About the Author

Jess Shillaw


Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on The Spirits of The Leadwood Forest

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Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

What a fascinating read today Jess. Love it and your photographs! I have always been interested in the myths and legends of different cultures and still treasure my very old copy of ‘Indaba, my children’ by Vuzamazulu Mutwa. Thank you ❤️🙏🏻

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

Raptors in general are associated with the spiritual realm, and I often see or hear them when I’m in need of some higher guidance. It makes sense to me that the pale morphs would hold metaphysical significance beyond a simple genetic mutation or expression. I loved the image of the pair with the full moon behind them.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Jess, thanks for this update on the eagles. It is interesting that the Native American spiritual culture and the African bush culture have such similar stories. Makes one think about the connectedness of humanity rather than the differences!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

A great article on the different myths concerning white/ light animals. Thanks for these stories!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Jess, What an interesting story! The myths and legends that surround some of the wildlife are special insights into some of the beliefs of tribes and people from long ago!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi Jess lovely blog mixing science fact and cultural background with some mystery in addition! The white bison was the most revered animal for most native tribes in the USA. I heard of white lions and their symbolic meaning. All so touching and the eagles with a nearly moon are great…

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Great post Jess! These are truly beautiful birds, made all the more beautiful by your insights into their spiritual and mythical lore!!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thank you Jess for this blog. It was fascinating to read about two of the myths surrounding the pale mutations in the animal kingdom. It’s much more interesting than reading scientific explanations as to why certain animals are lighter in color than others in their species. Seeing a white lion was especially momentous- maybe one day a spirit bear will cross before me.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Jess a good story on the myths of light colored animals and the Whalburg eagle. Foto’s show clearly there is a colour difference.

Victoria Auchincloss
Master Tracker

It is so easy for those of us visit Londolozi to get so caught up in watching the animals and we forget to watch for the wonderful birds that also live there. Thank you for the history. Victoria

Marcia Parker
Digital Tracker

Wonderful post and beautiful photo of the pair of Wahlberg eagles!

Leonie De Young
Master Tracker

A nice blog Jess and love the mythology thing. The spirit bears are beautiful animals and, yes, our indigenous people have many stories to tell about them. Thanks for sharing with us – nice to have a bird story.

Doug Hammerich
Digital Tracker

What a wonderful piece on the eagles of Londolozi.

Jennifer Ridgewell
Senior Digital Ranger

Jess – I just love your interesting blogs sharing knowledge of flora and fauna. The myths and legends are fascinating . Thank you.

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