Gecko #81 on the Road Again – Mountain Zebra National Park

After our wonderful three days in Addo, we moved on to Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock in The Eastern Cape.   En Route we stopped at a farm stall in the middle of nowhere just off the N10.  I just love finding these hidden gems and Daggaboer Padstal was indeed unique.   We were greeted at the door by our hostess who offered us a thimble of ginger beer or lemonade to taste.  I had the ginger beer and The Earl the lemonade and both were delicious – homemade of course. Inside was a feast for the eyes and there were a variety of goodies from rusks to crafts for sale

Breakfast was a wholesome fried egg, bacon, boerewors and tomato served with roostekoek of course. The coffee would do any Boer (farmer) proud!  It was percolated and had to be poured through a sieve. For my non-South African readers – roosterkoek is a ball of bread dough cooked on a grid over hot coals. It is often served with a braai/BBQ but is also often served in restaurants as an alternative toast.

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An interesting Padstal (Farm Stall)
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A wholesome Boere Breakfast – I declined the roosterkoek

Our three days at Mountain Zebra were lovely.   This park was established in 1937 with the prime focus being to protect the endangered Mountain Zebras.  Many of the other parks both Sanparks and private obtained their mountain zebras from this park.  Mountain Zebra Park is also the most significant contributor of The Cheetah Metapopulation Project and many of their cheetahs have been relocated to other parks in the country.

We did not see any cats during our stay in the park but what we really enjoyed was the magnificent scenery in this mountainous reserve.  The first day was hot but after that we enjoyed sunny but very cold days!  Early mornings and nights were down to 5 degrees C!

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Camp on Day 1 – Nice and warm
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Note the mountain zebra
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A tree growing out of rock – HOW?
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Dry but beautiful
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The roads were very steep in some parts
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At a lookout point – The Earl took a picture of me taking a picture of him
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My picture of him taking a picture of me taking a picture of him

On Thursday we drove the most hectic of the 4X4 trails.  We only read the description later – “Umgeni is  the most challenging of the 4X4 trails -It can either provide a lot of excitement or induce premature aging!”  It did both for us! At one point The Earl had to get out of the car to remove a particularly large rock from the road!  His choice was to risk being eaten by a predator or destroying his car!  Luckily there wasn’t an animal in sight.

During our three day stay, we enjoyed seeing a variety of game and birds.

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Brown-hooded kingfisher
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Acacia Pied Barbet
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Gemsbok (Oryx)
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Kudu female – Saw lots of males too
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Familiar Chat
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Cape Rock Thrush
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Ground Squirrel
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Double-banded courser
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Vervet Monkey
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Black Wildebeest – different to the Blue Wildebeest seen in Kruger and other parks – Note the white tails
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Red-billed ox-peckers giving an Eland a spa treatment
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Eland
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Pale-chanting Goshawk – only raptor we saw
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Mountain Zebra
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Dark-capped bulbul
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A herd of Black wildebeest (Gnus)
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Large-billed lark
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Our national animal – Springbok
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Spike-heeled Lark
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Scaly-feathered finch

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Golden-breasted bunting

 

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Southern Boubou inviting himself into the caravan

 

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Then asking The Earl for a snack
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This naughty monkey stole an egg from my box and then went to wash in the puddle next to the caravan! One has to be constantly on guard when camping in the wild!

Our most exciting experience was spotting three rhinos while on a lonely drive and no other cars were there to share the sighting with us.

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Black Rhino
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Mom and baby

A little while later we were also the only car to see a fourth rhino on his own.  When he caught sight of us he made a mock charge and then thought we weren’t worth the effort and ran off into the bush.

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Published by puppy1952

I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.

4 thoughts on “Gecko #81 on the Road Again – Mountain Zebra National Park

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