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Zebras: Stunning and Unique

Among the many animals to be viewed in South Africa's spectacular game reserves, the zebra is arguably one of the most distinctive, with black and white stripes as unique to each individual animal as fingerprints are to human beings. Of the three main species of Zebras, the one most commonly found in South Africa is the Mountain Zebra, with its two subspecies being the Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra) and the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae).

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Features

Migratory Birds in South Africa

South Africa is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world to enjoy the country's spectacular wildlife, scenery and culture. Humans are not the only visitors attracted to South Africa by its natural bounty. Every year thousands of birds migrate to this beautiful country on the southern tip of the African continent to enjoy the spring and summer months. The majority of migrating bird species are insect-eaters and/or seed eaters that need to seek out available food sources and will often travel in large flocks over thousands of kilometers to meet their needs.

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Features

Eastern Cape to Get National Botanical Garden

Opened to the public on July 1, 1913, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens will be celebrating its centenary this year. A function was held in Cape Town in January 2013 to officially release a new publication entitled Kirstenbosch: The Most Beautiful Garden in Africa, written by respected ecologist Professor Brian Huntley and richly illustrated with full colour photographs. With more than 750,000 people visiting Kirstenbosch each year, the book will no doubt take pride of place in many a personal library as a memento of these spectacular gardens.

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Features

FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Located in Johannesburg, the FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was founded in 1997 to care for suburban indigenous wildlife in distress. FreeMe offers a service that most veterinarians do not have the facilities for – caring for the hundreds of suburban birds, reptiles and mammals that suffer injury, get ill or become orphans. With the motto of 'rescue, rehabilitate and release', the dedicated workers of FreeMe aim to return their patients to the wild wherever possible.

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Features

Explore the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Gauteng

With the spectacular Witpoortjie waterfall as a major attraction, the area in which the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens is situated has been popular with leisure-seeking visitors since the 1800s. It was established as a Botanical Garden in 1982 and in recent years has been voted as Gauteng's best picnic spot no less than five times. With the primary natural vegetation classified as Rocky Highveld Grassland, the 300 hectare garden includes a variety of habitats supporting more than 600 indigenous plant species.

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Features

Tribute to South African Cycling Champion Burry Stander

Hundreds of cyclists gathered on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast road on Sunday 6 January to pay tribute to South African cycling champion Burry Stander who died on 3 January when he was hit by a minibus taxi at Shelly Beach as he returned from a training ride. A bicycle, spray-painted white, and floral tributes marked the spot of the tragedy which took the life of the popular athlete who excelled at his chosen sport and was an outstanding ambassador for his country. Stander's family, with the support of the cycling community and sporting authorities, are determined that his life will not have been lost in vain as they call for lawmakers to enforce road rules, specifically the 1.5-metre passing rule, to protect cyclists and runners who use South Africa's roads for training. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was in attendance at Sunday's memorial ride and reportedly promised that the Burry Stander Foundation – established to campaign for legislation to make cycling safer - would receive government support and gave his assurance that the cyclist's legacy would endure.

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Features

Protecting South Africa's Baboons

Baboons are found in nature reserves and other undeveloped areas all around South Africa and are part of the wildlife heritage of the country. Fascinating and entertaining, they are best observed from a distance or from the safety of a vehicle and should be treated with caution and respect – we are, after all, intruding on their natural habitat when we visit South Africa's nature reserves. Even when they are found in urban areas, it is generally because these urban areas are taking over territory that was once inhabited by wildlife, including baboons.

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Features

Proteas – South Africa's Natural Treasures

Proteas are likely the most readily recognized of South Africa's indigenous flora, with the magnificent King Protea (Protea cynaroides) being the country's national flower. There are around 80 genera of the Proteacae family, with up to 1,600 species spread across the southern hemisphere in paleographical region of Gondwana – Southern Africa, Australia and South America. The Protea Atlas Project at the South African National Biodiversity Institute at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town records the geographical location of proteas with the aim of encouraging public awareness of botany and enjoyment of the veld, and thereby engendering principles of conservation.

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