Loves and life on the Garden Route in South Africa

Through the eyes of volunteer coordinator and crazy cat lady, Sharon

Caramel Caracals November 12, 2013

This is so worth the read. Fiona also lives on the Garden Route although not in my town. I hope these cute babies grow up and get to live in the wild again in a safe enviroment but as they are so young they might need to stay in an animal sanctuary until older and rehabilitated

Fiona Ayerst's Blog

On Saturday I had a chance encounter with three lovely angels. Three wild; caramel coloured; woolly; orphaned caracal kittens of about 4-5 weeks old popped into my life. Their location will remain a secret, as this announcement will most likely not be popular with farmers.


The word caracal is derived from the Turkish words kara kulak, which means, “black ear”.The caracal is the largest African lesser cat and an exceptional climber and jumper. It is slender with long legs and a short, sharply tapered tail. The Caracal resembles a cross between a leopard and a lynx. Its coat is reddish-brown with long and very distinctive tufted ears and white markings around its eyes and on its throat, chin, and belly.In South Africa the caracal is often named (Afrikaans) Rooikat- translated to red cat. The belly and the undersides of the legs and chest are whitish and spotted or blotched…

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Why monkeys don’t make good pets June 6, 2013

Filed under: Pets,wildlife — shadreyer @ 5:46 pm
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Great article on why monkeys don’t make good pets.


Wolves and trampolines August 26, 2012

Filed under: Chevonne,Out & about,weekend — shadreyer @ 5:13 am
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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!!!


Canadian Timber wolves


Chevonne making friends


Chevonne learning how to drive-a natural!


Chevonne mastering the trampoline


I’ll huff and I’ll puff…