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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.

Cotyledon Orbiculata “The Pig’s Ear”

Cotyledon orbiculata belongs to the Crassulaceae genus; commonly known as pig's ear or "Plakkie", which describes plants that are used as poultices.

The Cotyledon Orbiculata is an extremely variable species that grows to approximately 1.3 m in height.  It has grey-green leaves that can be up to 13 by 7 cm with a white powdery substance on them that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water. The shape of the leaves was thought to
have a resemblance to a pig's ear, thus the common name. The bell-shaped flowers are small, usually less than 3 cm in length, and droop from the top of a 60 cm tall stalk. The flowers are usually orange-red but yellow varieties also exist.

The plant is native to South Africa and it is a popular garden plant in many Countries. In the wild, it grows naturally in rocky outcrops in grassy shrubland and the Karoo region.

The Cotyledon orbiculata has a number of medicinal uses


The Leaf can be pulped and hot water poured over it, than drained and used as poultice,
It can be placed in a folded cloth and warmed thoroughly in a low oven before being used as a poultice.
The leaf can be warmed in hot water, then cut open for drawing infections out of wounds and sores.
The leaf is a remarkably effective dressing for planter's warts and verruca's.
Prepare a piece of scraped, softened leaf, or a piece of leaf with a "window" the size of the wart. Place it over the wart and secure it with a sticky plaster.
A fresh leaf is applied every night for 10-14 days, and the wart left uncovered during the day.
At the end of the treatment the softened wart falls out and the area is healed.
The peeled leaf has the effect of softening the hard tissue.
The warmed leaf is applied to boils, abscesses and corns.
The cut leaf surface heals a nappy rash.
It will treat a blister on your heel. Wear a sock or a bandage to keep the leaf in place with the "window" over the blister.

Leaf Juice:

The warmed juice of the leaf is used as soothing drops for earache and toothache.
A poultice of warmed leaves is held behind the ear to ease otitis media or
Packed on the jaw to draw a tooth-abscess.
Fresh juice can be rubbed into the gum to ease toothache.
Juice from a fresh leaf is swallowed once a day for sore throat and a single leaf is eaten to expel worms.
The juice is also used on cuts and burns.

Cotyledon Toxin:

The plant is used in the treatment of epilepsy.
The toxic principle, cotyledontoxin, has local anaesthetic effects, and acts as a central nervous system depressant.  However, the leaves contain a bufanolide called cotyledontoxin, which is toxic to sheep, goats, horses, cattle, poultry, and dogs, causing a condition known as cotyledonosis (toxication of nervous and muscular system). The toxin is higher in summer than in winter.


Cardiac effects are possible with internal uses. Oral preparations should not be taken by anyone with known or suspected cardiac conditions.

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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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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!
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"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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