Where Safari Meets The Beach In Zululand South Africa

Glimpse Our Landscape, Animals, Birds

Sitting around the fire, stars shining brightly above, mesmerized by night sound I mentioned to my son we have one full day left sigh, what would he like to revisit (being his first trip up)? Knowing full well you never see everything, a week is never long enough, selection made, Bhangazi Gate, East Bank of iSimangalioso leaving a little later than our previous visit, offering an opportunity to watch the late sunlight at play over sand dunes, bush and hills.

Self driving is a treat on tar, gravel or single track getting you into the mood of being away from everything city related through iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. An easy destination to visit, a little over 200 kilometers from King Shaka International Airport.

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Spirit Of The Night

No matter the time of day you drive, slow speed looking into the bush or on top perhaps in the water much will surprise and exhilarate you knowing you truly are in the wild. Watch opening and closing times not to be caught unawares, now lets travel to see what we found on 2nd June 2022.

Early greeting from the Oxpeckers enjoying breakfast on the back of either Kudu or Nyala antelope, great symbiotic relationship going on here, antelope attracts ticks or parasites the birds thrive on removing for them.

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Someone still out and about with Zebra pajama on...

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The gang moving along browsing, must be brunch at close onto eleven in the morning, elevenses....

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Down the loop onto some water, no surprise here with Hippo lolling around with a view for miles.

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Kudu to you too, standing high and dry on the road leading through Loop.

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One of the ladies, beautifully made up with big ears to hear you... Delightful sightings in short start to the day!

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Mommy Warthog moving her youngsters along grunting loudly, gnashing teeth along water logged ground.

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An island on another pond filled to the brim with Hadada ibis, must be back from waking up the park early morning alarm clock on wings, now time to relax.

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Thank goodness Buffalo are short sighted, these were close to the edge of the road happily driving as slow as we were we never spooked them. One buffalo has quite a number of hitchhikers on the back, once again Oxpecker birds taking advantage of their relationship in the bush.

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Still looking vacant, our good fortune carried us further.

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Now at the back of Vlei loop, a rough sand road with many thorn bushes on either side one has to watch the road carefully, edging forward out the corner of my eye on a dead tree sits a Southern banded snake eagle.

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What a sighting, second time I am seeing this particular species in the region, earlier sighting four years ago if not longer.

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Part of the single track to give you traction going through this area to give you an idea what landscape you entering into...

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African hoepoo in the thicket watching closely what we are up to.

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Down the road to Mission Rocks, Papa Warthog having a back scratch against a tree before dashing off to join his family, soon time to be able to stretch the legs with a walk ourselves!

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Road down to Mission Rocks and/or Cape Vidal we almost always sight the small red duiker shy, an extremely timid little animals will sprint when alerted you there.

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Walked along upper path to get some fresh air, sat a short while enjoying light spray, now closer to high tide unlike earlier visit when we played in the pools on the shelf evident in the photograph.

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Next stop to walk is Mfazana Hide a pleasant walk through fern under shade, each stop comes with warning to keep your eyes open and check, you are out in unprotected area where animals roam free.

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White-eared barbet up high hollowing the tree bark out for his next home, season appears to be changing earlier.

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Not too sure if this is the White-browed robin-chat perching close to the walkway, did not see his full face.

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Back up to tar road after pleasant drive on exceptionally well laid track road from the hide.

Now heading to Cape Vidal before doing the return trip to St Lucia, may not be a big area, sure is packed full of adventure to thrill all bird and animal lovers.

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Anatinae, the dabbling ducks floating with young on ponds alongside the road.

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African banded mongoose looked down the road, he could do with and Oxpecker or two, pity not so friendly as people seem to think. Related to Meerkat most know from shows on TV.

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Traffic jam on the road, hang on, wait! It's a Zebra crossing....

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African jacana enjoying peace on waters edge sharing with buffalo, zebra and whatever else may be closer to the body of water.

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Little further along enjoyed the company in herd of Kudu about to cross the road numbering around ten, take a good look into the bush, how many can you find....

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Come on let's go, while we sat waiting patiently till all had moved across into deep bush on the other side.

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Males waiting patiently having crossed, while the females come dawdling along, sound familiar?

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Now this Dung beetle has right of way, to avoid hitting at all cost to nature, rolling his ball oblivious to our lens, doing what he does best!

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Dung beetles assist in keeping healthy environment!

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Sitting enjoying a break at Cape Vidal

Son took off on a walk while I sat enjoying my camera with views I may not see for some time again, reflecting on how wonderful it has been to visit once again.

Shadows starting to lengthen along the beach, everything bringing joy, glimpses of what nature should look like.

