Kariega Safari

To round up the holiday we ended with a fantastic Safari at Kariega Game Reserve.

When we arrived at Kariega the excitement began straight away, we had to be escorted to our lodges as there was a Buffalo charging at the trucks as they passed. This was a female Buffalo who was protecting a calf.

Setting out on the evening Safari we started driving through the 10,000 ha reserve until we came across a herd of Blesbuck grazing. Both genders of the Blesbuck have horns with the females having slender horns as a way of protection from other animals such as cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, wild dogs, pythons and eagles.

About an hour in to the safari the guide had a call in that a female lion had been spotted hiding under a tree. On arrival the female lion was sitting in the shade resting, she barely even lifted her head when our safari jeep pulled up.

Around twenty minutes later the guide had another call saying two males had joined the female. Zolani, our guide explained that the two males were best mates and spend a lot of time together except when the female is in season.


One of the most fascinating animals and stories of the safari, was that of Thani, the White Rhino. During 2012, three rhinos on the reserve were shot and had their faces butchered for their horns. One Rhino died of its injuries but two, Thandi and Themba survived with horrific injuries. Unfortunately Themba died shortly after.

Thandi went on to have skin grafts and miraculously not only survived but gave birth to a calf in 2015.

It was an absolute privilege to see Thandi and her 7 month old calf, Colin.


One of my favourite animals to photograph was the giraffe. We came across one Giraffe who was chewing on a bone. Giraffes will occasionally chew on a bone, moving it around their mouth using their tongue, to release the phosphorous and calcium in the bone.  This behaviour is called osteophagy. The bones are not swallowed, only chewed then dropped back on the ground.


Giraffe eating bone

Giraffe eating bone


Our first evenings safari ended with a picnic as the sun set. On the way back to the lodges we came across three Rhinos blocking the road, in the dark the Rhinos use the paths made by the jeeps to get around. We had to sit and wait while the Rhinos slowly walked passed.

Road block

Our aim the following morning was to find some elephants. We thought because of their size this would be easy, but having to find an animal in such a large area of sometimes dense trees and bushes ended up taking 2 hours.

It is hard to describe how amazing it was to see these animals.

Elephant eatingIMG_2065IMG_2037IMG_2033

This is the last blog from South Africa, I really enjoyed my time there and can’t wait to go back some day.

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
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5 Responses to Kariega Safari

  1. Hi Alex,
    We loved reading your blog about your safari with us at Kariega. Awesome images too! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are so pleased that you had a great time.
    Would you mind if we added some of your images and shared some of your text, with a credit and link to you and your site of course, on our website blog?
    Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards from all at Kariega Game Reserve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading my blog. Very happy for you to share some photos and text. Can you say a big thank you to Zolani who was a great guide. All my family said he had the perfect balance between giving us lots of information about the animals without talking too much. Thank you Alex


  2. Sue says:

    Hi Alex, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience in South Africa over the last few posts. Your photographs are amazing but I imagine it would have been more amazing to see these magnificent creatures up close and in person. One day I hope to go to South Africa and see the Big 5 for myself. What was the highlight of the whole trip for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading my posts. The Safari was amazing, so much to take in. I wish we had longer there, I would have loved to have done the river safari too.
      The whale watching was also one of my favourite bits.
      One part I didn’t put on my blog was my sister and I had our surfing lesson stopped because there was a Great White Shark in the water. Once it had passed by we carried on, it was quite exciting. Alex

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue says:

        We have great white sharks here in Australia, they are massive! I think you and your sister were pretty brave to get back in the water, I don’t think I would have. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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