Giraffe spoor

While on a game drive at Samara Private Game Reserve near Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape I spotted a set of tracks next to the road. Too big for an antelope and definitely not a horse or a cow as it's inside a game reserve. Possibly a buffalo? Hoofprint from a giraffe was the answer from our game ranger. A hoof is the foot of certain animals known as ungulates. These animals walk on their toes which have a hard cover made out…

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Tracking and double tots at Samara

Rangers are like the cowboys of a game reserve with their game viewing vehicle as their steed, a cap rather than a cowboy hat and bino's at their side in the place of a revolver. But what about the dude sitting on the bonnet jump seat? Is he the Tonto to our Lone Ranger? Who is the guy with the thing in his hand that looks like a tv aerial? What is he supposed to do? Why does he get…

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Elephant and snowy mountain

One day when I'm big I would love to see elephants walking on the plains of Kenya with a snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. The closest I got to that scene so far was visiting Samara Private Game Reserve outside Graaff-Reinet recently after a cold front that brought snow to the mountains of the Karoo Heartland. At least I can say I've seen an elephant with a powder of snow on a mountain top in the background.

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Lion paw prints

Going on a game drive is nothing like visiting a zoo. The animals in a game reserve are free to roam all over which means there's never a guarantee that you will see them. A recent game drive I went on produced everything we wanted to see except for lion. I have a question though. How do you know the lion crossed the road if nobody saw him? He leaves his footprints. As we were watching a couple of giraffe…

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Blue Cranes at sunset

As the sun was setting in the west after an amazing game drive at Samara Private Game Reserve near Graaff-Reinet, we stood with gin and tonics in hand enjoying the end of another stunning late winter Karoo Heartland day. Suddenly we heard a noise over a nearby rise. The 'krraaarrr krraaarr’ call of blue cranes. Not one or two, but a flock of at least 60 or 70 coming in to overnight at the nearby waterhole. They first did us…

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