The Shamwari Game Reserve is located less than an hour west of Grahamstown. It boasts that you can see the big five in malaria free country. (We saw three of the big five, lion, elephant and rhino. It looks like we are going to miss the buffalo and leopard. These are both nocturnal and the leopard is elusive in addition.) Shamwari is also expensive, costing twice as much as the other two safaris that we'd been on (495 rand apiece or ~$130 for the two of us - and that again in souvenirs :-)).
Shamwari is primarily geared to overnight guests, but they do have a limited day center operation. Reservations are definitely required. You can get a glimpse above of the surrounding landscape. The left is taken from a "born free" reserve where large game animals that have been abused elsewhere are brought and introduced to how they might have lived outside of captivity. They are provided with a reasonably large natural space, but are fed by the rangers. We visited here at the end of our visit and did catch a glimpse of one of the lions.
The photo on the right is taken from within the Day Visitor Center complex. It is quite beautiful as you can see!
One of the first things you notice are the gorgeous reliefs carved in the doors.
The inside is beautifully decorated as well with native art hanging everywhere. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to learn that I took photos of all of it! :-)
A ceremonial robe.
The first thing on the agenda was drinks followed by a fabulous lunch, a "braii", South African for barbeque. This included among lots of other stuff a stewed antelope dish, a maise dish, an antelope sausage and Nan's favorite braii bread, an incredibly yeasty feast.
The river above runs through Shamwari's grounds. We photographed some lovely birds on the river bank, but alas they were too far away to be seen on these pages.
In my previous report from here, I mentioned aloe plants but did not have a photo of one. It is the plant that appears on the latest incarnation of the South African license plate. The one shown here is in bloom and was taken while we were on the safari. You can see some of the magnificent scenery in the background.
More scenery. The shot on the right is to show those of you who have been there, why I say that this area reminds me of the American southwest.
After lunch our safari began with a trip to Shamwari's "Xhosa" village.
Here's the African Village. (It's a National
Geographics type of R rated :-))
Then we went on a four hour game safari. Look at all the different kinds of animals we saw!
Go back to Part I - Report #9
Go on to Part III - Monkeyland
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page