Experience wild animals on your doorstep

2018-08-29 06:00
ABOVE: Troy (6) and Cole Swanepoel (9) with Kragga Kamma Game Park guide Terri Dunn. LEFT: Cole and Troy with the rhinos in the background.                                  Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

ABOVE: Troy (6) and Cole Swanepoel (9) with Kragga Kamma Game Park guide Terri Dunn. LEFT: Cole and Troy with the rhinos in the background. Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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WILDLIFE can literally be found on your doorstep.

Kragga Kamma Game Park is situated just off the Kragga Kamma Road in Port Elizabeth and offers visitors a game park experience without having to drive a long distance away.

The Kragga Kamma Game Park is home to game such as buffalo, white rhino, cheetah, blue wildebeest, giraffe, bontebok, zebra, lechwe and springbok. Birdwatchers are also in for a treat with the resident bird of prey being the jackal buzzard with other bird. More than 200 species of wild birds and waterfowl documented here include fish eagles, sparrow hawks, yellow-billed kite and Knysna loeries.

My family visited the park and was fortunate to go on an exclusive game drive with professional guide, Terri Dunn. Dunn constantly interacted with my young boys, Cole (9) and Troy (6), on a level fit for young children, and they were fascinated by the facts and information she shared with them.

This was the boys’ and their father, Denver’s first experience in a game drive vehicle, and the little ones were happy that it offered such great viewing from a height which they described as “super cool”.

We started off by being introduced to a herd of buffalo, parking right next to the grazing alpha male. Dunn explained, among other things, a buffalo’s interesting attack strategy.

Throughout, the kids were given plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

The game drive continued and we were introduced to ostrich, zebra, springbok, bontebok and waterbuck.

Dunn explained that waterbuck use the characteristic white ring on their rump to follow each other closely in case of danger.

Next followed a close encounter with the white rhino family, including adult male Chuck Norris, young male Tank, adult female Bembi and her calf, Bonnie. It was very exciting being so close to these majestic animals and a clearly protective Chuck was keeping a close eye that we didn’t get too close.

Dunn also showed the boys a sample of the rhinos’ dung, and after a few “ewws” they realised it’s nothing but grass and even touched it.

We then visited the park’s giraffes, with the alpha male showing off in all his splendour, sparring gently with a young male contender, who threw in the towel and walked off peacefully.

This alpha male, too, was protective over his female, who in our presence, indicated that she had chosen him as her mate. The tour ended on a high note at the gated cheetah section, where we met the six beautiful cheetah who were lazily baking in the sun.

Dunn pointed out to us one of them named Houdini – owing to it having escaped a few times – and it became an instant favourite with my boys.

The cheetah are clearly used to vehicles and were very relaxed while our cameras were clicking away.

There was not one moment where we felt unsafe or threatened throughout the tour.

After we left the park, I asked the boys what their favourite part of the tour was. Cole quickly said “definitely the cheetahs, Mom.” Troy thought about it for a while before saying “I liked the water boks (waterbuck) the most. Because they run together.”

What you need to know:

  • Kragga Kamma Game Park is open every day during the year, excluding Christmas day.
  • Cheetah Tours offer a close up interaction with one of the cheetah.

) A two-hour guided tour in an open Landrover is on offer for R230 per person. Bookings are recommended.

  • Self-drive (no 4x4 required) is possible.
  • For more info and bookings call 041 379 4195 or send an email to info@kraggakamma.co.za.

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