The Schotia Game Reserve abuts the Addo Elephant National Park and is 45 minutes west of Grahamstown. We had liked our venture into Addo so much we decided to try Schotia Safari's "Tooth and Claw" tour at the Reserve. This one takes place late in the day and into the evening, so there is less opportunity to get photos of the game you see.
Oh, by the way, each of the safaris includes a meal. In this case it was a huge braai (barbeque) following the safari.
The first animals we saw were Nile Crocadile. These are fed as there is not enough natural food for them in the area. In this case, cow's liver.
The air plants hanging from the tree on the left are an indication of clean air. On the right is another of the ubiquitous termite mounds. Notice the thorns on the bush behind the mound. These are a favorite of elephant and giraffe!
The lions are kept in an enclosure to make sure the reserve's other species can survive. Here's the gate that we went through to enter lion country. We were fortunate to spot these lion after a very short time in the area. The lion whose mouth is open is "Big Boy"; he's the king of the group and gets to mate. There are only 6 lions on the Schotia Reserve and they were introduced about 18 months ago. I don't remember where these lions came from, but likely either Shamwari, which is close by, or from Kruger National Park.
Schotia did have five giraffe, but none survived. They believe that it was the stress of the move to this preserve that did them in, as they all died fairly quickly after arriving here, the first within a couple of days.
"Cheeky" is coming to join the other two. The second female in this rather large enclosure is nowhere to be seen.
The left photo is to show how close we got to the lions. Our guide then took us to see a waterhole that had been made "naaturally" by elephants and other animals over the centuries. Behold the other female, pretty obviously carrying "Big Boy"'s offspring. She hadn't been sited for the past few days, so we were fortunate to see her.
There is a second, smaller enclosure for this female and her mate. She is tame, but has caused a great deal of consternation when let to roam free. For instance, she likes riding in range rovers! When she's interested, you can pet her. She wasn't this night.
There are herds of antelope both inside and outside the lion enclosure. The ones inside are fair game for lion food. On the left is hardebeest, on the right in the front is eland (I believe).
More lion food.
On the left is a wildebeest and on the right a black backed jackel. We did also see zebra, but my photo was blurred, not enough light.
Go back to Part II - South Africa
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page