Gentle Giants Part Two

After our Whale watching trip we went on to Knysna Elephant Park.

Let me not beat about the bush, I was SCARED!

Elephant eye

The tractor and trailer transport Guests to the camp where the elephants browse all day. Upon arrival at the camp the elephants come to see what treats Guests brought for them. They line up and wait to be fed their spoils.

When the treats were finished it was our opportunity to get really up close. Sally, the Matriarch, leads the younger bulls and cows as they wander off to eat bark off the branches dropped for them. The trunk delicately picks the bark off the branch like a lady picking up a fine china teacup.

Sally & Me

They allow one to touch and even tickle their bellies. The eyes were so gentle and the skin on the back of the ears felt like suede.

There are a variety of activities Guests can take part in when visiting the Park. Even sleep in the Elephant Suite!

elephant walk

A visit to Knysna Elephant Park is essential when your travel in the Garden Route.

Tel: 044 532 7732 or  info@knysnaelephantpark.co.za

For your accommodation there is only Knysna Log-Inn: 044 382 5835 or res@kli.co.za

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“Wa gwaan” or “Yes I”

…..This is how the Rastafarians greet you when you get out of your car at Judah Square in Knysna.

Brother Zebulon

(above) Bra Zeb from Judah Square

The Judah Square Rastafarian village in Knysna was founded in 1993, and is the largest Rastafarian community in South Africa. You can do a walking tour of the community and overnight in the Rastafarian community.

Judah Square Rasta religious ceremony

(above) Religious meeting at Judah Square

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(above) Switch off!

The Rasta community invites people into their homes to experience their culture.  In this community you’ll find yourself at the grass roots of the locals and a vibrant mixture of energies. Visit the music room with the musicians; visit the tabernacle during religious ceremonies. Spend a few hours, a day or stay overnight feeling the Rasta vibration. The Rasta community has a strong sense of community, a deep love of children and the deep personal conviction that the world can be a better place.

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(above) Happy Rastafarian School Kids

Fast Facts:

  • Dreadlocks– symbolize the mane of the lion of Judah, and are required in the bible:
  • Vegetarianism– Rastas prefer organic food. They don’t drink alcohol, milk, coffee and soft drinks, which are seen as unnatural. Meals are eaten in the rawest form possible, without salt, preservatives or condiments.
  • Rasta Colors:
  • Red The blood of Africa’s children shed for Africa’s freedom, dignity and liberty.
  • Yellow – The wealth and richness of Africa.
  • Green – The luxuriance, fertility and greenness of Africa.
  • Black –  The color of the noble, ancient and distinguished African people.
  • Marijuana – Ganja (Marijuana) is considered the ‘wisdom weed’ by Rastafarians, as its use helps one to gain wisdom.
  • ‘I and I’ – The expression “I and I” is frequently heard among Rasta talk. What it means is that all people are totally equal.

rasta

(above) Always Happy and Friendly!

Honor (hon-nah)- a Rastafarian good-bye.

Knysnaloerie [Afrikaans]; Igolomi [Xhosa]; iGwalagwala [Zulu]; Hurukuru [Shona]; Ntlume, Tlulutlulu [Tsonga]; Touraco loury, Touraco de Knysna [French]; Helmturako [German]; Turaco de Knysna [Portuguese]

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The Knysna Lourie, or Knysna Turac (or “Tauraco corythaix” for all the birdies) is usually seen flying between forest trees, or hopping with agility along branches. Turacos are social, moving in small, but noisy flocks.

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Fast facts:

  • The Knysna Loerie is around 40 cm in length (including its long tail) and has a thick orange/red bill and a white line just under the eye.  The eye is brown with a deep red eye ring. Its feathers is mainly green, but in flight, you can see its bright red flight feathers.
  • The Knysna Loerie lays two eggs in a shallow platform nest made from sticks and placed in a tree or clump of creepers.
  • It feeds on fruit, insects and earthworms.
  • Call:It has a loud kow-kow-kow-kow!

How many of these can you spot on your next visit to Knysna………..,  email us at res@kli.co.za to book your accommodation!