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With a reminder right in front of your eyes, how much hurt we have reigned down on our environment....

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Bushbuck enjoying the quiet, leaving later with less traffic many more of the shy little antelope were to be seen enjoying verge of road with soft grasses to browse.

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Waterbuck moving along one of the many bodies of water after recent floods enjoying last golden rays of daylight now being mid afternoon an hour away from sunset, grasses shimmering off waters reflection.

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Green and gold hues shared by geese and egret, time to go hunting for food before the night sets in.

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Long shadow cast by Rhino very close to the road, ignored us enjoying soft meadow meander all on his own in the golden rays.

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Directly across the road Pied kingfisher prepares for a dive for a meal before days end.

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How quickly the day runs out, glimpses of nature keeps one on the road of anticipation, revealing new life around every corner, thanks for joining me once again on this the last post of travel for now. Future photography still to be shared throughout communities within Hive.

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As always, only take photos, leave no footprints!

Will I return, most definitely all going well, yet to see the elusive leopard, silent footed elephants and wild dogs all three still not sighted. Whale watching, turtles many things pop into my mind to draw me back over and over again.

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All photography is my own using a Canon PowerShot SC730 HS, resized for easier loading, writing my own works, all fresh photographs not previously revealed, still catching up from early June 2022 adventure where South African Safaris do meet the Beach!

Spectacular visit with map Zululand An Extraordinary Destination

Thought for Today: "Going slowly doesn't stop one arriving." - African Proverbs

Some links to use should this be a dream vacation:

St Lucia Accommodation | St Lucia RCI Exchanges | St Lucia Camping | Hostels to Hotels

Packed Lunches wherever you go, no shops in the parks...

Guided Tours | Self Drive from King Shaka Airport | Entrance Fees To Park - Estmate under USD $20 per day for people, vehicle and levy.

Hiking Trails | Cape Vidal Snorkeling Adventure | Fat Bike Fishing Tour | Whatever sport adventure you may enjoy do some research and connect with local community, mountain bikes, running, walking, deep sea fishing many events arranged, be sure to ask.

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Such an adventure and WOW all the animals and wildlife you saw, for me the highlight is the zebras, not sure why but i always find myself smiling when I see them

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Zebra are found relatively often here even on farmlands, fun to watch how they move with other animals normally.

Thanks for kind comment and visit JJ, sending !LUV to both yourself and Lulu.

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Thanks for the !LUV
I must admit the one thing I regret is the time I spent in Africa, I only ever made time for a one day animal Safari,I keep saying I would do more but put it off to busy with work and never did

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One does reflect back on travel, how very quickly everything happens. Later wishing you knew more or did more, much like everything it's on the day, or time in life when able.

Thanks for the token and cheers !BEER

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Yes it’s easy to look back with thoughts on what we didn’t do but for the most part I try to avoid it and focus on what I did do

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Thank goodness Buffalo are short sighted

I never knew this about Buffalos short sighted, interesting.
Those birds on the back of the Zebra are cute 🙂

I love eagles the strength of those birds are unbelievable!

Apparently Dung beetles are very strong in strength, interesting shot there.

Something to thank about indeed.

Good afternoon Joan, beautiful shots!

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African buffalo are short sighted, make sure they don't smell you with all their other senses heightened, they need little provocation to charge.

Three different species of eagle on this week away, was magic with never having seen one of them ever before.

Some parts of the country have road signs indicating you should take extreme care to avoid hitting them in the roads.

Thanks for visit and comments have a wonderful afternoon as well.

!BEER

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It looks amazing there @joanstewart.

I am in Cape Town and for years I have wanted to see the Cape Vidal area. You have made that happen for me with your great write up and photos until I manage to get there one day : )
I had a good chuckle at the “Zebra” crossing…….a part of the Kruger experience often witnessed lol.

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Place is a paradise, loaded with history and wildlife once in town of St Lucia you have easy access to East and West Bank, Estuary, Beaches and deep sea.

Plan a flight up to save on fuel, car hire bakkie or small SUV for comfort on some rougher roads.

You are a stones throw away from Hluhluwe/iMfolozi and uMkuze Parks in fact long term planning may join all these together which would be awesome!

Did three weeks through Kruger from South to North many years ago, sweet memories of seeing all the cats, being held up by wildlife on more than one occasion.

BTW Parks board have accommodation in Cape Vidal, we find town of St Lucia more appealing for a full week with shops, easy access to gates all available.

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Thanks so much for thatadvice and definitely going to bump the trip up on my bucket list.

Yip, the Kruger is an indescribably special place on so many levels that one can never get tired of in my opinion. I only saw it for the first time when I was 35 but for a ten year period after that I must have passed through various gates over 50 times in periods ranging from a few hours, a day, a week etc. Really is amazing what we have on our “doorstep” :)

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Really is so much to see, now petrol price is a problem short hops to see what is closer.

