Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus)
The Nile crocodile is a massive reptile and probably the most feared predator in Africa. And with good reason. It is one of the very few animals for which human beings regularly feature on the menu.


Fascinating Facts About the Nile Crocodile
Crocodiles have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom. It's bite can exert a force eight times more powerful than that of a great white shark and 15 times more than a Rottweiler’s. Powerful muscles for closing the jaws, however, contrast with small, weak ones for opening them.
Female crocodiles use their massive jaws to transport newly hatched young to a ‘nursery pool’ where they guard them from predators.
Crocodiles are the most vocal of reptiles. Among more than five different calls are the deep, vibrating bellow of courting males and the ‘peeping’ of babies inside the egg. This 'peeping' encourages the female to excavate the nest.
Large crocodiles swallow stones, known as gastroliths. These act as ballast, helping them to balance their body underwater.

 Crocodile Breeding

In Africa, the crocodile farms breed Nile crocodile which is the second largest breed after saltwater crocodile. The farming of Nile crocodile has become a lucrative business within the aquaculture sector in Africa.

The Nile crocodile is considered a high valued species for its boneless underbelly and soft leather. In contrast to traditional animal domestication, crocodile is farmed for its high valued skins and meat is the by-product. The crocodiles are slaughtered when four to five years mainly because the meat is tender and skin in good condition. Africa exports more than 250 000 crocodile skins. The skin is sold according to the belly width and a centimetre of first grade skin (top quality) of the reptile.

 

Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus, whose hide alone can weigh half a ton, is the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos. The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek "hippos," meaning horse. These animals were once called "river horses“
Given the right conditions, a hippo can live up to 40 years.
When hippos bask in the sun, they secrete a red, oily substance. This has given rise to the myth that they ‘sweat blood’. The liquid is a natural sunblock and moisturizer.
Although it seems that hippos can submerge for inordinately long periods of time, they need to surface every 3-5 minutes to breathe. This is a natural reflex and can be done even when the animal is sleeping.
Despite their bulk, hippos can attain speeds of up to 30 km per hour over short distances.


They spend most of their time in the water although they leave the water in the cooler parts of the day and night in order to forage for vegetation. They have been known to walk up to 10km in order to find food. Considering their bulk, the fact that they can consume up to 68kg in a night is a relatively small amount.
Hippo’s are not only territorial in water, but it is also when they are out of the water that hippo can be extremely aggressive towards humans. They have been called the most dangerous animal in Africa as they have been known to cause many a death, especially in communities that are near or are surrounded by water.
Both reproduction and birth take place in water, and it is here that the huge bulls become fiercely territorial. Adult males have been known to injure or kill both females and youngsters when competing for space.
Hippos can neither swim nor float! They give that impression while they are in the water, when in fact they are walking along the bottom surface.
Often seen rearing up out of the water, mouth agape, this is not a yawn but a sign of aggression. Accompanied by a loud series of grunts and honks, it is a warning not to be taken lightly.

About

Mkolo, where you can gaze across the mighty Limpopo River directly onto Botswana’s Tuli Block, with magnificent sightings of hippo and crocodiles.

The Limpopo River of Southern Africa is the second longest river draining into the Indian Ocean. The river is about 1,750 kilometres and its source is the confluence of Marico and Crocodile rivers. Its current name is a modification of an original version, ‘diphororo tsa metse’ whose translation is “gushing strong waterfalls”. The geographical course of the river forms a large arc as it snakes eastwards forming a border that separates South Africa from Botswana in the Northwest, and Zimbabwe, which lies in the North.The Limpopo River is one of the rivers which are found in the interior of Africa. The river is the second largest river in South Africa.

Previously called the Northern Province,. Limpopo is a land of beautiful and contrasting landscapes, which is typical of Africa.
it has become a favourite destination for leisure and adventure travellers worldwide.
During summer it is hot with cooling afternoon showers and in winter the days are sunny with cold clear evenings.  It is a region of scenic beauty with a variety of natural and manmade attractions.
Limpopo has a diverse landscape made up of mostly bushveld - an area of mixed grasslands and trees.  Leadwood Trees, Weaping Boer Bean Trees, variety of Acasia Trees and Mopane Trees is one of Mother Nature’s most unique gifts, creating a hotspot for animal and bird life.
Limpopo is well known for its traditional arts and crafts, a region famed for its culture, mythology, wood carvers, potters and sculptors.


The Bushveld is populated with a variety of Fauna & Flora including birds, reptiles, insects and a diversity of vegetation. The Bushveld is a rather loose term and refers to the areas of mixed woodland between 1 000m and 1 500m above sea level.
Almost all of South Africa's 472 000 square miles lie below the Tropic of Capricorn
It is the biome, or vegetation type, most commonly associated with wildlife and where you will find most of the game viewing destinations.

Limpopo is famous for its Baobab trees, with the biggest one in the world situated here.  Baobab trees are extremely large African trees sometimes described as “upside-down trees” due to their shortened branches that look more like roots. The Baobabs have hollow trunks providing homes for many animals. All Baobabs are deciduous trees ranging in height from 5 to 20 meters. Birds nest in its branches; baboons devour the fruit; bush babies and fruit bats drink the nectar and pollinate the flowers, and elephants have been known to chop down and consume a whole tree. A Baby Baobab tree looks very different from its adult form and this is why the Bushmen believe that it doesn't grow like other trees, but suddenly crashes to the ground with a thump, fully grown, and then one day simply disappears. No wonder they are thought of as magic trees.
The name "Tree of Life" reflects how the native people view and respect this tree. It can provide water in a drought, medicine for ailments and shelter for man and animal.

Baoboab Tree Facts:
There are nine different species of baobab trees. The species found in Southern Africa is of the genus "adansonia digitata". These remarkable trees are known as upside down trees because their branches look like roots. Baobab trees can live for over 3,000 years. The trunk of the tree is very large reaching diameters of between 25 and 36 feet. The tree trunks can hold up to 120,000 litres (32 000 gallons) of water. The cork-like bark of the tree is soft and fibrous allowing the fibres to be woven into cloth or rope. The tree bark is also fire resistant. Elephants like to eat the bark during the dry season for moisture. These trees regrow their bark if it is stripped so elephant damage is not harmful to the tree. These fruit are very rich in Vitamin C and are known as ‘monkey bread’ or ‘cream of tartar fruit’.