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reptiles
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.

Hinged Tortoise (image by Damon Ramsey)

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. 

Whenever I hear the name Wahlberg I think: "What...? No...!" from the Happening.

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! 

Back to the page on the African savanna

Updates
My first trip after the virus is as Expedition leader in Tasmania with Coral Expeditions (March), followed by my role as biologist guest lecturer on the Great Barrier Reef (April) and Expedition Leader in the Kimberley (in May). If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.