Spotlight On Litter

Not only is litter an eyesore to the natural beauty, but it has an adverse impact on the environment and animals and, ultimately, on us. Individually, people often think that they are small in the grand scheme of things which has been a contributing factor to why most people do not believe that throwing a candy wrapper on the ground will have much of an effect on the world, but it does. This is why it is of utmost importance to shine the spotlight on this issue of littering in order to understand what an enormous impact it has.

Effect of litter on animals and the environment

Not all rubbish is properly disposed of and that litter is likely to get blown by the wind or carried elsewhere by water. This can be hazardous to animals in more ways than one. Unfortunately, animals often mistake rubbish for food. In the oceans, the main form of litter is plastic. National Geographic reported that, in 2015, the ocean had 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in it, and since plastic often has additives that make it stronger and extend its life, it can withstand weathering for a long time. This also means that it is not easy to digest when ingested. This has resulted in animals’ digestive systems being blocked causing them to die a slow and painful death.

Animals can also suffer cuts from broken glass, which can cause terrible injuries, or cause wounds that may become infected.  Many creatures find themselves caught-up in plastic six-pack rings, or tangled in strings or nets. This usually leads to the animals suffocating or starving to death. This also makes them more vulnerable to predators as their movement is restricted. Fire hazards and habitat contamination and degradation are other results of littering that disrupt ecosystem processes and threaten the survival of wildlife.

Effect of litter on health and safety

Litter carries germs that, over time, become a breeding ground for bacteria. Human exposure to these germs can lead to diseases such as cholera and typhoid. One-third of existing litter is made of tobacco products. Cigarettes can cause fires and they contain toxic chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead, which can contaminate the environment. These chemicals, as well as those from other forms of litter, can poison the soil, and polluted water and metals can also leach into groundwater supplies. The quality of the air we breathe can also be affected due to the smell and toxic/chemical vapour. Researchers estimate that more than 40% of the world’s waste is burned in the open air, releasing toxic emissions. These emissions can cause respiratory and other health issues, and even be a starting base for acid rain.

The issue of littering also has a negative impact on the economy as municipalities are forced to spend a lot of money on hiring people to clean up. This money is often obtained by taxing citizens which means that even the people who aren’t part of the problem are paying the price for it. Tourism is also affected as the number of tourists decreases if an area is smelly and unsightly.

Author, Katherine Hannigan, once said, “We don’t own the earth.  We are the earth’s caretakers.  We take care of it and all the things on it.  And when we’re done with it, it should be left better than we found it.” Littering is a big societal issue and it is important for society to take action before the effects are irreversible.

Ginger Turmeric Immunity-boosting Shot

Immunity-boosting shots are all the rage right now! They are a great way of getting the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you need to give your health a boost, and they are super easy to make. They are, however, quite pricey and with the cold and flu season upon us, there isn’t a better time to learn how to make your own at home.

Ginger Turmeric Immunity-boosting Shot

(makes up to 8 servings)


  • 1 fresh, unpeeled ginger root (medium to large size), chopped
  • 2 oranges, chopped with rind included
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ turmeric
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 2 cups of filtered water


  • A blender


  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth
  2. Using a fine-mesh sieve with a bowl underneath, pour the juice through the sieve to separate the pulp from the juice.
  3. Transfer the juice from the bowl to a sealable jar or bottle. Store in the fridge for up to four days and enjoy the shots as you please (we recommend one 50-60ml shot a day.)


  1. Turmeric stains EVERYTHING except teeth. Make sure to keep a cloth or paper towel close to immediately clean up any spilled juice.
  2. Save the leftover pulp and add it to other juices for an added flavour.


 Recipe credit:

Expand your Holiday Portfolio at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

If you visited Mabalingwe recently we are sure that you had a fantastic stay and that the Resort environment facilitated many moments which have since turned into cherished memories for you and your loved ones.

Mabalingwe is all about getting back to nature – the spectacular 9 500 hectare landscape allows you to lose yourself in an authentic South African bushveld with abundant birdlife, stunning indigenous trees and shrubs and a wide variety of wildlife. Our passion for providing a holiday destination that has family at its heart means we care about providing the perfect space for shared quality experiences and celebrating family while having fun. The Nature Reserve offers an ‘off the beaten track feel’ as you and your family spend time surrounded by bushveld, while the Entertainment Centre and various eateries provide a haven of fun-filled games and adventures for all ages.
There’s something for every member of the family to enjoy at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve.

With that in mind, we would like to introduce you to Uni-Vate Properties

Uni-Vate Properties is the trusted partner for Mabalingwe Nature Reserve in timeshare sales. With a dedicated Team comprising of more than 38 years’ of experience in the timeshare industry, you can feel rest assured in Uni-Vate Properties’ quality and expertise when it comes to selecting the best possible holiday solution for you.

What is “timeshare”?

Picture yourself on holiday at your favourite destination (we hope you see Mabalingwe!). Now think about the hassle, and anxiety, involved in planning a holiday to that destination – or the frustration when there’s no availability for your preferred dates. Timeshare ownership gives you the opportunity to OWN a specific week in a 365-day cycle, in a specific chalet – at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve! That means that your choice of time period, and chalet, is booked out exclusively for you EVERY year; making you a Mabalingwe VIP.

To find out more simply visit the Uni-Vate Properties website
and browse through a curated list of available weeks to own at Mabalingwe:


Alternatively, get in touch with the Uni-Vate Properties Team directly to see how they can broaden your holiday horizons:
012 941 8497 |

We hope to welcome you into the circle of our family, and that you will relish making many everlasting holiday memories throughout the years to come.