BIG and small – the sea has them all…..

COLOURFUL NUDIBRANCHES – You will think you are hallucinating…

  • A nudibranch is a member of the Nudibranchia, a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shells after their larval stage.
  • They are noted for their often extraordinary colours and striking forms.
  • Currently, about 2,300 valid species of nudibranchs are known.
  • Nudibranchs are often casually called sea slugs, but many sea slugs belong to several taxonomic groups which are not closely related to nudibranchs.

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COWRIE SHELLS – More than just the pretty shell on the beach

  • Cowries are egg-shaped with a flat base and a narrow opening.
  • Their shells are smooth and highly polished.
  • They protect their glossy finish by wrapping their brightly colored mantle lobes nearly completely around their shells when they move.

scuba cowrie

iSimangaliso - KZN - South Africa - copyright Scot Ramsay - www.yearinthewild.com

AND THE BIG ONE….

WHALE SHARK – NOT YOUR NORMAL SHARK – Thanks heavens…

But the most amazing experience to see one on a dive – try it – you will remember it for ever and a day!

scuba whale shark

    • The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter feeding shark
    • the largest known extant fish species.
    • The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m and a weight of approximately 21.5 metric tons), and unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks exist.
    • The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate.
    • The species originated about 60 million years ago.
    • The whale shark is found in open waters of the tropical oceans and is rarely found in water below 71 °F (22 °C).
    • Modeling suggests a lifespan of about 70 years but measurements have proven difficult.[3] Whale sharks have very large mouths and are filter feeders, which is a feeding mode that occurs in only two other sharks, the megamouth shark and the basking shark.
    • They feed mainly on plankton and are generally considered harmless to humans

Come on – do it – phone the SCUBA DIVE People and learn to scuba – it is AMAZING…

http://www.gardenroutedivers.co.za/

If you do not believe you can fly – try Sky Diving

sky dive

Free as a bird!

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Fear? What fear..!

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Incoming!!

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Anyone for Whale Watching?

  • There is nothing quite like stepping out of an aircraft that is just over 3kms high over the sea and then freefalling into the bay of Plettenberg Bay.
  • If you would like to experience an out-of-bounds skydive and if the weather permits, you have to  do this skydive and then land at Central Beach
  • Skydive Plett has been operating in South Africa since 2002 and is now one of the busiest drop zones in the country.
  • Depending on the weather, we may jump all day, every day.
  • We are situated on the coastline in the heart of the beautiful Garden Route, at the very bottom of the African continent.
  • From a skydiving point of view, you can’t get a better location: the scenery is completely mind-blowing.
  • Just one added bonus is that Plett is home to hundreds of dolphins and is an active breeding ground for whales between May and October every year.

CONTACTSKYDIVE PLETTENBERG BAY

http://www.skydiveplett.com/aboutus_skydivingafrica.html

I believe I can fly………

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bungy

Fear?   What fear?

bungy bull

Seems Red Bull does give you wings…

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3,2,1… Bungy!

 

  • The Bloukrans Bungy is the world’s highest commercial bungy bridge.
  • It is also the highest commercial natural bungy jump in the world.
  • We have had a number of world records associated with Bloukrans.
    • In 2003, Bloukrans bungy was recognised as the world’s highest commercial bungy jump. In 2008 we were part of two more world records.
    • Veronica Dean performed 19 bungy jumps in one hour and
    • Bill Boshoff performed 101 jumps in a 24 hour period. Bill’s world record was subsequently surpassed, but in
    • 2011 we facilitated Scott Huntley to regain the world record with 107 jumps in the 24 hour period.
  • We have played host to the likes of
    • Prince Harry
    • Jack Osbourne
    • Thabo Mbeki
    • the Zuma family (one way to get our taxes back…)
    • Bobby Skinstad
    • Hansie Cronje
    • Fanie De Villiers
    • Kelly Slater
    • Andy Irons
    • The Amazing Race, and many more famous and not so famous visitors –
  • You never know who you could meet on any given day at Bloukrans, the world’s highest bungy bridge!