The Poor Man's Safari

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PJL
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The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:21 pm

I wasn't entirely sure where to put this topic, so mods feel free to shift it somewhere else if wanted ;-)

We recently had a nice stay at one of our favourite places in the world for 'getting away from it all'... Riet River just East of Port Alfred. There are a handful of beach houses, a lagoon/sea for fishing, endless sand dunes for climbing, miles of beach for walking etc etc

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Incidentally we always seem to find plenty of octopus in the rock pools at low tide!! Here's a video of one we found this time devouring a crab O\/ O\/

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Anyway... on our way home we decided to head off the beaten track and do something of the 'Poor Mans Safari'. Essentially this is a route that takes you through/next to some of the expensive private game reserves here in the Eastern Cape along public roads, so you don't pay anything to be close to these posh reserves. Some of the route I knew about already, and some we made up as we went along, but it was fun to check out some new territory \O

We had no idea what to expect in terms of sightings or even if we would see anything. Starting off near Kenton we swung up a dirt road that runs up towards Sibuya Game Reserve. We weren't even next to the reserve and we saw a bushbuck crossing the road X#X

Further along where the reserve borders the road we found a waterhole with kudu, impala and duiker! Our route then turned along another dirt road which led into Sibuya itself :shock: :shock:

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As the signs clearly stated, there were wild animals where we were heading and amazingly the gate was simply on runners which you open/close yourself to go in. I wonder how many people have dared to cycle through despite the warnings --00--

The section through Sibuya was very enjoyable with plenty of general game around including buffalo (some with very impressive horns), wildebeest, blesbok, a steppe buzzard as well as more impala

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PJL
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:22 pm

As we trundled on down towards the Kariega River, a very tiny impala was drinking from mom. It was rather wet so we assumed it had been born that morning O\/ O\/

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The Kariega River was a nice scene with a lot of nyala milling around O:V

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The crossing over the Kariega must have washed away a while back and so whilst they look to be doing some repair work, it's a fairly rough crossing and not something you could expect to do in a car without high ground clearance.

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The road on the other side deteriorated as well, but as we climbed again we had great views into Kariega Game Reserve where in the distance we could see a mix of blesbok, zebra, ostrich and giraffe O:V

Our last Sibuya sighting was a close up of a nice Nyala ram who posed in the shade at the side of the road ^Q^

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Addo 2019 - irregular updates from Addo: https://africawild-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=9385

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PJL
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:23 pm

The Sibuya exit gate was the same self-service story as the way in, and we then headed north on the R343 next to Kariega before turning onto yet more dirt roads near Kikuyu Lodge which seems to be mostly a hunting lodge. There wasn't too much to be seen... just a few blesbok and zebra in places then it was mostly cattle farms. After crossing the N2 we came adjacent to Lalibela Game Reserve and found a nice big waterhole next to the road that had hundreds of warthog and a few ostrich.

It was then a bit of a climb up into the hills and as we approached the gates for Kwantu Game Reserve there were herds of waterbuck as well as a lone eland bull to be seen. I should have taken a photo in hindsight :-?

The section through Kwantu itself is fenced on either side of the public road, and we didn't really see much around at all, so it wasn't long before we arrived at the gates of Shamwari Game Reserve - probably the most expensive in the Eastern Cape I would imagine. They actually have a manned gate so we had to explain we were travelling through to the R342 which didn't seem to be any kind of issue... after writing our details on an entry form we were let into the park... no fences this time X#X

To be honest I was kind of expecting more from Shamwari, but the public road probably doesn't go near any of the decent game viewing areas -O-

We did get to see some kudu, more zebra, giraffe, a hippo (not so common to see in EC), and some springbok O:V

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Once out of the park and on the R342 we were pretty much finished with our safari... just a few sightings of buffalo and giraffe in the adjacent Amakhala Game Reserve to round off the trip \O

All in all we thought it had been a successful morning with 16 different species seen and we had only paid for our fuel. We needed to head home, but it wouldn't be much more to add in a traverse of Addo via the Addo Heights public road as well... maybe next time X#X
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Richprins
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by Richprins » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:39 am

Very clever and fascinating, Peej! ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^

So this is totally legal? O-/

One of my cloned vehicles is in Port Alfred! =O:

My Golf would easily negotiate those roadworks. O**

I don't think nyala are traditional animals there? :-?

Nice desert giraffe!

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okie
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by okie » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:38 am

This is great \O A public road right through the middle of a private reserve with lots of animals , etc \O \O
A failure is someone who did not try one more time

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Flutterby
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by Flutterby » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:49 am

Wow, not bad for a free safari!!! ^Q^ ^Q^

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PJL
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:15 am

Richprins wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:39 am
Very clever and fascinating, Peej! ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^

So this is totally legal? O-/

One of my cloned vehicles is in Port Alfred! =O:

My Golf would easily negotiate those roadworks. O**

I don't think nyala are traditional animals there? :-?

Nice desert giraffe!

X#X X#X X#X
Definitely legal RP \O
I think somehow over the years as farmland was bought up to create some of these reserves, they already had roads established and it's not so easy to make a public road private again. Naturally they don't advertise the fact that you can drive through by yourself, and the roads seem to be left in poor condition in places on purpose to try and discourage people but there really isn't anything wrong with going through.
Nyala plus impala, giraffe, wildebeest and possibly waterbuck are the non-residents for this area. But they're private reserves so they can put whatever they like in. We did see evidence of elephant along the way as well \O
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PJL
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:17 am

okie wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:38 am
This is great \O A public road right through the middle of a private reserve with lots of animals , etc \O \O
It was quite a number of reserves that we crossed or went parallel to... I think the Sibuya section at the start was the most productive, and I think there's even another section we could have done that would have taken us down past the bushmans river area of that reserve as well :-?
Something to try out next time :-0
Addo 2019 - irregular updates from Addo: https://africawild-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=9385

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PJL
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by PJL » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:18 am

Flutterby wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:49 am
Wow, not bad for a free safari!!! ^Q^ ^Q^
Free stuff is always good lol \O
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Re: The Poor Man's Safari

Post by Pumbaa » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:57 pm

Beautiful Nyala shots, PJL,

and that new born Impala Baby is simply too cute for words X#X X#X X#X
PuMbAa

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