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Don’t miss the Pokemon Go Day at Crocworld Conservation Centre

Image credit: Joclyn Easton


 A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern AfricaCrocworld Conservation Centre on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has become a Pokémon hotspot after discovering Crocworld hosts five “Poké stops” and one “Poké gym”.

On Saturday, 3 September the centre will be hosting its second Pokémon Go Day from 9 AM to 4.30 PM.

They will also be running a competition for participants to enter their best three images while catching a Pokémon. The images – showing the Pokémon in creative spots – can be shared on the Crocworld Conservation Centre Facebook Page.

The best three images will receive free annual membership, allowing them to return and play at any time.

Henry, the resident Nile Crocodile, is one of the Poké stops, which means gamers get to view the renowned reptile while collecting the sought-after Pokémon supplies. Crocworld also has a Poké gym, another big drawcard where Pokémon teams battle it out for a spot inside.

There is a special entrance fee for Pokémon Go players, every day of the week:

  • R50 for adults
  • R35 for under 12s

Gamers just need to show the Pokémon Go application at the entrance for the special price.

For more information, visit the Crocworld Conservation Centre Facebook Page, call 039 976 1103 or visit

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Essential for landscapers, gardeners and tree enthusiasts: Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern Africa

Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern AfricaStruik Lifestyle is proud to present Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern Africa by Hugh Glen and Braam van Wyk:

Southern Africa is home to more than 2,000 introduced (not indigenous) trees. These non-native species are encountered daily and form a familiar part of our urban landscapes, growing successfully in parks, gardens, along roadsides, and in other open spaces.

This guide features nearly 600 of the most common and familiar of these and, using the same model of identification as FG Trees of Southern Africa, facilitates ID based on leaf and stem features.

The book provides the country of origin for each species and offers key information on cultivation and uses. Each entry is supported by colour images that depict key features, and a shaded map that shows the plant’s cold tolerance (where the species can grow).

An essential guide for landscapers and gardeners as well as tree enthusiasts who will struggle to find these trees in their guide to indigenous trees.

About the authors

Hugh Glen worked as a scientist at the Botanical Research Institute (later SANBI) for 36 years and is a member of the IUBS Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. He has authored a number of publications and academic papers.

Braam van Wyk is a professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Pretoria. He is a plant taxonomist and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on the botany of southern Africa.

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A book no keen baker should be without: Baking with Jackie Cameron

Baking with Jackie CameronOut now from Struik Lifestyle: Baking with Jackie Cameron:

Jackie Cameron made her first biscuits under the watchful eyes of her grandmothers. Now she is able to pay tribute to them by including some of their cherished recipes in Baking with Jackie Cameron.

But she wouldn’t be an award-winning chef if she didn’t take a recipe and make it her own. Cameron has applied her formidable culinary skills to some of her favourite recipes, presenting the reader with a selection of recipes that are utterly delectable, yet reassuringly familiar.

Covering everything from biscuits, breads, pies and quiches for family meals, to celebration cakes and delectable desserts, Baking with Jackie Cameron is a book no keen baker should be without.

About the author

Jackie Cameron was born and raised in the Midlands and her heart remains in KwaZulu-Natal where she has filled the position of head chef at Hartford House, a five-star boutique hotel in rural Mooi River, since 2002. Despite her youth, her list of achievements is what most aspiring chefs dream of. Cameron’s ambition and drive have opened doors to voyages of discovery and enriching experiences, mere dreams for the average chef. Average she is not. This talented young chef leaves no stone unturned.

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Three Struik Lifestyle books honoured at Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

A Taste of IsraelTWOTaste the Little Karoo

Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has had three titles listed among the “Best in the World” at the recent Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau and every year they honour the best food and wine books.

A total of 209 countries participated in the 2016 awards and the Struik Lifestyle titles that have won are as follows:

Awarded 1st place in the category “Jewish Cuisine”:

Awarded 3rd place in the category “TV – English”:

Awarded 3rd place in the category “Local Cuisine”

Congratulations to all the winners!

Special offer on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides

Struik Nature

The Struik Nature Club is running a special discount on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides until the end of June!

