Articles

The Cradle of Humankind

Only 45 minutes from the famous "goldfields" of South Africa around Johannesburg, nestling in a peaceful rural valley, lies the invaluable and ancient "Cradle of Humankind" - a place where our ancestors once roamed.

Some of these ancestors of modern humans faced extinction many millions of years ago. Others became part of a long evolutionary journey to the present day. Today their fossilised remains hold many clues to our beginnings, and perhaps even a key to our future.

Luxury Tour Operator, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Southern Circle Tours and Safaris is an inbound Tour Operator specialising in luxury tailor-made tours and daily excursions departing from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Whether you are a seasoned traveler in Johannesburg, Gauteng or a first time visitor to the Johannesburg and Gauteng Area, we can take you to places and areas that you have not been to before in the comfort of a luxury air-conditioned vehicle. Sit back, relax while we take care of all the planning, admin and security to make a memorable holiday experience possible for you and your family and/or friends.

Wildlife (Game) Introduction

The term wildlife, sometimes also called 'game', refers to mammals, birds, fish and reptiles that can be found in the wild. Africa has its "'lion's" share of wildlife and here we take a quick look at some of the most important and / or obvious animals in the African wildlife.

The reason for loosely calling wild life 'Game'  is said to have come from the culture of animal hunting by the early day English Aristocracy  who called it 'Gaming'.

The Big 5

Originally used only by hunters, the term 'Big Five' refers to five of Africa's greatest wild animals - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. As during the bygone hunting era the term "Big Five" still conjure up the romance and excitement of Africa's exotic destinations and experiences.

Imagine watching the sun set over the horizon whilst you capture the moment of a pride of lions stalking their prey. Watching a buffalo stolling to a water hole with strength and size that makes it more likely to kill a human than any other mammal.

The Big Cats

It hardly needs to be said that aside from being on the top rung of the predation ladder, the lion also tops the glamour stakes. Sadly, it does have one formidable enemy in humankind, who has expelled it from most parts of the country so that it now remains almost exclusively in conservation areas.

The beautiful leopard survives in a larger area, including much of the southern Cape and the far north, although numbers are small in some places.

Marine Mammals and Fish

And they take to the sea. The largest mammal of all, in South Africa and the entire world, is the blue whale which can grow to 33m in length. But of the eight whale species found in South African waters (including the dramatic black-and-white killer whale), the most frequently seen by humans is the southern right whale. This imposing creature comes into coastal bays to calve, allowing for superb land-based viewing. Image

The Crocodile and other Reptiles

Less generously endowed with freshwater fish (112 named species, 1.3% of the world total), South Africa nevertheless has one river-dweller that is, like the Big Five, a symbol of Africa - a reptile, not a fish. The crocodile still rules some stretches of river and estuary, lakes and pools, and still exacts an occasional toll in human life.

Other aquatic reptiles of note are the sea-roaming loggerhead and leatherback turtles, the focus of a major community conservation effort at their nesting grounds on the northern KZN shoreline. Image

Bird Life

A variety of habitats provide homes for more than 900 species of birds, or 10% of the world's total. They range from the ostrich - farmed in the Oudtshoorn district of the Western Cape, but seen in the wild mostly in the north of the country - through such striking species as the hornbills to the ubiquitous LBJs (Little Brown Jobs).

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