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Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel

Here is the line-up for the South African TV show 50‌‌‌ | 50, Anniversary Season, Episode 23 on 10 February 2014. Visit the magical mangroves in Durban, see how urban development is interfering with the natural coastline, confront your fear of snakes and fall in love with dung beetles!


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Mangroves are the meeting place of rivers and oceans. Surviving in these harsh ecosystems isn’t easy and many species living in mangroves are specialised or have adapted to cope. Mangroves are ever changing, flooding during high tide and becoming extremely dry during low tide. It’s not only the tide that makes life here tough, the soil is starved of oxygen and has excess salt which is not quite ideal for any living creature, yet it is home to many species such as mangrove trees, whelks, mud skippers, mangrove and fiddler crabs. Mangrove trees are the true lifeblood of mangroves, their ability to deal with the harsh conditions makes it possible for many other species to survive. Ntoks went to Durban to visit a mangrove nature reserve found in the middle of the city. Such a precious urban gem needs to be protected and conserved.

Shifting sands

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South Africa has some of the most beautiful coastlines and for many of us there is no better place to live. However coastal ecosystems are complex, relying on sea currents and wind to shape and replenish the coastline. Coastal development and interference hasn’t always taken these sand development dynamics into account and an example of this can be seen at Sandy Bay in the Cape Peninsula. A large beach once stretched from Hout Bay and Sandy Bay connecting the two popular beaches. The wind naturally transported the sand along this coastline and deposited it at Sandy Bay. However the buildings in these areas were at risk of wind damage due to the shifting sands. In efforts to prevent the wind damage, vegetation was established on the dunes preventing their natural movement. Now the wind is restricted from replenishing the sand on the coast. Efforts are being made to reverse the problem but it is a controversial issue. Sandy Bay is an important example of what can happen if we don’t take ecosystem dynamics into consideration. Surely future developments on coastlines need to learn from these mistakes?


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All too often snakes are killed on sight. This is largely due to fear of snakes and a lack of knowledge of snakes. Bonne attended a snake handling course to learn more about these creatures and to confront her “small” fear! She learns how to treat snake bites and how handle venomous snakes.



A Valentine’s Day themed VeldFokus including “love” clouds, a dizzy dung beetle pair and angry couples!

50| 50

A television programme that has, for twenty-five years, presented the successes and disasters of conservation to South Africa's people. 50|50 has influenced environmental policy, stirred the public against environmental injustices, promoted the work of our dedicated conservationists, and helped to create a stronger awareness of conservation and environmental issues in South Africa. Weekly on a Monday on SABC2 at 7:30pm - 8:30pm Visit the 50/50 website , or follow us on Facebook