Normally we visit most the parks up that way this time decided to stay within that region which was extremely rewarding with amount of time spent in the car or walking.

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awesome, having so much beauty so close by, except perhaps that monster beetle!!

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Now leave em beetles alone, they live on every continent except Antarctica, avoid them at your own peril.

Thanks for visit, hope you don't find any clambering around on your urban explorations !LOLZ

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Thing with bugs of all kinds, so long as they stay in their world and I stay in mine I am fine

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Would be nice if they stayed out, no such luck always....

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Thanks to you and your article, I was able to "get out" of bed for a while (sick lungs) and walk in beautiful nature.

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Still not well, hope you on the mend soon.

So glad you were able to enjoy through my lens a little break into nature.

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Once every six months, my lungs simply need a rest :-)

I already have a look at the forest outside the windows. He enjoyed the "trip" to Africa :-)

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My daughter would go berserk to see all these critters on a drive. In fact, now that I think on it, I would too!

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Start planning a trip this is easy to arrange for ones family, so much to do and see!

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I might have to wait till my fortunes turn somewhat but it is on our list of places to go!

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List is good place to start then work towards, hopefully good fortune falls in your lap sooner than later.

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Great shots here my friend and those Donkeys with the black and white striped pajamas on takes the cake. A local guy in one of our teams where I was working on the north coast electrical feed towers even had a tame mongoose as a pet.

!LOLZ
!PIZZA

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Teaming with wildlife in every form, visit in 2018 we were surrounded by mongoose at lunch time, quite an experience not tame but inquisitive.

Mongoose used to pass through our garden before all the development took place, still here more elusive.

Thanks for visiting.
!LUV

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Cute little animals and we watched a mongoose fighting a snake in the sugar cane fields under one of the towers. As fast as lighting and somehow he knew exactly when the snake would launch a strike. He danced around teasing the snake to strike and eventually got the snake behind it's head.

Yes, they moved into the suburbs as there is much food for them and maybe you could lure that one with something to eat. Just watch that the dogs don't eat it first.

!LUV and a good weekend to you guys.

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Mongoose prefer being hidden in the bush, seldom see them come out. Sight you witnessed must have been impressive.

A few years ago we sighted them quite regularly in green space areas now dwindling with development, very seldom see them where we live now.

!BEER

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Yep, very stealthy little critters and we saw many sight from the top of those towers. Such a pity that I did not take photos then.

It is strange that they are not also in the developed areas and maybe the monkeys keep the out?

!BEER.

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(Edited)

PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA!

PIZZA Holders sent $PIZZA tips in this post's comments:
joanstewart tipped johannpiber (x2)
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Join us in Discord!

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This is another WOW post from you - so much wildlife, such awesome photos of wild animals we usually see in our zoos locked up only.
One week is certainly not enough to see everything but you're lucky to be able to make a trip every now and then 😊

"Zebra crossing" ... 🤣 !LOLZ


!WINE makes a delicious dinner with !PIZZA :)
!invest_vote

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What made this day special was late afternoon lighting, sun across the grasses or off water took on an unusual hue. Not to mention we had the place mostly alone hardly seeing anyone all day.

Thanks for visit, I don't enjoy travel to the destination, once there one can totally relax, enjoy everything this secluded place has to offer.

!LUV
!PIZZA

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Yeah, I know what you mean, the light can be so soft in the late afternoon, sometimes even better than at my preferred sunrise times 😊
But the best thing for me is always when there are no other people around 😉
I enjoy any journey that brings me to a place that I know I will enjoy 😃

Have a great weekend, Joan 🌞


Have a !PIZZA from me, served with !LUV
!invest_vote

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Peace and quiet most sought after commodity!

Wherever you wander you wish to find solitude for your mind to roam, many are not so comfortable in their own skin having to have many around them 24/7...

!WINEX to unwind, perhaps not you might climb that hill tomorrow, no good then!
!LUV enjoy a good hike if you get to go all alone, enjoy a little piece of silence.

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I always enjoy being far away from everyone - too many people are around me during the week.
I'm working 24 hours tomorrow but next weekend is free. This weekend will be rainy, says the weatherman and if he's right I will enjoy the cool wet stuff 🌧️


Some !WINE and !LUV for you
!invest_vote

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Long haul again, if raining all this weekend, it will cheer you up knowing next weekend may be ideal for hiking when you are off.

!LOLZ

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It has been raining yesterday till about noon and then the heat came back, but it didn't get as hot as in the days before. Weekend shifts are usually not as hard but tiring and in half an hour I'll drive home for either a lazy Sunday or maybe I'll go for a short walk, don't know yet.

