Saturday, August 13, 2016

Weekend Critters

Last weekend, Grant, Rina and I took a trip to Kwa-Zulu Natal. We stayed with old school friends, Brian and Gene, who have a B&B on the Mooi River. 

While the men rode around the property and Gene got on with the hospitality business, Rina and I strolled the mammoth garden watching for birds. 

I, of course, took photos. 
 Amethyst Sunbird 
Southern Double-collared Sunbird

Gene has a mother-and-son pair of Black-footed cats. The son, which I photographed  below, is tame but the mother only allows Gene or Brian anywhere near her. 
Tame Black-footed Cat (male) 
The same Black-footed Cat spends all day on top of the dassie's day enclosure (see below)

Gene also has a tame dassie (rock hyrax) which sleeps in her and Brian's bedroom at night along with the two Black-footed cats, two grown Alsatians and a domestic ginger cat called Max (see further down) I couldn't get Brian's comment on this state of affairs, LOL. 

During the day the dassie stays in a wire enclosure near the house. With the Black-footed cat (male) on top. 

The dassie in its day-time enclosure which is fitted out with rocks, tree stumps; blankets and grass. And bowls of food and water. 

The dassie (rock hyrax) is the African Elephant's closest living relative. Do please read the links in this post to find out more about all I've written here.
Max, the ginger domestic cat
Here Max checks in our luggage boot that we've not taken anything from the Guest House! Zak, the Alsatian male,  looks on
Ambrose is going to sulk when he sees another cat in his Mum's car

Brian, Gene, Grant and I.  Grant, Gene and I have known each other for 50 years; we've known Brian since he and Gene married 41 years ago. 

After bidding our wonderful friends a fond farewell (such a great weekend spent with them), we set off home. 

About 30kms from Muden we pass through a teeny, sleepy, dusty town called Weenen. Just beyond Weenen, we drive through the Weenen Game Reserve

We were thrilled to see a small herd of five giraffe; three adults and two young ones. 
Giraffe in Weenen Game Reserve
Another watching from the bush
Two more adult giraffe in the bush
A young giraffe on the other side of the road; very wary and aware of our presence
An even younger giraffe peers at us from behind the thorn bush

With the recent cold conditions, the Maluti mountains in Lesotho and the  Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensberg were covered in snow. Below I photographed the latter in the far distance and while the car speeded northwards to the Free State. 

Part of the snow-covered Drakensberg Mountains last weekend

I'm  linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here



  1. A lovely series of photos of your recent trip to see your friends. I'm always amazed at the curiosity of African cats (at least the ones you know) who are interested in luggage. I've never seen that before. The giraffe photos and the bird photos were lovely. I've always been fascinated by African wildlife, especially the 4 legged ones.

  2. You all certainly had a wonderful time with your friends Jo and great shots of all their cats. Loved seeing that Giraffe. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  3. Those cats are so cute I'm sure they wouldn't hurt a fly!!
    The sunbirds are lovely but I must say my favourites are the giraffes, such graceful creatures.
    Have a wonderful weekend :)

  4. Hello, Jo! What an awesome critter post. Cute kitty and the Sunbird is gorgeous. I have never heard of the Dassie. The giraffes are an great sighting, wonderful series of photos. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  5. what a beautiful b and b and the cats are to. i have never seen or heard of a Dassie, and i did read the link. wow on having one. i was about to file a complaint about not enough dog pics with all the cats and then I got to the giraffes and you are forgiven. i am still hoping you have photos of the dogs for a later post.. what a wonderful visit with old friends. my best friend from 9th grade has been my friend since 1959... i fully understand what it means to visit old friends

  6. LOVE the kitty photos and the collared sunbird is gorgeous!!
    But, to actually see a giraffe on the highway would be a thrill I'd NEVER forget.

    Awesome post Jo.

  7. I have really enjoyed seeing the animals you are able to photograph there! How amazing to see the giraffe in the road! What an amazing country for wildlife!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo