Month: January 2014

Black Mamba Khamai Hoedspruit Reptile Centre South Africa

Black Mamba

We are moving back to Australia. So a question frequently asked is about our chances of survival in the presence of dangerous animals, venomous snakes in particular. During our first residence I have witnessed only one unfortunate individual – through my rear view mirror after I ran over it. It doesn’t mean those beautiful creatures are not around, in contrary, some illustrious specimens like Tiger snakes and Dugites show themselves even in the Perth Metropolitan area where they prey on rats and mice, but mostly head away from humans rather than attack. While my experience with snakes is minimal, my wife has definitely seen more. During her work at the Albert Schweizer hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, there were regular sightings of Black Mamba’s that took shelter in the tall grass and trees on the hospitals grounds. Although this snake certainly makes its casualties among the rural population, the real killers still are malaria carrying mosquitos. Nevertheless, the Black Mamba definitely is high on my list of animals I’d love to see from a save distance …

Picanniny Creek Purnululu National Park Bungle Bungles Western Australia

Purnululu Dreaming – Return Downunder

The Kija people of the East Kimberly Region in Western Australia are the traditional owners of the mighty Purnululu or Bungle Bungle range. They are the testimony of human presence in this area for at least 20,000 years, following a strong tradition in which ancestral beings, ceremonies and rituals constitute Ngarrangkarni, a complex term popularly known as the Dreaming or Law. The same Ngarrangkarni explains the creation of Purnululu’s sandstone structures, gorges and waterfalls through narrative instead of definition, leaving to our imagination the formation of the landscape by creatures as the rainbow serpent, frogs, crocodiles and fish. According to our Western point of view the sandstone beehive towers of the Purnululu Range were created by twenty million years of weathering by wind, rain and flowing water instead of spiritual creatures. The dark bands that wind horizontally around these structures are formed by cyanobacteria, single-cell photosynthetic organisms that belong to the oldest life-forms on earth. As the dark bands contrast with the lighter sandstone, the myriad of dome-shaped towers form one of the most extraordinary and unique landscapes of this continent. The evocative power of the Australian wilderness is …