19 November 2012

south africa: seaview

don’t let the name fool you. although it was set with a great view of the ocean, this park housed big cats and other animals. but before i mention them, duncan and family and i found a reptile and raptor rescue at the place we stayed overnight after visiting addo.

duncan’s girls were considering getting a snake, and he thought this might be a good trial run to see if they would really enjoy having such a pet. we saw some rather interesting snakes (especially the black mamba), a few of which i was glad to have run across in a controlled environment rather than randomly in the wild. interestingly, they had some snakes local to my home town in the states too (copperhead, rattlesnake, and cottonmouth). some interesting birds including the large falcon were also part of the tour. (see how big this bird is.)

after leaving the rescue, we headed to the other side of port elizabeth to visit seaview. it was here that we were able to get very close to the lions. we arrived just in time to see them being fed. the cage allowed us to drive through while they had munchies. of course, we had to stay inside the car. not sure entirely what animal this was, but they seemed to enjoy it. among the cats we saw both tawny and white lions, a leopard, and couple of tigers (which are not indigenous to south africa).

one of the services offered was that we could have a few minutes to pet the lions. for several rand, i was able to pet a couple of young lions. they were nine to ten months old yet had paws as big as or bigger than my open hand. i can only imagine what it would be like to be attacked by one. i have had my arm shredded by house cats with sharp claws. it would be no matter for one of these to shred me in a couple of minutes.

we left seaview and stopped in port elizabeth for some dinner. then we trekked back home. it was a good weekend.

next >> south africa: hanging out