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Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve near Montagu on Route 62 in South Africa.

Handmade Jewellery created with Love for you

Heart for wildlife (www.heartforwildlife.co.za), a non-profit initiative organisation, is creating wildlife themed jewellery 'handmade and sourced in Africa' to raise awareness about endangered species and funds for their conservation.100 % of our profit goes to conservation NPO's, carefully selected by us. Materials originate from Africa, to suppo...
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Erinivale Golf - 2016 Ladies Classic

Erinivale Golf - 2016 Ladies Classic
On behalf of the Erinvale Ladies Section, please accept our sincere "Thanks" for your sponsorship for the raffle for the 2016 Ladies Classic. I had an email from the winner, Marion Howell, who was ecstatic about winning two nights at White Lion Lodge.​Once again we had a field in excess of 190 players from clubs in the Western Province, Overberg an...
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CAPE MOUNTAIN ZEBRA

CAPE MOUNTAIN ZEBRA
Meet the Cape Mountain Zebra in Sanbona Game ReserveIn September 2016 a herd of Cape Mountain Zebras were introduced to the South of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. The Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra) is a subspecies of the Mountain Zebra. It occurred in the Mountain Region of the Cape Fold Belt and along the Southern portion of the Great Esc...
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Elephant Movements within the Park

Elephant Movements within the Park

It has been a very exciting start to November 2015 as we collard an elephant in the Northern herd and in the Southern herd.

Elephants in the Sanbona Game Reserve

The oldest elephant bull in the south was collard on Wednesday 4 November 2015 with a GPS collar. Since then I have been able to view their movements as hourly readings are taken.

Over the 6th, 7th and 8th they have spent time moving from the Gatskraal river line, west of the Almond Farm, through to Windmill Valley, Raltelfontein South, and the valleys around the Hoeksberg, before moving back to the Gatskraal river line.
This movement was often covered in the space of 24 hours, before being repeated. Midday on the 8th they returned to the Gatskraal river where they stayed for three days before heading back through the valleys to Windmill road, Ratelfontein South and the area around Hereroa Track.

The Matriarch in the northern herd was collard and is also doing well. They have spent most of their time this week on the western side of the dam this week. We will start the diet monitoring and so spend a day every two weeks viewing the herd in the south and a day in the north.

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Travel Blog Posting by Chris

Many thanks to Chris for his posting in the Blog!
Let's start reading...

"For years I wanted to go on a safari and for my birthday this year, I decided to make it happen. Since we stayed in Cape Town, I researched a lot of Safari lodges that were nice and not too far from the city. White Lion Lodge is about 3.5h from Cape Town and the drive was scenic and easy to do.
The lodge had just a few accommodations (8 people max). Lunch and dinner was served in a communal style, so you are all sitting on one large table, which is something I had not experienced before, but it was a nice way to connect with fellow guests. The main lodge housed the dining area and a living room style space with a fire place..."


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White Lions (Documentary)

The white lion is a rare colour mutation of the Kruger subspecies of lion (Panthera leo krugeri) found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa and in zoos around the world. White lions are not albinos.
Their white colour is caused by a recessive trait derived from a less-severe mutation in the same gene that causes albinism. They vary from blonde to near-white. This coloration does not appear to disadvantage their survival.

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Visa brochure for children travelling to SA

New SA immigration requirement states that minors should travel with an unabridged birth certificate, which names the child’s mother and father – or the equivalent thereof - from their country of origin.
The new regulation due in June 2015 is to be put in place as a means to curb child trafficking across SA's borders.

Read the Leaflet of Department of Home Affairs (DHA) here.

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Guest comment

Last year we won an auction prize bid, Two night Accommodation at White Lion Lodge in Sabona Game Reserve near Barrydale.
We have recently returned from this most wonderful experience.

Our accommodation was luxurious, we fell in love with the lodge and it's stunning design, attention to detail and beautiful views.

