A friend and I were talking the other day about holidays since it’s that time of the year where holidays are on everyone’s mind. She suggested a safari which came as a surprise because I thought she’d go for a fabulous beach holiday. She’s fallen in love with the Eastern Cape safaris. Not a lot of people (myself included) are aware of this, but the province has a diversified wildlife. There are cheetahs, elephants, black rhinos, eland and white lions.
Usually most people choose to go to the most well-known places such as the Lowveld region and The Kruger National Park. Both of these places are home to the Big 5 however, the Eastern Cape safaris also have a host of parks and reserves some of which are malaria-free. One can choose between private game reserves or well known national parks such as the Addo Elephant National Park. The story behind the Addo elephants is quite a deep one because at one point the fate of the elephants was almost compromised.
During the 20th century the elephants were almost annihilated but, thanks to committed conservationists the elephants were saved. This also saved other animals including the kudu, black rhino, bushbuck, eland and various antelopes. One thing that makes the Addo Elephant National Park so special is the rare flightless dung beetle, a sight like no other. There are also a number of reserves worth visiting such as the Shamwari Game Reserve.
The reserve is a favourite for international celebrities and is the largest private reserve in the Eastern Cape. The reserve is home to a number of rehabilitated animals some of which were rescued from different parts of the world. Others include the Kwandwe Game Reserve which is a 20 minute drive from Grahamstown. There’s also the Pumba Private Game Reserve which is home to 1 of the only 2 population of white lions in Southern Africa. I guess the an Eastern Cape Safari is not so bad after all.
Visual courtesy of: eyesonafrica.net