SOUTH AFRICA'S CHARM LINGERS
Photos and writing by: Susan Chalom
The spectacular home by Zaha Hadid fits gracefully into the environment..Plettenberg Bay, with the most breathtaking beach hikes, rugged powerful coastline and the wildest, fickle winds and waves...
The Cape of Good Hope with its rocky mountain tops, moody fog and open seas, home to hundreds of species of birds and vegetation including Ostriches, Orangutans, and African Penguins ...
Sabi Sands, the unparalleled private game reserve bordering Kruger National Park where one can see the Big 5 roaming freely and where the rangers can drive off-road into the bush and follow the animals. The wildlife actually come so close that it seems as if they are posing, wondering why we are gaping at them!
Loved the water buffalo, now considered an endangered species, with their artistic backward-curved horns posing in unison
The prides of lions pay no attention to us, lazily protecting their cubs, looking so sweet while patiently awaiting their next kill. The arrogant male lion rules with his majestic fringe. He is kicked out of the pride at about 2 years of age to fend for himself and only the strongest survive.
The prehistoric-looking rhinos enjoy symbiotic friendships with the tiniest birds. They have no natural predators but they must be careful of poachers who frequently kill them for their horns. Fortunately, these days they are being protected.
The herbivorous African bush elephants are also endangered species. They are the largest land mammal, weighing up to 3 tons. Just a few days after birth the baby elephant can walk with the herd and stay close to their mothers for about 5 years. The matriarch rules the herd while the males run solo, only approaching the female herds during mating season.
Fortunately in Sabi Sands, there is an unusually high concentration of leopards and they don't feel threatened by game vehicles. These incredibly beautiful nocturnal predators with their spectacular coats came within just inches of us.
Living in NYC this has been a particularly eye-opening experience and just being able to use my iPhone X without all my burdensome camera equipment was both challenging and liberating.