As South Africa moves passes midwinter and the thermometer starts its slow climb towards summer, we ponder two things: firstly, that the winter days of the Karoo Heartland are mild, sunny and windless and, secondly, when things turn chilly in the evenings, our region naturally tends indoors towards the fireplace, coffee or wine in hand, for a good book, some painting or quality conversation.
Our Karoo Heartland members have shared some of their cosiest spots to enjoy winter in the Karoo…
The fireplace at Allendale Guest Farm…just getting started. – Jansenville
A fireside dinner table set for guests (pre-COVID) at Glen Avon Guest Farm – Somerset East
A cosy lounge at Kuzuko Lodge, with a breathtaking view of the night sky only metres away… – Somerset East
A welcoming farmhouse living room at Lowlands Country House – Cradock
Potjie pot at the ready – there’s nowhere better than Nieu-Bethesda for a slow-cooked stew at Outsiders B&B
A cosy reading nook, barman on hand, at Samara Private Game Reserve – Graaff Reinet
As captive wildlife interactions remain is a complex issue, SATSA – the South African Tourism Association, has launched a guide to Evaluating Captive Wildlife Attractions and Activities.
The guide is an interactive tool for easy decision making, through eight simple questions, on interactions through a “decision tree”.
The guide is aimed at four key groups: foreign and local visitors interacting with animals, buyers such as destination management companies, tour operators internationally and locally as well as industry representatives such as associations, industry bodies and government among others.
The tool will allow these groups to assess animal interaction operations and make informed decisions to support ethically sound and responsible operators in South Africa.
The second litter of cheetah cubs has successfully been born into the protected wild of Kuzuko Lodge as part of the joint “Breeding, Wilding and Release Project”, set up by Ashia Cheetah Conservation and Kuzuko Lodge, part of the Legacy Hotels & Resorts Group, in 2018.
The four cubs were birthed by another captive-born female cheetah who forms part of this ground-breaking conservation programme, having arrived at Kuzuko Lodge earlier this year already pregnant.
The first-time feline mom delivered all four cubs successfully, however after a short while the project team, who had been keeping an eye on her from a distance, noticed that the cubs were not feeding.
Not wanting to interfere too quickly, the team decided to give them a couple of hours to see whether some privacy would assist with their bonding.
When the team returned and the cubs were still bundled together, it was time to intervene. It was discovered that the umbilical cord had intertwined the cubs together, not allowing them the freedom to feed.
The very protective mother was lured away with food and the cubs quickly released from the cord.
Despite being a first-time mom the female immediately took the cubs back and within no time they started suckling successfully. According to the team at Kuzuko, the are doing very well and have already tripled in size.