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eastern cape

Cheetah family feeding

Five Cheetahs and an Aardvark

We tiptoed along as the sun lowered behind us. The wind howled. Tendai pointed ahead and we could just make out the body of a large animal with three small, spotted heads bobbing around it. The body, we would later learn, was a kudu carcass. The spotted heads belonged to a hoard of little cheetahs. Warning: Dead carcass imagery combined with extreme cheetah cuteness below. Three cheetah cubs — wait, make that four — hover around the kudu that their mother (lounging in the background) killed.  We crept to within about ten meters of the cubs and I raised my camera to my eye, shooting madly. There were four cubs total. Their mom, wearing a radio collar, reclined under a thorn bush. Tendai kept moving closer. Ray and I exchanged glances. Surely it can’t be safe for humans to walk within a few feet of a family of wild cheetahs eating a fresh kill? But Tendai beckoned and he seemed to know what he was doing. Soon we were close enough to hear the cubs purring as they tore into the kudu’s flesh. The cubs occasionally glanced our way between bites. The mom ignored us. Get ready for lots more cheetah pictures. Mom, whose name […]

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South Africa’s Wild, Wild Coast: Part 3 (With Donkeys)

Read Part 1. Read Part 2. Our epic trip to Dwesa Nature Reserve wasn’t the end of our Wild Coast adventure; we still had another stop at the Amapondo Backpacker Lodge in Port St. Johns. View from “the Gap” at Port St. Johns. Port St. Johns, a town of 6,000, is the unofficial capital of tourism in the Wild Coast. We intentionally planned it for the end of our Wild Coast trip because we knew it would be an easier, more relaxing place to visit than the remote, wild Dwesa Nature Reserve. Also, a friend recommended Amapondo and when we googled it, we found out that there is a donkey living there. That pretty much sealed the deal. Before I get into Amapondo and the donkey, I’ll say a few words about our journey from Dwesa to Port St. Johns. After our crazy adventure on the way into Dwesa, we were apprehensive about the trip out. So we planned everything as carefully as we could, asking advice from locals on the best road out of Dwesa and leaving super-early in the morning. We did pretty well for the first part of the drive. Our first hour that morning, driving on a smooth gravel road and watching […]

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Five Bloggers Rock Port Elizabeth

I just spent four days in Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Bay, with four other bloggers. It rocked. The first photo I shot in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning. Left to right: Rachel of Bush-bound Girl, Meruschka of Mzansi Girl, Heather of 2Summers, and Dianne of Afribird. Theresa of Fine Places is missing from the photo — she arrived a few minutes later.

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Scenes From the Eastern Cape

I’m in the Eastern Cape at the moment. The Eastern Cape is one of my favorite South African provinces; the people are friendly, the pace is slow, and the scenery is beautiful in a non-dramatic kind of way. It’s seriously cold though, especially in the evening. There’s frost on my car windshield in the morning, and the mountains are capped with snow. (By the way, ice-scrapers don’t exist here so forget about scraping the windshield. You just turn your car on and wait for the frost to melt.) I spent most of the last two days visiting rural villages in the Queenstown area, about two hours inland from East London. I’ll probably have more say about what I’m doing later, but for now here are a few photos that I shot along the way.

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