VOTE FOR MABALINGWE – South African Tourism Awards

Your home-away-from-home, Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, has been nominated with a chance to claim a South African Tourism Award!

We would love to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote for your beloved holiday destination. Simply click ‘vote now’ below to cast your vote for
Mabalingwe Nature Reserve:


Have your say in selecting the top holiday destinations across South Africa by casting your vote. Not only does this afford Mabalingwe Nature Reserve a better chance at shining as a prestigious Resort amongst the best, but voters also stand a chance to win a dream holiday and/or travel vouchers! The South Africa Tourism Awards recognise and reward tourism businesses who work passionately to improve South Africa as a tourist destination; not only for international travellers but for our “lekker locals’ who enjoy exploring the wonders of their own country. These awards bring positivity back into the hospitality sector after the hardships of the past few years while casting a spotlight on stunning destinations.

We appreciate your vote!


Kingdom:   Animalia    |    Phylum:   Arthropoda     |     Class:   Insecta     |     Order:   Blattodea
Infraorder:   Isoptera     |     Family:   Termitidae     |     Subfamily:   Macrotermitinae     |     Genus:   Macrotermes

TERMITES! Found on every continent of the world, except for Antarctica, termites are a *keystone species and are the oldest known organised community on the planet, having been traced back 300 million years. Due to their remarkable ability to communicate and function as a cohesive community, these days scientists view each termite colony as a single super organism, rather than as individual insects.

*What is a “keystone species”? A keystone species plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions and this role enables other species to survive. Their absence would mean that their ecosystems would be significantly altered at the least, or would fade away completely.

Often called “white ants”, termites are in fact not ants, nor are they even closely related to ants. Ants belong to the insect order Hymenoptera, whereas termites belong to the order Isoptera. It’s the macrotermes (wood eating) termites, as found here at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, which are responsible for the large termite mounds that are a common feature of our South African (and greater African) bushveld landscapes.

But their “wood eating” label is a bit misleading, in that the plant material gathered and brought back to the colony is more a means to an end than the actual meal of the day. Macrotermes termites forage dead plant materials from the field, then chew the plant material to a pulp, which they then use to cultivate a fungus on which they actually feed.

The cultivated fungus crops need constant humidity and a temperature of around 30°C to thrive. Incredibly, the termites maintain the temperature by opening and closing ‘chimneys’ or vents in the mound. The porous walls of the mound also allow wind to remove excess heat from the nest. Termites rely on their own metabolic heat to warm the mound during cold weather. Humidity in the mound is maintained by the termites tunneling down to the underground water table, which allows for moisture to be released into the mound.

The creation and maintenance of the colony-infrastructure, ‘air-conditioning system’, food source, defences and reproductive success can only be achievable with a sophisticated intracolony (and possibly intercolony) communication system. These social insects have developed successful communication systems for a variety of contexts, such as warning and defence against predators, messaging to allow for the quick and efficient uptake of available resources, mound building and reproduction.

Studies show that termites make use of both chemical communication (pheromones) and acoustic communication. When under threat, soldier termites drum against the earth with their heads. This causes vibrations that serve as an alarm signal to the other termites. In response, worker termites retreat to the safety of the nest and soldier termites converge on the area where the drumming is originating from, to assist with defence. Truly amazing!

These incredible creatures also communicate with neighbouring colonies in regards to predator threats and, due to the fact that same species reproductive termites (winged) emerge from their mounds at exactly the same time on exactly the same day for their annual pre-summer rains reproduction process; it is thought that this must be due to successful intercolony communication.

What a GRAND creature the tiny-but-mighty termite is!

More Marvelous Macrotermes Morsels:

  • Termite colonies have a caste structure: workers, soldiers and reproductives (including the queen).
  • Because of their complex communication system, the queen knows if there is a shortage of any one caste-type in the nest. For example, should a number of soldiers be killed in an ant attack on the colony, the queen will produce more soldier eggs until the balance is restored.
  • Reproductive cast termites (some workers become winged reproductive adults) swarm from the mound at a specific time on a day just before the start of the rainy season; in order to mate and establish a new colony, with themselves as king and queen.
  • Macrotermes build their large mounds very slowly. It takes them around 10 years to reach 1 metre in height and they are usually as deep as they are high.
  • Known termite predators include humans, aardvark, Matabele ants and some bird species.
  • One would think that – because animals such as rhino, buffalo, warthog and even elephants use termite mounds as scratching posts – their hard, towering work would regularly be destroyed. Fortunately, the mounds (also called termitaria) – which are built from a mixture of soil, saliva and faeces – dry as hard as concrete and are extremely difficult to break.
  • Termite mounds can help you get your bearings in the bush, as the tip of the mound usually leans towards North!
  • Considered ecosystem engineers, termite colonies are one of the most efficient organisms contributing to decomposition and recycling of dead trees and vegetation in the bushveld.
  • Termite mounds can be up to be five meters tall here in Africa, and extend deep underground too. Mounds have been found reaching as deep as 30 meters underground. The termite’s tunnelling and mound-building activities enriches and aerates the soil, as well as increasing the permeability of ground water.
  • For many animals, termite mounds are significant structures in their environment. There are many creatures that prey on termites themselves for food, such as ants, crickets, scorpions, spiders, lizards, frogs, bats, aardvarks, aardwolves, pangolins and many birds. Large predators, like cheetahs and lions use mounds as lookouts, and a large number of species make their homes inside empty termite mounds.