The Maputaland region of southern Africa is one of the world’s most spectacular biodiversity hotspots. This largely undiscovered wilderness area has a unique climate and dramatic topography, which dictate the behaviour and movement of a huge array of species.
In “The Predator Coast’ we bring this stunning location, and it’s inhabitants to life for the first time.
Close to the border with Mozambique, 9000 feet high mountains drop into a hot, emerald-green coastal plain. Herds of game inhabit the lowlands, with all the associated African predators in tow. It’s an area where lions hunt buffalo, wild dogs harass impala and elephants wander between water points. Verging this expanse of acacia woodland is the vast, saline St Lucia Lake, covering 130 square miles and connected to the sea through a narrow channel. The lake is home to pods of hippo, crocodiles, and large nesting colonies of pelicans. In the space of 100 miles, mountain gives way to hilly savannah, and then lake and ocean take over.
Out at sea, temperate water meets the tropical Mozambique current where Tiger, Blacktip and massive Whale sharks patrol the sandy coastline and dolphins herd sardines into swirling bait balls.
Throughout the seasonal changes and cycles of the year, these different environments ripple into life. Summer ends on the lake, and Nile crocodiles begin to slow their metabolisms for winter.
As the rains stop on the coastal savannah, the hungry lions become more effective hunters, greatly increasing their ranges in pursuit of prey. Out at sea, the big Tiger sharks are leaving the cooling waters, and simultaneously hundreds of Ragged tooth sharks arrive to perform their violent mating rituals. The constantly changing air and water temperature, tide and rainfall, form a dynamic that dictates the emergence, arrival, behaviour and departure of many animals in this region. The following spring brings to a close a full year in one of the planets most diverse areas. For the animals, life continues its cycle. They have learned to roll with all the punches this dynamic ecosystem throws at them – and emerge the stronger for it.
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