Save R50 on each book, plus free delivery in South Africa.


See the list of Struik Nature Pocket Guides here:

Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall
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EAN: 9781920572471
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Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa by Charles Griffiths, Mike Picker
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EAN: 9781775841951
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Mammals of Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa : Pocket Guide by Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart
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EAN: 9781770078611
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Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa by Marieka Gryzenhout
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EAN: 9781770077560
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Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa by Bruce Cairncross
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EAN: 9781770074439
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Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch
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EAN: 9781775841647
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Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa by Piet van Wyk, Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781920572020
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Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair
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EAN: 9781770077690
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Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa by Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781775841661
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For specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike: Baobabs of the World

Baobabs of the WorldComing soon from Struik Nature: Baobabs of the World: The Upside-Down Trees of Madagascar, Africa and Australia:

A photographic masterpiece, this beautiful book is a fitting tribute to the baobab – an extraordinary and majestic tree found principally in Madagascar, and peripherally in Africa and Australia.

The first section offers a short introduction to the classification and general description of baobabs, details of their life history, biogeography, dispersal and their role in people’s lives. The second section comprises a guide to each of the eight baobab species, including botanical description, details of their habitat, distribution and principal uses, accompanied by clear images and line drawings of the leaves, flowers, fruits and growth habit of each species.

Interesting text and lavish photographs throughout make this book irresistible for specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike, and it will have particular appeal for tourists too.

About the authors

Andry Petignat is an amateur plant enthusiast with a particular interest in succulents, including baobabs. He has authored Guide des plantes succulentes du sud-ouest de Madagascar, published in 2009, and is responsible for the famous Arboretum d’Antsokay in Toliara, Madagascar.

Louise Jasper is a British photographer of nature, an artist and designer with a special interest in the diversity of flora and fauna in Madagascar. She has lived in Toliara since 2006 and has travelled widely in the country in search of baobabs. She has also contributed to a range of publications on the wildlife of south western Madagascar.

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‘A bit of bleeding but very little damage’ – Johan Marais shares the story behind recent python photoshoot

python bite
Snakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaSlange and Slangbyt in Suider-AfrikaA Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa'n Volledige Gids tot die Slange van Suider-Afrika

Johan Marais, internationally renowned herpetologist and author of Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa, has shared the story behind a recent photoshoot involving a python and a very bloody arm.

The shoot involved Shawn Hefer of the African Snakebite Institute being bitten “a few times” by a young python, resulting in “a bit of bleeding but very little damage”.

Have a look at the photographs, and check out the African Snakebite Institute on Facebook for more:



There is a great deal of myth about pythons, especially with regards to attacks on people. Pythons in Africa do kill people, but rarely so.

There are as few as 3 proven cases where people were killed by pythons in Africa in the past 100 years+. Attacks by pythons are often reported, especially when one has been killed and appears on the front page of a newspaper. But these attacks are seldom true and there is a likelihood that the snakes are being killed for the muti market.

During a study on python behaviour at Kwalata Reserve, the members of the Alexander Lab at Wits had two or three python bites in the wild but the snakes immediately released after biting, as if they realised their mistake. The wounds were superficial. Pythons do have a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and have the ability to inflict very nasty bites, often resulting in stitches. The reason is that people pull the pythons off and the sharp teeth rip through skin.

I am busy with a program on pythons and we staged some photographs this morning where a young python latched onto Shawn Hefer’s arm a few times, causing quite a bit of bleeding but very little damage. Have a look at the photographs. Incidentally, the Southern African Python (Python natalensis) is projected in most provinces and is on the TOPS list but it is not an endangered species – in the Reptile Atlas it is listed as ‘least concerned’.

Related stories:

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Wits paleoanthropologist Lee Berger among TIME‘s 100 most influential people in world

lee berger homo naledi time 100Field Guide to the Cradle of Human KindWits University paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger‚ renowned for his discovery of Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba‚ among other achievements‚ appears on TIME magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list‚ now in its 13th year‚ recognises the activism‚ innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

“The TIME 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women‚ not its most powerful‚ though those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain‚ influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year‚ we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow‚ so we can look around the corner to see what is coming‚” editor Nancy Gibbs says.

