In the wildlife country of South Africa’s northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), you will find Thanda Safari, a multiple award-winning Big Five private game reserve.
With 14 000 hectares to explore on the reserve, led by our experts of the African bush, you’ll see the Big Five and an incredible range of animals, including cheetahs, hyaenas, giraffes, warthogs and abundant bird, plant and amphibian life, including several frog species. Africa has 1200 frog species and South Africa has 135. Toads are part of the frog species.
On safari you regularly hear different species of frogs calling, especially after it has rained. At Thanda Safari you’ll most often hear and sometimes see the bubbling kassina, red toad, guttural toad, shovel-footed squeaker and southern foam nest frog. None of them are poisonous.
It’s fascinating to learn about them. On a game drive the rangers will often point out a foam nest hanging over water. The female southern foam nest frog lays her eggs in the branches of trees hanging over water and the males fertilises them, creating the foam. The tadpoles then grow in the foam and when they are ready they fall into the water to continue their growth into frogs.
They are part of the deep experience of the circle of life that makes time on safari so unique. Thanda Safari’s guides and trackers go out of their way to offer guests a full experience of the bush.
SOME FROGS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE
Awe, beauty, wonder … these are the feelings on safari in the presence of the Big Five: the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo. The feeling goes even deeper as you start to experience the full cycle of life in the wild and all the creatures great and small that are part of it.
On Thanda Safari, a magnificent Big Five private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the game rangers and trackers introduce guests to a whole range of fascinating species during their safari.
One of these is the frog. In South Africa, of the 135 frog species, which includes toads, the clawed bullfrog and ornate frog are the most common. On Thanda Safari the most commonly heard or seen are: the bubbling kassina, red toad, guttural toad, shovel-footed squeaker and southern foam nest frog.
The first experience of frogs on Thanda Safari is when guests hear them from the water features at the three exquisite accommodation offerings, Thanda Safari Lodge, Villa iZulu and Thanda Tented Camp. The guttural toad is the most vocal. To attract a mate, the males congregate close to water, creating loud, throaty or guttural chorus. Guttural toads are up to 120 millimetres long, light to dark brown in colour with dark patches and scattered yellow to orange and spots.
The bubbling kassina is up to 49 millimetres long. It is has distinct dark bands down its back and a smooth, yellow-to-olive skin. Males begin their calling in in the late afternoon, with a short ‘boip’ rising note and extended intervals between. When one male calls, he triggers calls from other males, resulting in a chorus with a rippling or bubbling tone.
The red toad measures up to 92 millimetres long and has a leathery, light brown back with a pair of small dark spots on the lower back. Large choruses of males call, making a loud, repetitive ‘whoob’ sound.
The shovel-footed squeaker is up to 45 millimetres long with a light-to-dark-brown skin and two dark flecks on its back. Males call from hidden positions, often under leaf litter, with a high-pitched metallic ‘peep-peep’ or ‘wip-wip-wip’ chirp.
The southern foam nest frog is up to 85 millimetres long and has a grey, dry appearance, resembling wood. Its colour changes from light to dark depending on the surrounding environment. Males call with a croak or squeak from tall grass or branches overhanging water. During the mating process, the female frog produces a secretion that gets whipped up by her and the male into a frothy foam nest, typically seen on tree branches overhanging water. The froth forms a crust as it dries and the foam nest keeps the eggs moist and protected as they develop.
AN EXPERIENCE YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
A safari with Thanda Safari, a multi-award-winning Big Five private game reserve is so special and unique that guests often comment it renews their optimism about the world and its incredible natural wonders, with Africa’s abundant wildlife at the top of their list. In addition to the Big Five there are so many fascinating species to experience.
Thanda Safari takes guests on two-to-three-hour bush walks, which are an utterly exhilarating experience led by our rangers and trackers who intimately understand the wild. On a bush walk you experience all species great and small – from an elephant to a frog – all of which play such an important role in keeping the ecosystem alive and healthy.
There are several different species of frogs on Thanda Safari, each with a unique call, colouring and behaviour. They count among the 135 species of frogs in South Africa and 1200 species in Africa. On Thanda Safari the most commonly heard or seen are: the bubbling kassina, red toad, guttural toad, shovel-footed squeaker and southern foam nest frog.
After time out in the bush experiencing its incredible diversity, you return to one of Thanda Safari’s three magnificent accommodation options that personify safari, romance and mystique. There is Thanda Safari Lodge with its nine exquisite bush suites and spa. There is Villa iZulu – a sumptuous, butler-serviced bush retreat for individuals, groups and families who need absolute privacy. And there is Thanda Tented Camp with its fifteen classic safari-style tents for an evocative, traditional safari experience.