Why call this report “Marrick and much, much more”….well I’m trying not to bury the lead and I think that of all the places we went to, Marrick was the most unique wildlife location.
But Marrick wasn’t the only place we went to, in fact it was just one of 22 different places that we visited in a two month road trip around South Africa, covering over 8000KM.
I hear you asking, how did I get so much time off work…am I retired?…did I take a sabbatical? Neither, I took shared parental leave. The UK has recently changed it’s parental leave laws, adopting a Scandinavian type model which allows the father to share the maternity leave.
Having recently been blessed with our first child, my wife and I really wanted to take advantaged of this time to be a family and to travel. So off we went - us, our then 5 month old daughter and a Toyata Fortuner 4x4.
The itinerary was:
Cape Town - 5 nights
Franschhoek - 2 nights
Knysna - 4 nights
Jeffrey’s Bay - 2 nights
Prince Albert - 3 nights
Montagu - 2 nights
Cape Point NP - 3 nights
Clanwilliam - 3 nights
Augrabies - 2 nights
Kgalagadi NP - 6 nights
Witsand Reserve - 1 night
Marrick - 3 nights
Mokala NP - 1 night
Beaufort West - 1 night
Wolseley - 3 nights
Durban - 5 nights
Mtunzini - 2 nights
Rocktail Bay Mapatuland - 7 nights
Dundee - 1 night
Thendele Drakensberg - 3 nights
J’burg - 4 nights
Our itinerary was built around seeing some great places, seeing some great wildlife, enjoying some good wine and seeing my family (I’m a saffer by birth). This trip wasn’t all wildlife centric so I won’t cover all our locations but instead will pick on a few key ones that I think may be of interest. I think these are:
Intaka Island - Cape Town
Wild Coast Parks - Goukamma, Robberg and Wilderness
Cape Point National Park
I won’t cover these all in detail (I don’t have enough good photos) but I’ll try cover some highlights.
What were some of the wildlife highlights?
1. On one night drive at Marrick we saw 15 Bat-eared Foxes, 2 Porcupines, 40+ Springhares, 20+ Scrub Hare, 6 High Veld Gerbil, 2 Spotted Eagle Owl, 3 Blue Cranes, Banded-Courser, 2 adult African Wild Cat, 1 Hybrid Wild / Domestic Cat, 2 Aardwolf, 1 Aardvark and 4 Black-footed cats - a mother feeding her three kittens.
2. In the Kgalagadi seeing a mother African Wild Cat and her two kittens one which had clearly never seen a game vehicle before and actually came up to sniff the tyres
3. Again in the Kgalagadi a group of five Cheetah at a kill
4. Seeing Green Barbets and the Spotted Ground Thrush, two rare range restricted birds, at KZN’s Ongoye and Dlinza Forest
As a taster this is an image of the mother black-footed cat and her three kittens