SA 2013 Day 2 – Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve and Cradle of Humankind Tour

Our 2nd day started out with a buffet breakfast at the hotel which had american breakfast varieties and typical beverages and the food was pretty tasty too. We would be visiting the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, with a tour guide in a 2-to-go private group, the tour organised by the same people who gave us the City tour the day before. 30mins drive and we arrived at location, not before seeing some lionesses that were isolated from the main group of the reserve near the road. We were told that these lionesses are taken out in order for the lions to mate. All we see was them lying around, the male lion not in sight.

Lionesses close to the road isolated for mating

Lionesses close to the road isolated for mating

Later we drove on to the Rhino & Lion Reserve. Once past the gate and a while later, we started to see various types of animals roaming the fields.

Black Wildebeest with white tails

Black Wildebeest with white tails

Blue Wildebeest and a Saber Antelope

Blue Wildebeest and a Saber Antelope

This was somewhat different from a safari, whereby the animals were bought and bred within the nature reserve. The owners fed them, unlike in a safari where they had to hunt for their own food, only the fittest survives.

Zebras, Rhinos, Oyrx and warthogs all feeding on the grass left by the owners

Zebras, Rhinos, Oyrx and warthogs all feeding on the grass left by the owners

This was the first time we were seeing animals roaming around while we were driven around and it was really exciting. And these animals could be pretty close to the car.

A zebra was just around the corner while we are drove to the wondercave

A zebra was just around the corner while we are drove to the wondercave

Wonder cave tickets

Cafe for guests awaiting for the tour to start

Cafe for guests awaiting for the tour to start

At the cafe, we see a group of warthogs eating away at the ground

At the cafe, we see a group of warthogs eating away at the ground

Descended a flight of steps towards the Wondercave

Descended a flight of steps towards the Wondercave

After the flight of steps, we entered a metal cage like lifts that you typically see in a movie that featured mining. The lift descended slowly and the air grew colder. Once out of the elevator, we stepped into a dimly lit staleness of the wondercave, dominated by ancient hanging stalactites and protruding stalagmites.

One such stalagmite that grew like a mushroom

One such stalagmite that grew like a mushroom

This grew like the praying Madonna

This grew like the praying Madonna

Cave view

Cave view

Seriously heavy limestones

Seriously heavy limestones

It was not a really big cave. After some explanations on the naturally occurring formation and also some history about the pioneer miners and how they transported the harvested limestones out of the cave, and a little more walk around the cave, we were out. From there we continued with the drive around to see more animals.

More Rhinos feeding

More Rhinos feeding

The wild dogs are hard to locate, hiding from the sun

The wild dogs are hard to locate, hiding from the sun

It's not often that you see a police car get chased by a white lion. I wonder what the police is doing here anyways.

It’s not often that you see a police car get chased by a white lion. I wonder what the police is doing here anyways.

White lion standing on the road in front of our car

White lion standing on the road in front of our car

Eventually they were chased off the road to the sides

Eventually they were chased off the road to the sides

The lions were getting hungry and were actually waiting close to the entrance of their enclosure. Upon checking the brochure, we saw that it was feeding day. They kinda knew that they were going to be fed and thus was waiting for room service. We were told that if we hadn’t left the enclosure before the lions camp there, we might not be able to leave as the gates to the enclosures were manned by humans and thus it would be too dangerous for the people to open the gates for us.

Next, we drove to the cheetah enclosure and also there is a separate enclosure for mating purpose. As we move along, we saw a cheetah just lying by the road.

Sleepy cheetah by the road as we drove by

Sleepy cheetah by the road as we drove by

Nice Saber Antelope

Nice Saber Antelope

Elands. Soon these horned herbivores become confusing to differentiate.

Elands. Soon these horned herbivores become confusing to differentiate.

Next we visit the education center where there are young animals and recuperating injured animals

Next we visit the education center where there are young animals and recuperating injured animals

Young giraffe at the entrance

Young giraffe at the entrance

Celebrity animals with names

Celebrity animals with names

ZY with white lion pups 5

ZY with white lion pups 12

I visited the white lion cubs and these lovable furballs were really irresistible. There was one which gave a nice deep growl though it was still that small.

Secretary bird

Secretary bird

Ground hornbill

Ground hornbill

Injured birds that are recuperating at the reserve.

Unfriendly neighbours - Hyena and Tiger pacing restlessly

Unfriendly neighbours – Hyena and Tiger pacing restlessly

Flamingoes

Flamingoes

Shot this photo when the young giraffe poke its head across the barrier over me

Shot this photo when the young giraffe poke its head across the barrier over me

Soon it was time to leave the animals and proceed to UNESCO Cradle of humankind, to learn more on the evolution of humankind. We had lunch at the cafe near the Sterkfontein Cave before going for the tour, which begins every hour.

More info

Skulls

Evolution of humans

Various information board giving information on the famous Mrs Ples, carbon dating and evolution of humans.

Mrs Ples model

Little foot model

Replicas of Mrs Ples and Little foot, both found in the Sterkfontein Cave.

2nd Cave exploration

2nd Cave exploration

Portion of the cave known as the elephant chamber, shaped like an elephant

Portion of the cave known as the elephant chamber, shaped like an elephant

Very deep long lake, one diver died

Lake within a cave. This lake ran deep and long. A diver was said to have gotten lost when diving and got up a wrong opening. In the end he died whilst trying to find his way out.

Lucky nose of Broom, Mrs Ples founder

Statue of Dr Broom at the exit of the cave. The nose and hands are especially shiny as people believe that when you touch the nose you get luck and the hands you get knowledge. (or vice versa)

The cave tour marked the end of day of touring Joburg. The next day we would be travelling to Kruger NP for our first taste of safari.

Saw this Beetle Limo on the way back to our hotel

Saw this Beetle Limo on the way back to our hotel

We wanted to go elsewhere for food but wasn’t sure of the place. The guide recommended 2 places, Eastgate shopping Mall or Emperor’s palace. We thought shopping mall and the recept arranged for a private transfer via Benz about 15mins from the hotel. 400Rands return trip.

Cars on show for purchase in the middle of the mall

Cars on show for purchase in the middle of the mall

Shopped a little but was disappointed to see that most part of the mall was closed. It was only about 6pm, probably because there weren’t many shoppers? There weren’t alot of choices on food either, mostly the common fast food that was available elsewhere. We made a choice and had Wimpy’s for dinner.

Dinner at Wimpy

Dinner at Wimpy

Went back to the hotel for an early night, in preparations for an awesome safari day!

ziyi

About ziyi

A travel addict from the little red dot otherwise known as Singapore. Started blogging during travel to help the aging forgetful mind remember the experience of each destination.

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