Safari Park (near Hermanus) - Page 9
It was time for my first Safari and it was to involve an overnight stay in a Game Reserve some 3 hour drive from Hermanus. The journey there was quite something as we drove through the immense and pretty Hex River Valley, with its fertile farmlands and lofty peaks of the Hex River Mountain range stretching out into the distance.
We arrived in time for lunch which consisted of a tasty buffet, with a choice of delicious meats and salads. Being a few hundred kilometres in-land, in the arid Little Karoo, the climate was considerably warmer, so their luxury swimming pool was much appreciated to cool off in.
Set in a very remote landscape, it was hard to imagine such an incredible location to be only a few hours away from the buzz of towns and cities, but here I am in the thick of peaceful and isolated countryside.
After lunch we set out for an afternoon safari game drive into the bush and it wasn't long before we had come across a number of giraffes, Cape buffalo, zebra, oryx (gemsbok) and a pair of rhino which we drove to within 2 meters of, apparently they have bad eyesight and so are more relaxed when they can see us, than if we appeared as a blur.
The Game Reserve -
Sun-downers at the Safari Park
The game reserve had 3 lions in a large enclosure the size of 2 football pitches, apparently rescued from a dreadful practice called “canned hunting”, which is where these majestic creatures are hand reared in tiny cages and then some utterly horrid human comes along and kills them so that they can be stuffed and mounted on display. I bet they are oblivious to their rescue but I for one was very much happier to see them sitting under a tree in the open air, than to imagine them in a cage awaiting a disgusting and early death.
There were also 7 cheetahs in a neighbouring large enclosure, although it is planned that they will be released soon into the enormous park, once they had acclimatised to their new surroundings.
It was pleasant to enjoy the game reserves amenities, the food was delightful and after a good meal I retired to my accommodation that despite being in the middle of nowhere was very comfortable and far from basic.
I am politely awoken while it is still dark outside, by a light tap on my door, to be informed that my early morning game drive is awaiting my presence. Dawn is quick to arrive and my personal ranger tells me that this is by far the best time to view animals as it is still cool and the animals will be much more active. It is not long before his words ring true, as we spot many other species that I have not seen the previous afternoon. Lechwe, kudu, wildebeest, duiker, eland, steenbok, bontebok, nyala and many other beautiful creatures wander around me, oblivious to my presence. An utterly pleasurable experience and one I will remember for a very long time.
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