Image: Getty Images
by Jan-Hendrik Botha
The name says it all! Twenty castaways will be spending 39 days on some of South Africa’s wildest and most desolate beaches. But they will not be spending it alone.
Some of the more obvious predators, such as villains and backstabbers, will cross their paths. But while they conspire in the dark, they will need to watch out for predators of a different kind: the ones native to these rough seas and lush trees.
The invisible killer. Do you have a fever? Feeling weak? Muscle or joint pain? Swollen or sensitive lymph nodes? Nausea? You might have tick bite fever. Though tiny in size, they can cause great harm. These eight-legged blood-sucking bugs are relatives to spiders and are very attracted to mammals. They are very common in the Wild Coast, and once they latch on, they can be lethal.
2) Vervet Monkeys
“Do not feed the monkeys!” They will come back bigger and better than before. Yes, you'll find these social creatures wherever there's food. They are sometimes perceived as pests as they often like living near areas inhabited by people. They also tend to raid homes and campsites, taking food and other items. The males show dominance through threat and aggression. At sexual maturity, the younger males tend to migrate between troops. The younger males tend to be intimidating when something is standing between them and a sweet treat, so some of our castaways might need to stand their ground. Though very sneaky, these beautiful animals are low risk, according to the IUCN.
From the venom spitting rinkhals to the long and slender spotted bush snake, the Wild Coast is a reptile haven known for its various snake species. Some of South Africa’s rarest species – and most venomous – are found here. To find out more, click here.
You might have more luck being struck by lightning or stung by a bee than bitten by a shark. South Africa boasts a wide range of shark species, but only a few are dangerous. Though shark attacks are relatively uncommon, they can be fatal. Therefore, our castaways would need to be careful when fishing for food. Here are a few sharks known to the Wild Coast:
- The Tiger Shark
As much as it is fascinating to see, it is deadly too. Recognised by its tiger-like stripes on each side, the tiger shark is known to be second to the great white when it comes to shark attacks. According to National Geographic, this shark has an “undiscerning palate” and is unlikely to swim away after biting.
- The Bull Shark
Otherwise known as the Zambezi Shark, the bull shark is very aggressive and eats almost anything – including other sharks. This shark swims in shallow, warm waters. According to National Geographic, the Bull Shark likes cruising murky waters and bays; therefore, it often attacks humans unintentionally. It sounds like our castaways might need to stay clear of river mouths!
A beach bum of a different kind! That's correct! The Wild Coast is probably the only place in South Africa where you’ll find these kinds of beachgoers. Get ready to share some beach-time with the beautifully patterned Nguni! Usually, they are either roaming river mouths, snoozing on the sand or grazing the coastal forest. Just don’t get too comfortable around them. If you are willing to get in between a cow and her calf or a bull and his herd, be ready to run into the ocean for safety.
For the next few days, our castaways will need to fend for themselves. But following the necessary precautions will do the trick. Should they sharpen their strategies, approach each challenge with full force and keep an eye out for the predators amongst them at camp, they stand a chance of surviving the greatest social game on earth.
Watch Survivor SA: Immunity Island on M-Net (DStv channel 101) every Thursday at 19:30. Use the hashtag #SurvivorSA on Twitter, Instagram or the Survivor Facebook Page.