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Published: July 25th 2010
What a day! This morning we were up early at 6:15 to go walking with the elephants at the reserve next to the hotel. The reserve takes unwanted elephants from zoos and private collections and rehabilitates them back into herds. Meg got to feed one of the orphaned babies with two bottles of milk but I think it was more than happy to feed itself. The guide was very knowledgeable and Meg can now answer any quiz questions on elephants.
After returning to the hotel for breakfast we headed off to Monkeyland. This is a self contained reserve that rehabilitates monkeys back into the wild; a lot of them are unwanted pets. We were escorted through the reserve and we even managed to get Meg to walk over the first rope bridge of the day. We saw lots of different species, including ring tailed lemurs and squirrel monkeys which are native to South America.
From there we went on to Birds of Eden, which is a netted reserve with a 2km walkway and the second rope bridge of the day. There was a huge variety of birds, including some native to South Africa that we had already seen on
our travels; others looked as if they should have been in our garden at home (collared doves!). The only cockatiel we saw didn’t seem very happy, but most were perfectly content and happily building nests and otherwise getting on with their lives within the huge area of the nets. As with the monkeys, the birds had been rescued, many had previously been pets and there was one particular parrot that seemed to crave human company and took a liking to Rob.
On the way home we visited a place called Nature’s Valley on the edge of Tsitsikamma nature reserve. Think forested mountain meets lake meets sea and you’ll get the idea. We did a bit of a trek through the forest and then had a walk on the sand.
We will now spend a second night in the trees and tomorrow depart for St Francis, which is east from here on the coast not far from Port Elizabeth.
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