South Africa is a very diverse country geographically, thus creating fauna and floral diversity. There are nine different biome zones in South Africa each with very specific characteristics. After spending three months with GVI at Karongwe Private Game Reserve, located on Limpopo, travelling to Umkhumbi Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal was very interesting as there was a big environment change. Karongwe is located on the savannah, a place where the grass layer is dominant. There is not much humidity year round except when the rain season comes. On the other part, Umkhumbi Lodge and its surroundings are located on the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, a place where the vegetation and humidity has a more tropical appearance.

Another big change with different biomes is the change of fauna, especially the different birds. Birding has been my biggest interest since moving to Umkhumbi Lodge. KwaZulu-Natal is also known as a “birders paradise”, as there are so many different species of birds. Since my arrival (over a week ago), I have seen around ten new birds. Still, there are some birds that are absent in the area that are seen in Limpopo such as the Grey Go-Away Bird (Grey Lourie) which is very common. It will be very exiting to be a birder for the next three months, as there are so many birds to see.

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