The Mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane) has long held a fascination for me, and it probably stemmed from me eating my first dried Mopane worm as a teenager. The juicy larvae of the Mopane Moth (Gonimbrasia belina) is a valuable source of protein to local populations wherever the tree is found.
The tree is prevalent in the northern half of the Kruger National Park in South Africa where I spent nine days photographing all manner of wildlife. It occurs in large tracks of dense thicket from the Satara Rest Camp northwards. They make wildlife spotting quite challenging, but if you take your time and drive slowly, you can spot many of African birds and animals. Like all South African National Parks, it takes patience to spot wildlife.
Letaba Rest Camp is still one of my favourite camps in the park and is situated in a large area of the Mopane distribution. Staying in the northern camps will allow you the chance to see all of the species below including the lovely African Wild Cat. And, let’s not forget the forget the colourful mix of greens, reds and browns of the star tree herself.
A moment with a small cat
Below is a link to a separate blogpost about this beautiful little cat and the time it allowed me to spend with him. I was using the Canon 1Dx for the first time and was astounded at its low-light capabilities.
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