Saturday was our day to have my man’s 6 year old daughter, Chevonne, for the day and whenever we have her we also try and make it a day to remember. So at 9 am sharp my man went to go fetch her and it was off to Harkerville market for a farmer’s breakfast. We then jumped back in the car and drive to nearby Plettenberg Bay where we did a bit of shopping -shoes for her and provisions for our planned picnic. By now it was nearly lunchtime so we headed back in the direction of Knysna stopping enroute for our planned treat for her, a visit to the Wolf Sanctuary. One of the things that I really am hoping to instill in Chevonne is a love of animals and nature. Her Dad also wants to make sure she gets to do new and exciting things as she doesn’t get the opportunity to go out much when at home. The Wolf Sanctuary is home to two separate packs of Timber wolves. Each pack has about ten wolves, male and female, who come from all over South Africa. Some of them are ex-pets as wolves are not easy to domestic being wild animals first and foremost. The sanctuary is also home to Black-backed jackals and African Wild dogs aka Painted dogs. African Wild dogs, unlike the jackals, are extremely endangered and also beautiful creatures.
While standing watching the wolves in their large wooded enclosure an ambulance came whizzing past on the nearby highway, sirens blaring. Well, that set the jackals off who started howling and then the wolves too started. They all ran around, tension in the air, snapping at each other slightly. It was quite incredible to watch and almost a little scary. These beautiful creatures that looked like big tame dogs suddenly showing all their natural wild characteristics. It was really quite something. A few minutes later and the wolf family were back to chilling out by their water hole in the sun looking once again like someone’s family pet.
The sanctuary also has another side too it, home to many farmyard animals and a couple of emu and ostrich too. We had bought feed in the form of a bag of pellets so spent the rest of our time with Chevonne feeding the animals. Then it was time for lunch and some fun in the children’s playground. Playing ball with her dad and trying out the trampoline-which she was convinced would break.
In the drive home after all of that I don’t know who was more tired, her or me. Anyway it was a great day out, for her without a doubt as she got to see the wolves ‘who huffed and puffed and blew the piggies houses down’ and for us to get to have a fun day with her and visit the beautiful wolves too.
For this in South Africa in the Garden Route the Wolf Sanctuary is in Harkerville on the N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna and well worth a visit- especially if you have kids!!!