Rhino-marking at Tswalu

Rhino Marking at Tswalu

Jerry & Patty’s safari earlier this year included visits to Sabi Sands near Kruger National Park, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and the Cape Winelands as well as some very exciting wildlife conservation encounters including witnessing a rare Rhino-marking.

In the ongoing battle between poachers and wildlife conservationists, we’re proud to support the efforts of partners like Tswalu Kalahari, and we’re especially glad that Jerry & Patty could experience this important work firsthand.

Here’s what Jerry had to say:

Once a year they look for young rhinos (about 18 mos) and tranquilize them for about 15 mins. They notch their ears for identification, take blood samples, microchip the horn, complete a general description, and when that is all done they reverse the tranquilizer and the rhino is up and ready to charge in about 3-5 minutes.

They look for them by helicopter, shoot the tranquilizer from the helo, and the ground team which has been following in a number of trucks swoops in to do their work. Quite a process. Everyone wants a picture with the rhino! We were fortunate enough to have been there during the few days this was occurring. The neat thing about Tswalu is that they are 80% about conservation and 20% tourism. It was a fascinating visit.

Here are some other photos from their trip:

In short, we had a really excellent trip.  All the facilities were great, the game viewing fantastic, the Johannesburg and Cape Town  experiences memorable, the winelands fantastic. The Johannesburg and Cape Town guides were especially good.

Happily, we had some really good luck on the trip.  We got to Table Mountain first thing on the first morning we were there, and after an hour we were set to leave, and the cloud came over at just that moment.  The cable car was closed from that point on for the rest of our stay due to the cloud and wind! At Tswalu, we were able to see a buffalo repositioning (only day in the year that this occurred) and some rhino marking (only happens during a three day period once each year.)

Also at Tswalu we saw the reintroduction of the African Wild Dog.  Apparently a number of years ago the lions ate all the wild dogs on the preserve, and on the day we were leaving a group of 14 dogs were flown in from another preserve to begin the process of acclimitization.  This was a big event  for Tswalu.  Also, we were in Cape Town the same time as President Obama which led to some interesting discussions.  The weather was perfect the entire time.  So all in all we were very fortunate.

As we reflect further on the trip, I may be able to provide some more helpful comments, but for the moment all our thoughts are nothing but positive.  The only real issue is finding that good South African wine really needs some aging and really shouldn’t be consumed right away after purchase, thus delaying the pleasure of drinking it!

In planning the perfect trip, there are only so many requests we can make for good weather. So glad the fog on Table Mountain got the message.

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