Time to head out for a game drive.
Early mornings in the Little Karoo can be “chilly” to say the least.
In summer the temperature can go from negative to high positives very quickly.
Hence dressing in layers is almost mandatory.
At Samara they have cheetah and white rhino with collars.
This device is used to try and track the animals.
Often with NO success.
And even if a signal is located,
it does not always mean that a sighting is guaranteed.
Could this Steenbok be the long lost relative of the Unicorn?
Not all sightings are “Big 5”.
Sunlight on a spiders web does count.
Samara is home to many antelope that are not regularly seen
in reserves in the north or north west of South Africa.
The Eland is one such species.
Africa’s largest antelope they can be domesticated
but are hard to farm as they have been known to clear 2m fences.
A Secretary bird in flight.
They can be found in large numbers is this area.
The Oryx (Gemsbok) have made a home here in Samara.
With only cheetah as predators in this reserve,
they are relatively safe…although the young are at risk.
Raptors in flight are often difficult to identify.
They could also be a juvenile of a species,
and those can differ markedly from the adult form.
I believe that this “could” be a Lanner Falcon.
The reserve is home to both Black and White rhino species.
I was lucky enough to see both on this trip.
Albeit that the former only showed himself as the light faded,
making photos almost impossible.
The latter were relaxed and we were able to approach them on foot
The Eastern Cape is cactus country.
Many of the species are exotic and invasive.
Samara was originally 11 farms before being consolidated into one property.
The early farmers often planted these as either fodder of decoration.
Now they are having to be removed…one plant at a time!
If the fauna is scarce on a drive,
I can always take pictures of the flora.
Giraffe seem to have a mystic attraction for international tourists.
As such, they are, more often than not, on a visitors “wish list”
A Red Hartebeeste family.
Dad with the thick horns, Mom with the thinner version…
and junior with only the beginning of a set.
This species is the second fastest antelope on the African continent.
I have never seen as many tortoises as I did during my stay.
A rather “cute” Yellow Mongoose.
The Kori Bustard is South Africa’s largest flying bird,
and can weigh in at up to 18kg.
Guests will often ask if certain antelope species are edible,
but they never ask if this can be eaten.
The Mountain Zebra,
one of two species found here.
A mixed herd of Zebra and Eland take off in the fading light
One on drive we went all the way to the Southern end of the reserve.
And all we found was this marker…
That being said, on this particular drive,
I did spot a Black-backed Jackal, a Bat-eared Fox and a porcupine.
Unfortunately they were all too quick to be photographed.
And THIS was waiting on my return!
Gotta love a “Full English” breakfast.
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Images on this trip were shot on
a Canon SX60HS.
Travel & Things is written on a