally get some much needed tea to up my personality levels.

Boaedon capensis

Brown House Snake.

Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus

Coral Shield Cobra.

Bitis cornuta

Many horned Adder

Day 5 – Springbok

An early start spent photographing a few spill over specimens and managed to do a little bit of cleaning gear and washing a few things the Namaqualand heat is something else.

We heading out lat afternoon to look for some Dwarf Plated Lizards and saw a few Namaquland Sandveld lizards but failed as we were “kindly” asked to leave the property we were on.  Then heading up to the highest point in Springbok for an overview of the town, Andries scratched around but we didn’t see or find anything other than the view.

A rather STEEP decline back down into town.

After the previous nights road cruise we had high hopes of finding loads more species and geckos with much higher temperatures which should bring the reptiles out. Things unfortunately started very slowly with a dead Coral Snake, a headless Brown House Snake and multiple Quartz Geckos. Things were very quiet and we heeded back to our accommodation and call it a night.

Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus

Coral Shield Cobra.


Boaedon capensis

Brown House Snake.

Acontias namaquensis

Namaqualand Legless Skink.

Day 6 – Springbok

We had a relatively quiet day mainly fighting off the extreme heat and fatigue on being constantly on the go the last few days. Doing a few trails in the Geogap Nature Reserve it was blazingly warm and we didn’t see much apart from a few Agamas and some Sandveld lizards.
In the late afternoon we headed towards Aggeneys for the day to hopefully photograph a few more reptiles and in particular the variation of the Augrabies Geckos previously Goods Gecko.

We met up with a friend and soon managed to photograph a Bushmanland tent Tortoise while Andries scoured the hills looking at plants an in hopes of finding a Desert Mountain Adder.

Agama atra

Southern Rock Agama.


Agama atra

Southern Rock Agama.

Goegap Nature Reserve

 

Goegap Nature Reserve

 

Psammobates tentorius verroxi

Bushmanland Tent Tortoise.

We waited for night fall and began walking the rocky walls and crevices checking for geckos and snakes – not long after we found our first Augrabies Geckos then several more and a multitude of Bibrons Geckos. As we’re we began our drive back to Springbok I spotted a single brown gecko on the road and it was something i’d been dreaming of finding for years Rough Scaled Gecko! The drive back was relatively cold and we didn’t see any further animals besides two DOR Horned Adders.

Pachydactylus atorquatus

Augrabies Gecko – adult


Pachydactylus atorquatus

Augrabies Gecko – juvenile.

Pachydactylus rugosus

Rough Gecko.

Bitis caudalis

Horned Adder.

 

Bitis caudalis

Horned Adder.

 

Day 6 – Springbok – Port Nolloth (139.8km)

December 18th 2019 my birthday!  Spent much like it was the previous year out in Namaqualand. We photographed a few geckos and then packed up heading into town briefly for some supplies.

Before leaving we went passed the Springbok Inn Hotel where we had stayed in 2018 and I took these comparison photos – much much. happens in a year apparently.

December 18th 2018


December 18th 2019

Species List For The End of Part 2:

Psammophis notostictus – Karoo Sand Snake
Dipsina multimaculata – Dwarf Beaked Snake
Trachylepis-sulcata – Western Rock Skink
Goggia rupicola – Namaqua Dwarf leaf Toed Gecko
Pachydactylus weberi -Webers Gecko
Karusaurus polyzonus – Karoo Girdled Lizard
Pedioplanis namaquensis – Namaqua Sand Lizard
Boaedon capensis – Brown House Snake
Pachydactylus latirostris – Quartz Gecko
Aspidelaps lubricus lubcricus – Coral Snake
Bitis cornuta – Many Horned Adder
Acontias namaquensis – Namaqualand Legless Skink
Agama atra – Southern Rock Agama
Psammobates tentorius verroxi – Bushmanland Tent Tortoise
Bitis caudais – Horned Adder
Pachydactylus rugosus – Rough Gecko

Next we make our way to Port Nolloth hoping for respite from the immense dry heat of Springbok over the last few days. Stay tuned for Part 3

by Tyrone Ping

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