African Spring

South Africa was a stunning experience.  We were there for three months during 2014. Winter was just turning into spring. We took lots of videos, and they’re all on our YouTube site.

You can also access them by clicking here.

We also took lots of photos of animals, which we deliberately did not publish at the time, due to the high risk of poaching. Poachers can often geotrack animal locations from the information in photos. So here they are now!

All our previous posts about South Africa, with lots more photos, can be read at this link.

The week we spent tracking the wild dogs was incredible! Read about it here.

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In Zululand, we worked on a couple of different reserves, with Wildlife Act, where we had some wonderful animal sightings.

Coming across the family of 5 adolescent cheetahs, waiting while their mum was off hunting was an extraordinary time, what beautiful creatures!

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Elephants were always awesome:

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We found that giraffes seemed to be very curious and interested in us. They would often stop and stare:

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This Black Rhino spotted us from a quarter mile away, and decided he was going to tell us off, so he mock charged!

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Another day we came across a group of White Rhinos, and although they are clearly large and potentially dangerous, they seemed rather nervous, and were almost nudging each other: “no you go look first, no you go…”!

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Coming across the lion family was a bonus!

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The number and variety of antelopes was stunning: impala, kudu, nyala, hartebeest, eland, springbok, more than I imagined!

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FEMALE KUDU
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IMPALA. KNOWN LOCALLY AS MACCY-D, FOR THE “M” LOGO ON THEIR BACKSIDES, AND THE FACT THAT THEY’RE EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE SNACK!

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We spent a few hours in a hide overlooking a waterhole, and it was wonderful to be able to see so many animals come down to drink and enjoy the cool mud.  We also learned the collective nouns for many of the animals!

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When we moved on to another reserve to help out with Panthera‘s leopard tracking project, we were beyond excited when some of our first photos revealed…. a leopard!

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Then in Cape Town, we enjoyed the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens:

When we left Cape Town, we went on to Buffelsdrift Game Reserve, in the Klein Karoo:

We also spent time with friends, travelling up the beautiful Garden Route.

Being in South Africa was an amazing experience. Of course the landscape and the animals are simply stunning. We also very much enjoyed meeting the people. What a huge variety of wonderful people. I really hope this Rainbow Nation can work through its problems to a good and stable future. They deserve it.

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