Tag Archives: the crags

Exploring Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in The Crags (2016-06-25) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 14 JUL 2016

So far our roadtrip through to The Crags for the first day of our Garden Route getaway to the Far Hills Country Hotel in George was going pretty well. Having spent the morning walking among the birds at the splendid Birds of Eden bird sanctuary, followed by a bite to eat and game time at the Plett Puzzle Park, we next stepped into the world of big cats with a trip to Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Primarily a big cat sanctuary, the award winning Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary has been running in one form or another since 2005, originally started by Jurg and Karen Olsen in George. We’re familiar with the facility from its Mossel Bay stint between 2007 and 2013, but this was our first time visiting them at their new home in The Crags.

(Because they are now a part of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA), which consists of Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and now Jukani, it made sense for them to move closer to the other two – despite the logistical nightmare such a move must have been!)

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First off, I have to say that the new premises for the cats is fantastic! Massive enclosures, with plenty of grass and trees makes for a stunning environment in which to watch these magnificent predators go about their daily lives.

We had an excellent guide in the form of Elvis, who took our group for a lengthy tour around the sanctuary, showing off Jukani’s massive collection of lions, tigers, jaguars, mountain lions, wild dogs, cheetah, hyena, and of course… their snakes.  (The only thing that we didn’t get a close up view of on the day were the leopards, mainly because they didn’t seem too keen on coming up close to us!)

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For me the stars of the show were the massive tigers right at the start of the tour, but without a doubt the stand out moment of the trip was right at the end, when a massive male lion, having just finished chewing up his donkey leg, started vocalizing to let everyone know that he was now done.

Literally shivers down my spine!

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Tickets are a bit on the pricey side, but this sanctuary is definitely one of the best big cat sanctuaries that I’ve ever been to, so it really is well worth a visit.

Of course, my phone camera didn’t do well with all the tree shadows and fencing to contend with, so the photos are quite poor for the most part, but hey, at least you get a good idea of what is on offer at Jukani:

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(Amazingly, the girls literally just had enough energy to finish this one off, rounding off what had been quite a day of walking for the two!)

P.S. Jukani is of course also famous for its legendary and well documented black leopard story, which essentially has a bad tempered leopard named Diablo completely transform his personality through little more than a name change to Spirit on recommendation of animal whisperer Anna Breytenbach:

Oh, and a map just in case you want to know where Jukani is now situated:

Related Link: Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

Playing at the Plett Puzzle Park in The Crags (2016-06-25) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 12 JUL 2016

Day 1 of our weekend away at the Far Hills Country Hotel saw us undertake a lengthy roadtrip through to The Crags, an activity-rich area just outside of Plettenberg Bay. Having spent most of the morning exploring the wonderful Birds of Eden bird sanctuary, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Plett Puzzle Park, a quirky little find (right next to Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary) whose claim to fame is their  life size wooden 3D maze, not to mention their unique Forest Puzzle Walk.

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The kids are still too small to tackle the two above mentioned attractions (or the kiddie maze for that matter), but they had plenty of fun messing about with Plett Puzzle Park’s oversized garden games, thus giving Monty, Cheryl, Chantelle and myself more than enough time to browse the interesting little shop (filled to the brim with puzzles and other ingenious games) and then grab a light lunch from the onsite cafe.

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There is a lot of bird life in the garden (and a handy identification chart as well), but the cherry on top was definitely all the little games attached to the tables – especially the naughts and crosses battlefield carved right into the table itself!

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Definitely a great spot to relax and refill your energy levels (not to mention get that brain working), and I can easily see myself returning there in the future once the girls are old enough to tackle the maze with me!

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Related Link: Plett Puzzle Park

Exploring Birds of Eden in The Crags (2016-06-25) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 JUL 2016

The first day of our long weekend away at Far Hills Country Hotel, just outside of George, saw us hit the N2 (and by hit, I mean travel slowly, thanks to the multitude of speed cameras and restrictive speed limits in the area!) and travel along the Garden Route all the way past Plettenberg Bay, until we reached the activity-rich area known as The Crags.

Our first activity scheduled for the day was a visit to the famous Birds of Eden sanctuary, touted as being the world’s largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary.

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Now Chantelle and I have visited the bird sanctuary previously back in 2009 as part of our honeymoon roadtrip, and as such, were rather eager to introduce this great place to our little girls.

Monty and Cheryl opted to join us on this outing, and pleasingly, the weather turned out to be perfect for the day, allowing us to take our time and wander about the lush and overgrown aviary without a care in the world.

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Thanks to the cool weather as well as being in the middle of breeding season, the aviary wasn’t exactly overflowing with birds out in the open, which was a bit of a pity because it meant that we strolled the boardwalks for relatively long sections without so much as a single sighting!

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Despite that though, there was in the end more than enough birds available for spotting by our eager little girls, and despite the length of the walk (there’s 1.2 km of walkways covering the length and breadth of the 2.3 hectare large aviary) the girls seemed to thoroughly enjoy the adventure!

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(However, the novelty of a 1.2 km walk does wear off after a couple of hours when you’re little, so we did travel the last few meters with two rather grumbly and tired little girls!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the outing, and we had some great sightings of some unusual birds, with the trip being rounded off by the hilarious addition of people preparing for a wedding procession whilst being watched by a troop of baboons outside.

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I did snap a lot of photos with my Huawei P8 phone as per usual, but unfortunately the varying light conditions caused by all the foliage meant that the picture quality came out pretty uneven to say the least! Still, it should give you some idea as to what to expect if you yourself ever make the trip down there…

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Related Link: Birds of Eden

Photo Gallery: Honeymoon Trip – Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (The Crags, Plettenberg Bay) (2009-11-21) My Life | Photo Gallery 21 NOV 2009

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary situated at The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, was another one of the fantastic wildlife-themed stops on our awesome honeymoon road trip. The sanctuary takes the form of a huge open enclosure, through which you are guided and get to witness the various monkeys and lemurs up close and personal, without the usual fencing between you and the primates!

Highlight of the tour had to be the awesome suspension bridge we needed to cross!

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Photo Gallery: Honeymoon Road Trip – Birds of Eden (The Crags, Plettenberg Bay) (2009-11-21) My Life | Photo Gallery 21 NOV 2009

Situated next to the great Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden is a massive, fantastic open air aviary hosting a huge variety of birds. Definitely a sight worth seeing if you ever find yourselves in the area, just as we did when on the Garden Route leg of our honeymoon road trip.

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Photo Gallery: Honeymoon Road Trip – The Elephant Sanctuary (The Crags, Plettenberg Bay) (2009-11-21) My Life | Photo Gallery 21 NOV 2009

One of the best highlights from our honeymoon road trip was the journey through to The Elephant Sanctuary in The Crags, Plettenberg Bay. There we learned about, touched and got close and personal with Elephants! :)

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