Cape Ground Squirrel

Driving on the gravel road near Nieu-Bethesda something darted across the road. "Don't hit the meerkat!" my wife shouted. "That's not a meerkat," was my response. "Don't hit the mongoose then," she said."Also not a mongoose," I answered. "It's a ground squirrel.""It does look like a squirrel," she observed. The Cape Ground Squirrel (Geosciurus inauris) is found in most of the drier parts of southern Africa. The name Cape ground squirrel is somewhat misleading as it actually has a much wider area of habitation. This…

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Going on a game drive at Kuzuko Lodge

Over the Zuurberg mountains in the southern part of the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland lies a place of glory. That bit should actually be written with caps as Kuzuko Lodge's slogan is Place of Glory. Most game reserves are located in a part of the province where lush subtropical thicket vegetation is prevalent which makes Kuzuko different. Wide-open spaces, sparse vegetation, dry climate and often warmer temperatures. Due to this Kuzuko doesn't have big numbers of animals like the other…

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Waterhole gatherings

The best places to watch elephants in the Addo Elephant National Parks are at the waterholes, most notably Hapoor, Domkrag, Gwarrie Pan, the Woodlands loop dam and Marion Bree. This is often where you see the biggest groups together as well as the most activity and interaction. So that it is possible to sit at a waterhole for literally hours observing and photographing them. Not that most people do. They enjoy the sighting and move on to see what else…

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The endangered African Unicorn

"Look mom, tourist types!" One of the most precious things one can probably see in nature is a mother and her baby. Even more precious if it is an endangered animal like the White Rhino. The sad part of spotting and photographing rhino is that people get all up in arms when you publish your photos to show off these magnificent animals. I took the photos in this post somewhere in 2018 and as much as I would like to…

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Tsitsikamma cattle roadblock

We decided to break away to the Tsitsikamma for the day and rather than just driving in and out on the N2, we took the scenic R102. The three biggest industries in the area are forestry, tourism and dairy so everywhere along the way you pass plantations, dairy farms and accommodation and activity establishments. What we didn't expect to encounter was a roadblock made up of cattle. As we crested a little hill I realised that there was something in…

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A couple of surprises in the Camdeboo National Park

No visit to Graaff-Reinet will be complete without a visit to the Valley of Desolation yet I wonder how many people actually realise that the Valley of Desolation is located within the Camdeboo National Park, which actually reaches all the way around the town, and that you can also go game viewing in the park.  On our long weekend in Graaff-Reinet we spent our Saturday exploring the town's historical heart on foot and kept the Sunday to explore the Camdeboo National…

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Giraffe at Kragga Kamma

Addo Elephant National Park, as with all National Parks, has a policy to only have animals that occurred there naturally.  Giraffes didn't thus you won't find them in the park.  The best place to see them though is at the Kragga Kamma Game Park just outside Port Elizabeth.  

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St Francis the patron saint of animals

The Animal Welfare Society on Victoria Drive truly needs all the help it can get with so many people who care for animals it is also clear that there are even more who don't really care for animals.  Outside the Animal Welfare building stands a statue and I wonder how many people notice it or know who it is.  It is the the figure of St Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment.  A fitting place for him…

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Fire’s biggest victims

Walking along the Fynbos Trail at Schoenmakerskop observing the devastation of the recent fires I just realised again how the little guys, like tortoises and snails, are the biggest victims.

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Feeding the donkeys

On Saturday we stopped by the East Cape Horse Care Unit based at Animal Welfare on Victoria Drive for the first time in a while to visit the donkeys.  Naturally we took a bag of carrots along but clearly we didn't have enough.  Will have to visit again quite soon. "Hey, did you bring us some carrots?""Don't hold it so far, I can barely reach..."

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