Monday, September 28, 2009

Shamwari Game Reserve

We spent an AWESOME weekend at Shamwari game reserve which is about 1 hour and 1/2 away. (awesome seems to be the new word of the week for the boys)
Shamwari is a very exclusive reserve that caters to international guests (mostly from England). It is a fabulous reserve. It has lots of lodges that cater to all sorts of travelers.. only a couple of the lodges accept children.. We stayed at Riverdene lodge. It was gorgeous. I really love going on game drives, it is so relaxing just riding in the wind and looking around for animals. We saw a lot and had a great time! They also really catered to our kids... they got a backpack, hat and a fabulous book that the kids could fill out and learn. In the books they collected dried elephant dung, and both black and white rhino dung (actually it doesn't stick at all!) They are so excited, they can't wait to take their books to school and show all their friends. Our ranger Fred was great with the kids and had so much info to share. It amazes me that every game drive we go on I learn more about the same animals. It was an Awesome experience!

The lobby..

Our Room

Sites around lodge

The boys are posing with their new Shamwari coats we got them.

Ready to go...

Here are the boys in front of the fire, reading books with their new friend Rory we met there.

Elephants are always such a joy to quiet they are.

Look below the female elephant, you can see the baby who is only 2 weeks old under the mother. Beautiful.

I love this photo of the giraffe... Such graceful animals.

In an earlier post I have talked about the two different types of Rhinos..We got an absolutely wonderful explanation and great photos of each... the color has nothing to do with the differences.

White Rhino are much bigger, they have one large horn in the front and a smaller horn in the back. Their head is large and oblong. They are grazers on grass and for this they have a squared mouth that allows for the grazing.

Black Rhino are much more aggressive. They have two large horns, front and back. Their head is smaller, easier to hold up because they are browsers that eat leaves and twigs from trees and bushes. Their mouth has a hook lip that allows for this type of eating.
White Rhino....

Black Rhino...

On the second morning, we saw the most amazing pride of lions! It had just started to rain when we pulled up so the photos are sort of fuzzy from the rain and soon they were up and on the move.These animals are just amazing. There a male and lioness with 4 cubs (around 1 year old) in the pride.

Also on the Shamwari Reserve is the Born Free Animal Sanctuary. Here is a place that was created to house animals that have been inhumanely treated. These cats that have been declawed or abused and can never be released back into the wild so they are kept here in beautiful surroundings and treated very nicely. Below is a leopard that is absolutely beautiful.

Part of the reserve is the Shamwari Animal Hospital. This is where they take animals that have been injured by human contact and interventions. They rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild. It was amazing to see the animals. As soon as we got there they had a baby zebra whose mother had died. We were able to pet her and after a short video presentation on the hospital, the boys were able to feed her. We also saw some baby warthogs, a baby buffalo and the most famous resident the baby elephant Themba (which means hope). He will be released soon, and he was adorable.
The baby Cape Mountain Zebra.

As we went inside to watch a short film, she wanted in too and kept banging on the door.

Here is Aiden feeding her a bottle and the other boys petting her... Her fur was very soft.

Themba the baby elephant

No comments: