Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thaba Nkulu and more Drakensberg Dec 2015

After leaving Lesotho, we didn't have a reservation for a room and drove until we happened onto this game ranch, Thaba Nkulu.  It was just a sign along the road and we pulled in here.
The farmer/rancher here raises exotic game so people can come to view them.  Jason is looking at/for the yellow blesbok,

We went fossicking on the property as the electricity was out and we had nothing better to do.  The pool was icky.  The land just outside the household area looked like a junkyard, with bits and pieces of stuff everywhere, just laying around.

One of the dog's from the lodge accompanied us on our walk and found this carcass and had a chew on the bones for a few moments before running to catch up with us again.

I found some of these fossilized dinosaur eggs and kept a couple.  They were very heavy for their size.

Here is the 'nest' of the fossilized eggs.  Recent discoveries here of dinosaurs has made the news, and the owner's son said an entire skeleton was dug out of a cliff not far from here and taken back to America to study.

Another egg in the nest?

The hide of an animal is held down by this piece of corrugated tin.  The dog rolled in the part of the animal that were outside the metal.  I doubt this is a good way to process a hide.

A baby black wildebeest.  It was abandoned at birth by its mother just days before.  The drought here has made it too dry for the mother to create milk for it to suckle, so she abandons it to bear another one day.  Notice the long white eyelashes that go in all directions around the eye.

He was still a bit unsteady on his new legs.  Those eyelashes just kill me!  So bizarre.  And he makes the most unusual sounds, like he is trying to talk to me.

One of the servants leaving for the day.  Her arms are full and her head is carrying a basket.  The baby wildebeest would only take the milk bottle for feeding from her.  The white owner lady couldn't get it to feed.

The yellow and white blesbok on the game ranch.  This rancher paid a record 968,000 rand for a yellow blesbok recently.  He is trying to breed a herd of the yellow ones as they are considered to be rare and exotic.  Offspring can be white or yellow, so they are working on getting to an all-yellow herd.

The nyala come near the fenced yard every evening to feed and get a drink.

Both big dogs had one blue eye and one brown eye.  This one loved to chase whatever you threw for him.

Wildebeest, nyala, blesbok, steenbok, and gemsbok all came to eat and drink at dusk.

The front gate we saw from the road.

In a nearby town, we saw this totaled Police car.  Must've been quite the wreck.

They'll put up signs all along the road to warn us of the potholes, but they don't fix the potholes.  They are so permanent that they get a warning sign.

More rock pictures along our drive.

A scenic drive in South Africa, around the southern end of Lesotho.

Another part of the Drakensberg range.

So many caves form in the softer rock below the hard caps.  I'd love to go exploring them.

Cool formations as we drove.

More rocks and mountains.  Huge vistas are so hard to capture and it was misting the day we drove through here.

Lovely views and we're starting to see green for a change.

Goats roam freely, just like all the other animals.  If one damages your vehicle, nobody will claim it as it is technically illegal to let your animals roam free, but everybody does it.  We saw one animal get butchered on the side of the road as the owner didn't dare step up to claim it; so the folks got free meat that day.

Back down in the lowlands, the green fields of corn/maize start to show up.

Another shot of the Drakensberg range from afar.

Green fields lead up to the mountains.

More mountain scenery on our drive.

You can see the layers of rock even with the green growth on the mountains.

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