S is for Schotia Safari

Can I complete the whole of Round 9 of ABC Wednesday based on our four week stay in South Africa in February? Click on the photos to enlarge.

GiraffeSchotia is the oldest private game reserve in the Eastern Cape with over 2,000 animals and 40 different species and we joined other tourists there for a mini-safari during our South African roadtrip.

We were sitting over six feet up in the open top of the long-wheelbase Landrover as we headed into the reserve over deeply rutted tracks.

I won’t list each and every species we saw, but just our personal highlights.

White RhinoFirst were the white rhinos (right) because of how close we came to them as they grazed right next to the Landrover.

It doesn’t look particularly white, but then its name was originally the Wide Rhino because of its wide mouth. The name changed because of the assumed distinction between it and the black rhino.

The two we saw are a mating pair and it looked as if the female was pregnant. They were to be kept separate from the area where the lions roam until the calf is two or three years old.

Burchell's ZebraMy next favourite was the Burchell’s Zebra (left) with its distinctive shadow markings between the stripes.

If you enlarge the photo, you can see that the stripe on its hind leg is askew which is a scar where a lion has tried to bring it down.

The stripe patterns vary from region to region and they are like fingerprints – no two zebras have the same stripes.

But the big question is: are they black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? The answer is the latter.

LionessAfter stopping for coffee, we went in search of lions. We finally found the lioness on the right who I have featured before.

There were three lions in total — the lioness and two of her brothers well camouflaged further back, but in true leonine fashion they didn’t stir very much.

We stopped again around 7pm for dinner at a huge, traditional, open air lapa. It had reed and sneezewood walls, an open cooking area and thatched covered dining area on the outside from where we watched the zebras graze.

SpringbokThe meal was served by the guides and the food was fabulous, as ever — kudu antelope and chicken marinated in coca cola and golden syrup.

We left for the last stage of our safari to see the hippos that had left their wallow after dark and didn’t look impressed by circling Landies shining million-candle power torches in their eyes.

It was too dark to get any decent photos of them, so instead I’ll leave you with one of a springbok above which is a much more appropriate ABC Wednesday letter S.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

10 comments… Add yours
  • Meryl 23rd November 2011

    Sounds like an incredible experience!

  • Roger Green 23rd November 2011

    I really enjoy the travelogue, though I’m not sure the antelope did.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Kim,USA 23rd November 2011

    It’s beautiful how you describe the place and the animals living in the place. Thanks for sharing.


  • chrisj 23rd November 2011

    Very interesting, but what I would really like to know is how do we know zebras are actually white with black stripes? My guess would be that their under sides must be white. Is that what makes the determination?

  • Francisca 23rd November 2011

    That is Some Stunning mini-Safari!

  • Mr Parrot 23rd November 2011

    Thank you all.

    Chrisj: It seems I was wrong about the stripes. It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes, since some zebras have white underbellies.

    However, according to Wikipedia, embryological evidencethat the animal’s background color is black and the white stripes and bellies are additions.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 23rd November 2011

    Mmmm…chicken marinated in coca cola and golden syrup! I assume they got that sophisticated recipe from Heston Blumenthal’s recipe book – “In Search of Perfection”.

  • Mr Parrot 24th November 2011

    Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it YP. It was absolutely delicious!

  • RachelAng34 25th November 2011

    sounds interesting! would love to experience this too.

  • Jewel 9th December 2011

    interesting post! never had experience going to a safari before, but would love to.


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