Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beat about the Bush!

Philip’s sweet cousin, Elaine came to visit us. She lives in Windsor and had come to South Africa with her boyfriend Paul. They spent a couple of days with us! What a lovely couple and what a lovely time we had! We took them to the Rhino and Lion park which is set in the beautiful Kromdraai Conservancy. It was experience to remember! It is a privately owned game reserve covering an average of 1200 hectares of land. We saw all sorts of game, from the smallest “meerkat” to the rhinoceros with her small calf – white lion, hippo, sable and many more.

We got to touch and cuddle some lion cubs (tawny as well as the exquisite white lion) and some tiger cubs who were whoa strong! They were so playful, jumping about – Paul even went home with some teeth marks, having cuddled his legs a little hard! For the not so brave (like me!) we got to scratch the heads of the “tame” zebra – they were keen to nibble our necks a little too hard and we JUMPED away in fright!

We saw cheetah and I even touched ones head – although you can see that I wasn’t the happiest person on the block – his head was soft and cuddly, like a real fluffy toy and his purring was STRONG – I felt a tad on the nervous side!

When they moved in the endangered species of wild dog, a breeding program was initiated which led to further programs for Bengal Tigers and the very rare white lion.

The most disappointing thing for us, was to find out that the endangered wild dog pack, which had been living there for years, all died – every single one of them, at the end of January. They don’t know why, but think it could be to do with the excessive amounts of rain we have had.

4 Weeks old - aren't I just too precious?
Playing with a tortoise! I'm 4 months old!
It's hard work, playing with humans - 6 months and HUGE paws
I like to nibble PEOPLE!
I am VERY handsome though!
Paul and Elaine with Eddy the cheetah
Scardy Cat!
I am beautiful though!
A Marabou Stork - SA's answer to Donald Trump!
I'm a tawny lion cub I lose my "spots" when I get a little older!
What a lovely way to end a stunning day - dinner at Salvatore - good South African Steaks, delicious wines and EXCELLENT company!
Thank you for coming! We look forward to seeing in April next year!


Judith said...

Oh WOW Janet what a lovely day you had and aawww aren't the animals just gorgeous? Always good to catch up with family. take care, Judith

Jeanette said...

What a huge shame about the dogs!! I didn't know that.
Looks like you had a fab day

Firefly said...

Scardy cat? That cheetah doesn't look scared at all... Oh... you mean...

It looks like you had a magic outing. Its always nice to take international visitors to these kinds of places. And to experience it for yourself again (or for the first time)

Great zebra photos and I love the one of the baby white lion.

Shaun said...

Gee I really need to go there. Heard so much and never been - looks awesome !!!!

Avril said...

Us too - never been - shocking .. such beautiful places on our doorstep and we don't take advantage of them.
Baby white lion cub is the CUTEST! and all the photos are amazing! What lovely memories they are taking back home!
I didn't know about the wild dogs either - that is so sad.

Pam said...

What a fantastic time you guys had! Those animals are just gorgeous. How lucky to get to pet them.

Have a great week,

Riley Kai said...

So amazing to have something like that close to you! Riley's favorite animals right now are lions and tigers! She looked at your pics for a long time making big roars:)

Corey~living and loving said...

WOW! what an experience. I would have been nervous as well. NO matter how much time they spend with humans...they are still wild animals.

great shots!

pam said...

Great pictures!! I can't even imagine...

Looks like a wonderful visit.