I was wrong because I'll work next weekend too - 24-hour shift on Sunday, but I have Saturday off and that should be enough to do something in nature 😊

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend 😊🌞


Have a !PIZZA from me, served with !LUV
!invest_vote

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It's cooler with light rain outdoors currently, cold front sweeping through, a couple of days under 20 deg C then back over for warmer days from Tuesday once again.

Shift work throws timing out, not always more work, at least you have schedule to work to then are able to plan relaxing days or short walks once home.

!LUV relax and enjoy whatever you decide when you reach home base.
!PIZZA with !WINEX sounds good for later too....

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We have a warm and overcast day - best for doing nothing much what means I'm having a quite relaxed day at home 😉 !LOLZ


I'm not sure if the !PIZZA bot still delivers when used with other commands like !LUV
!invest_vote

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Enjoy we have had a lovely cool day here, never complain about the weather, all good so long as no floods!

!LOLZ
!WINEX

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Complaining about the weather doesn't help anyway - in Winter we wish it was hot and in Summer we moan about the heat 😂 !LOLZ

I'm glad that you have had a nice day 😊


!invest_vote

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Cold spell like we have at the moment, I absolutely enjoy feeling a little winter weather. When the heat arrived I will moan again as I do every year !LOLZ

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We are all the same - we enjoy the Winter, but when it lasts too long we long for the Summerheat and when it's finally here and hot we moan and hope the Winter comes soon 😁 !LOLZ


!invest_vote

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Seasons always interesting some love hot, others prefer cold, all are fickle not making their minds up !LOLZ have a great day.

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These are simply stunning Joan, haha loved the females dawdling and how cool that you captured the dung beetle doing his stuff.
the buffalo looked like statues.

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Males are extremely protective keeping the herd together, females are pretty appeared to take their time enjoying the grass in preference to crossing the road.

Dung beetles fascinating to watch at work, ball of dung perfectly rounded for rolling to wherever they moving it to.

Buffalo were about five meters from side of road down slight embankment, another close sighting we enjoyed for some time.

Thanks for visiting and happy Saturday Ed.

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I thought that the buffalo looked close, so they were!
Oh yes it was a perfect ball, it is fascinating seeing them busy at work!
Thanks Joan:)

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Have witnessed on a previous trip people going through park too fast, driving around a corner, suddenly right in front of them a Buffalo, reverse gear at speed, they had a close call. 😇

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yeah I can imagine, I nearly did that with an elephant🤣🤣🤣

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One day is too short! We were in the Kruger two weeks ago, and we just made it out of the gates before they closed. And we wanted to see so much more!

You got some lovely images here, wow! I am jealous. This is stunning.

Amazing how we can still have these enclaves where nature still rules. Hopefully, we can somehow keep them and make them bigger!

Thank you for sharing this with us. Until the next trip, right!

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Game park drives take time with speed limits and having to keep eyes open everywhere, each visit will be different with animals on the move.

Talk of joining all the big parks up here, it would give the animals much larger region to roam. Battle is constant with poachers, more drones being put to work covering larger parks would possibly help alert conservationists on the ground earlier of imminent danger to animals.

Enjoy your drive going nowhere slowly, best way to enjoy our beautiful country.

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Oh yes, those drives can be so slow, but once you speed up you miss most of the wild. They are professionals at hiding for good reason!

That would be awesome. I hope they manage to do that. There was some talk of rewilding certain areas in Kleinmond, they have some wild bucks and zebras now. There was talk about elephants as well. But it is slow progress.

Thank you so much! You too!

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Lovely part of the country, an area building up very quickly, race between mans footprint and animals needs will be interesting to see how development will move.

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It is sad that we people get the first option of land. I always think that we should rather build fences around us humans and let the animals roam freely. Alas, such a utopian idea.

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It was great going along on your adventure, Joan. Love seeing all the wildlife you photographed, especially the kudu and warthogs. I never thought of the zebras holding up traffic. Most I ever saw was some sheep crossing a road. 😆

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Fine day outing with many sightings, thanks for kind comment and enjoying our side of the world.

Animals on roads are part and parcel of living here often cattle or goats, in parks like this, one is fully aware of who has right of way.

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Lots of stripes, horns and feathers today :) Amazing!

Cute little beetle and I like it a lot the photo of the rhino.

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Late afternoon photography afforded some lovely photography, very lucky having much up close on this drive. Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend.

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You are lucky indeed! Lovely photographs as always :)

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Always on the day as to what one will see, have a lovely day and thanks for kind comment.

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Thanks also for sharing :) These lovely creatures we only see in photos.

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