Guest comment on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

The lodge had their own ranger, Israel. He was a brilliant, knowledgeable, entertaining, passionate guide and ensured that we made the most of our Karoo experience. We learned  so much about plant life on the early evening game drives. We saw four of the Big Five, only missing out on the elusive leopard. In all we did four game drives. We saw the Male White Lion and his tawny lioness at very close quarters.  
Sabona Reserve is the most stunning place.

Gerry and her staff were very friendly and ensured that our stay was memorable.
We very much enjoyed our meals and the local wines.

Please could you through Echo, thank Gerry for her very generous donation and let all your members know that this amazing experience is just three hours away (from Cape Town).

Robert and Liz, November 2014

More reviews and comments in our guest book.

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Guest Review

No expense spared. The lodge had everything you could want. Only the second lodge with a bidet. We have visited S/A for the past 11 year sand would return to White Lion again, God willing next year. We are very senior citizens, but found the people resident people so helpful new almost felt young again. Israel's knowledge of the animals and the local fauna was great. Would like to have spent many more hours talking to him to glean a worth while opinion of life in South Africa for a coloured person. Do hope you find the time to stay ay this lodge which really did make our holiday.

Barry Enon [via http://bookthespot.com]

 

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Cheetahs on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

In 2003 four cheetahs were released on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. This used to be the first in the Klein Karoo. Cheetahs are really special animals. Each one has their own individual character. In August 2004 the female gave birth to a litter of four, high up in the mountains.

One of her female cubs is still roaming free in the Reserve and she is an incredibly good hunter, provider and good mother to all her cups. She is very relaxed around humans and the rangers can take guests on foot within ten meters.

I met the female during the first quarter of 2012, when she raised five cubs on the southern side of the Reserve. She is the breeding pioneer of Sanbona where she roams the entire fifty four thousand hectare Reserve, from the southern- to the northern gate. Besides the white lions, she booked her place on the Reserve and is now the proud face of Sanbona. She also had several other litters and raised her cubs with great success. Due to that Sanbona received the status as a leading Reserve with regards to breeding cheetahs.

Cheetahs are not considered social cats like lions but they do prefer to live in family groups (i.e. a female with her most recent litter) or in the case of the males, to co-operate as coalitions to reinforce their strength against other males.

 

The cheetah has a small head with high-set eyes. Black "tear marks" running from the corner of its eyes down the sides of the nose to its mouth keep sunlight out of its eyes and aid in hunting and seeing long distances.They also have black spots covering the body rather than the rosettes characteristics of leopards.

Its thin and fragile body make it well-suited to short bursts of high speed, but not to long-distance running.The cheetah is the fastest land animal — as fast as 112 to 120 km/h, in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds.This cat is also notable for modifications in the species' paws. It is one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws.

Adaptations that enable the cheetah to run as fast as it does include large nostrils that allow for increased oxygen intake, and an enlarged heart and lungs that work together to circulate oxygen efficiently. During a typical chase, its respiratory rate increases from 60 to 150 breaths per minute. While running, in addition to having good traction due to its semi-retractable claws, the cheetah uses its tail as a rudder-like means of steering, to allow it to make sharp turns, necessary to outflank prey animals that often make such turns to escape.

Cheetahs on Sanbona

The cheetah is a carnivore, eating mostly mammals under 40 kg. The young of larger mammals such as wildebeests and zebras are taken at times, and adults too, when cheetahs hunt in groups. While the other big cats often hunt by night, the cheetah is a diumal hunter. It hunts usually either early in the morning or later in the evening when it is not so hot, but there is still enough light.

The cheetah hunts by vision rather than by scent. Prey is stalked to within 10–30 m, then chased. This is usually over in less than a minute, and if the cheetah fails to make a catch quickly, it will give up. The cheetah has an average hunting success rate of around 50%.
Running at very high speeds puts a great deal of strain on the cheetah's body. When sprinting, the cheetah's body temperature quickly elevates. If it is a hard chase, it sometimes needs to rest for half an hour or more.

