Ranger Brandon Young is passionate about wildlife, and a game drive with him at Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve at Chintsa, on the Jikeleza Route near East London, is choc full of interesting facts about nature…
Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, and offers Big Five safaris, elephant-back safaris, weddings near Wild Coast beaches, and team building.
The reserve is in a prime location with a rich diversity of landscapes and a tidal estuary. It is situated within an area of 100 square km encompassing 5 different biomes (vegetation types) which offer varied game viewing.
Inkwenkwezi is home the Big Five game, which includes elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and the elusive leopard, as well as many other fascinating animals both big and small. Due to its unique position adjacent to the coast, guests can potentially spot a Southern Right Whale along these shores in season.
There are 2 luxury camps with tented suites as well as a comfortable safari lodge and guest house for larger groups available. The restaurant sits under high thatched roofs and has rich stone flooring complemented by authentic African décor. Safari guests can also dine on the elevated timber viewing deck with views of the Indian Ocean and the South African bush.
- The yellow-billed kite, one of the birds on Inkwenkwezi’s list of 286 species, undertakes the longest migration of all the big raptors, leaving our shores in May to fly north to Morocco and returning in September.
- White lions are not albinos; they get their pale colouring from a rare recessive gene.
- The wild pomegranate (Burchellia bubalina) gets its common name from the taste of the nectar when you suck the bright orange tubular flowers.
- If you thought proteas grow only in the Western Cape, think again: Brandon pointed out a sugarbush protea growing on a hill in the reserve against a view of the Indian Ocean.
- Ostriches have a great sense of humour: Stacey, the tame ostrich that likes to wander into Inkwenkwezi venues to check out the humans, once waltzed up the red carpet during a wedding ceremony and caused much hilarity by laying a very large egg at the precise moment the minister intoned the words about reproducing.
Brandon even has an answer for that old conundrum: is a zebra white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? “Someone actually shaved the hair off a zebra and found its skin is as black as its nose!” he chuckles.
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Words and Pictures: Marion Whitehead