AFROTROPICAL Tropical & subtropical Savanna

The African bush has a great variety or reptiles, many of which can easily be seen around campsites and lodges...

Order Testudines, Turtles

Family Testudinidae, Tortoises

The Tortoises reach their highest diversity in southern Africa, where there are 14 species. 

Kinixys spp. 'Hinge-backs', 'Hinged Tortoises' 

Hinged Tortoises are only found on mainland Africa. They often have a flat look to the top of the shell.

Kinixys, 'Hinge-back Tortoise' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Order Squamata, Lizards & Snakes

Infraorder Gekkota; Geckos

This infraorder contains the seven families of geckos.

Family Gekkonidae, 'Common Geckos'

This is the largest and most widespread family of Geckos. 

Homopholis wahlbergii, 'Wahlberg's Velvet Gecko' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa). Large gecko, sometimes seen around human habitation; this one was photographed at the toilet block in a national park; yes, I often carry my camera when I am going to the the toilet.

Family Scincidae

Trachylepis (previously Mabuya), 'Typical Skinks' are often the most obvious skinks in the African bush. They are usually small with stripes along the body

Trachylepis varia (Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania).

Famly Elapidae

Dendroaspis polylepis, 'Black Mamba'. Very large and very venomous snake. It is not black, except on the inside of the mouth when open in threat display. It seems to have a 'smile' on it's lips. Probably because it knows you won't muck around with it! 

Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.