Berger is an award-winning palaeoanthropologist‚ researcher‚ explorer‚ author and speaker from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University in Johannesburg.

His explorations into human origins in Africa over the past two-and-a-half decades have resulted in many new and notable discoveries‚ including the most complete early hominin fossils found so far‚ which belong to a new species of early human ancestor‚ Australopithecus sediba and‚ in 2013‚ the richest early hominin site yet found on the continent of Africa and a new species of human relative‚ Homo naledi‚ announced in 2015.

“It is an honour to be included in the TIME 100 and a tribute to the world-class and influential science being produced on the African continent by African scientists and African institutions such as Wits University.

“This recognition also reflects on the hard work of my colleagues‚ who are all critical to both the discoveries being made‚ as well as the interpretations put forward in the scientific literature‚” Berger said.

Source: TMG Digital

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Image: Wits

Easy recipes and mealtime independence with Healthy Food for a Healthy Baby by Monique Le Roux Forslund

Healthy Food for a Healthy BabyNew from Struik Lifestyle – Healthy Food for a Healthy Baby by Monique Le Roux Forslund:

As a parent and a teacher, Monique le Roux Forslund has first-hand experience of the effect food has on children. She has seen how sugar and other fast-acting carbohydrates can cause them to become over-active and struggle with concentration.

In Healthy Food for a Healthy Baby she shows you how to give your baby a healthy and nourishing start to life. In addition to more than 100 easy recipes appropriate for babies aged six to 18 months, there are tips about natural good food to ensure that your child maintains all-round good health. Although this is not a “low carb high fat” recipe book, the recipes do not include wheat flour and sugar.

In addition, there is information on encouraging your child to develop mealtime independence – aka baby-led weaning (BLW) – much sooner than you’d expect.

About the author

Now based in Sweden, Monique le Roux Forslund grew up in Cape Town and is a regular visitor to South Africa. She is a licenced health coach, fitness instructor, teacher and mother of three, with well over 20 years’ experience working with children. She has one of Sweden’s most popular health blogs (more than 430 000 page views/months and growing) and is regularly asked for advice, tips, ideas and recipes. She enjoys experimenting with different tastes and flavours and is passionate about cooking. Her book Low-carb Living for Families was published by Struik Lifestyle in 2013.

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Put on the perfect children’s party without blowing the budget: More Easy Party Treats for Children by Janette Mocke

More Easy Party Treats for ChildrenNog Maklike Soet Happies Vir KindersNow available from Struik Lifestyle – More Easy Party Treats for Children by Janette Mocke

In More Easy Party Treats for Children, each chapter presents a different theme, including trains, monsters, sheep, butterflies, bees, superheroes, ragdolls and dinosaurs.

All the treats are made using readily available items, such as ice cream cones, marshmallows, jelly sweets, lollipops and wafer biscuits. Each theme includes a centrepiece that can be used in addition to, or even replace, the traditional birthday cake. The simple-to-follow instructions don’t require any baking or specialist skills, making it possible for busy moms to put on the perfect party without blowing the budget or spending hours in the kitchen.

Kids will be delighted by the variety of treats on offer and the themes can be adapted to suit individual preferences and ages. Beautiful photography and creative styling showcase the treats and offer further ideas for party settings.

Also available in Afrikaans as Nog Maklike Soet Happies Vir Kinders.

About the author

Janette Mocke published her first book, Easy Party Treats for Children, in 2012, which has sold over 12,000 copies in English and Afrikaans. Since then, she has appeared on various TV programmes, including Pasella, Expresso and Hectic Nine-9 (SABC 2), and featured in Your Family magazine. Janette started out by baking cakes for family and friends. When she couldn’t find anyone to make her own wedding cake, she took on the task herself and the cake was such a success it convinced her to turn her hobby into a business. She is the owner of a Supacakes agency, using her creativity and talents to produce cakes, cupcakes, treats and toppers for birthdays, weddings and special occasions.

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