The cheetah kills its prey by tripping it during the chase, then biting it on the underside of the throat to suffocate it; the cheetah is not strong enough to break the necks of most prey. The bite may also puncture a vital arteryin the neck. Then the cheetah proceeds to devour its catch as quickly as possible before the kill is taken by stronger predators. The life span of a cheetah in the wild lies between 12-16 years.

 

 

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Perfect picnic spot on Sanbona Game Reserve

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White Lions

White Lions

The White Lions at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

White Lions are real lions with a special gene. This gene affects the hair colour and the colour of the pads. Sometimes the colour of the nose and the eyes are also different. The gene inhibits the amount of pigment in the hair shaft. White lions have a colour range from blonde through to a bright white. This is a short story about the first White Lions released to the wilderness at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

While this gene is recessive it appears again after several generations. Today White Lions are not wild anymore. There live in zoos or breeding stations around the world. It was a vision from Dr. Gaston Savoi to reintroduce White Lions into the wilderness. And the perfect spot to realise it was the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve with 54000 hectare Karoo wilderness.

What a long term project with no experience before? The team with years of wildlife knowledge decided to introduce a breeding pair first. If they minimize all contact with humans the new generations of cubs will grow up in the wilderness. The vision could come true.

And really the first cubs were born in 2004. Three cubs and they are all male. Step by step they were released into fenced areas of the reserve. The males grow up and learnt how to live in the wilderness and most important how to hunt their own game. What a first step and the next were following.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is also home of wild tawny lions. So it was possible to integrate the three male White Lions into a group with two tawny females. Together their shown all the social lion behaviours like playing, grooming and more hunting skills. The coalition of the brothers also patrols their territory. And so it happened that the next generation of White Lions were born and grow up.

White Lions

The years are coming and going and today there are still White Lions at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Visit the White Lion Lodge and enjoy the hospitality in the lodge and the wilderness around. And maybe you will see the White Lions on one of your game drives.

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Goodbye Madiba

Goodbye Madiba

The world will never be the same without you. Words cannot describe the emptiness in the hearts of every South African.
For today there is no Rainbow in our nation.

May peace walk with you for all Eternity and may you live forever in the hearts of many.
Staff of the White Lion Lodge

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Tylecodon paniculatus "Butter-Tree"

Tylecodon paniculatus "Butter-Tree"

The Butter-Tree has a succulent shrub-let that is up to 1.8 m tall when in flower, with a thick basal stem of approximately 60 cm in diameters. This tree has bright green paddle- shaped leaves that are 12 cm long and 10 cm wide. Its orange to red flowers are about 15- 20 mm in diameter. The Butter- tree blossoms during summer and are found in clay soils in the Spekboomveld, Gwarrievelds and rocky slopes from Namibia to the South-Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. Its flowers are pollinated sunbirds.

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As a kid I found Butter-tree rides to be great fun. This sport is in fact the pre- curser of today’s modern skating-board. In the past, children and often myself used these age- old plants to slide down steep slopes. To begin, you first had to wet the skating ring with water to get a smooth muddy surface. A thick part of the stem is then chopped away until the gooey slime is visible- which is evidence of the water storage capacity of the plant in the dry warm summers of the Klein- Karoo. You then take position on top of the skating- ring (skate- board), grab the roots with both hands to serve as a steering wheel and there you go- full speed down the hill.

After several rides with the Butter-Tree “board”, the slope becomes very slippery and one can really go fast. Make sure that you stay on top of it until the end. If it slides away underneath you, you will definitely have some scratches and bruises. Although it caused a lot of injuries it resulted in great excitement and pleasure.

There are different types of Butter-Tree’s that the farmers do not like. These are the Tylecodon wallichii and T. Ventricosus species which contains “alkaloid” that causes shrinkage in animals.

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