June 3 – Zulu Nyala and Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre

11 am

Back from the morning game drive and sharing a cup of coffee with Evan on the veranda. As he says, “it’s a tough life…”

Nyala at pool

Nyala at pool

The day began with nyala and vervet monkeys by the pool and just beyond the trees. On the game drive we saw many giraffes including two young ones, a whole mess of warthogs with their young, three male kudu and two females hidden in the bush, an entire bachelor herd of impala, a hippo that scared Gina when it suddenly moved, lots of nyala and a mixed herd of impala and nyala at a watering hole with vervet monkeys in the trees. (Deuced hard to get good photos of the silly beasts, though — they move quickly.)


nyala stag


male kudu




impala stag

The mornings are very misty in the hills and it is cold. South Africa is certainly greener and less dusty than I had expected. But COLD on early morning and late afternoon drives in that open vehicle.

11:25 p.m.

I petted a cheetah that was in the process of drinking chicken blood this afternoon, plus a serval that was chowing down on a chicken carcass. Everyone had a chance to pet the serval but the cheetah only allows himself to be petted as long as the blood supply holds out in the bucket. The guide said that would allow 5-6 people to pet him; I practically elbowed little old ladies out of the way to make sure I’d be in that group. Sigh…



Our afternoon trip to the Cat Rehabilitation Centre at the Emdoneni Lodge & Game Farm was a great treat for all of us. We saw four serval, three cheetah (including the one male who allows himself to be petted), four or five caracal (including one who literally leaps off the fence into the air to catch the chicken carcass thrown to him) and a number of yowling African wildcats (small like house cats but wild and very aggressive).

The tour was just at dusk so we could watch the animals being fed, so no game drive tonight: dark and cold on the way back to the lodge. Got some photos but not so many in the failing light. Switched to video and got some interesting footage.

[Note: Firefox 3 users may need this add-on to see YouTube videos.]

The jumping caracal:

The African wildcat:

More impala at dinner tonight. We keep asking for warthog. (They’re so ugly that they’re beginning to grow on us.

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