The Big Seven is a unique-in-the-world experience, no where within such a close radious can you see buffalo. elephant, leopard, lion and rhino as well as dolphins and whales. That is just the start of what you will see, there are also diverse buck, bird and grass species, hippos, hyhenas and warthog on the land, penguines, sharks, seals, gannets and many other seabirds out to sea.
The journey begins at the Shamwari Game Reserve, formerly a set of poorly run cattle farms – desertified land, that has been loving and thoughtfully restored into a viabrant ecosystem – a whole orchestra of sights, sounds, smells and sights. We spend four days and three nights here enjoying much that the bush has to offer as well as the zulu culture. Inspired discussions takes place around the statue built by our national shaman, Credo Mutwa – why a dolphin at the woman’s side? why three breasts? what is coming from her earthen clay knee?
Bursting with new life and passion from this enriching wildlife extravaganze it is unbelieveable to think there is still more. We transfer to the Beach House or the Shamwari Guest House and from there take two daily exursions into Algoa Bay, aboard Raggy Charters with skipper Lloyd Edwards. Lloyd has fifteen years of experience in these seas and is ‘very closely’ connected to a lovely French lady who has studied the penguines in this area for 5 years. Across the seas to Bird Island and St Croix we may see a seal lazing on its back, or a shy brydewhale who does not give us long to catch a glimpse of his scupltured, plankton-swallowing giant jaw before disappearing again. Several times we have enjoyed the antics of the humpback whales as they leap their great weight into the air and then thunderously splashing back into the watery depths below. Pods of common or bottlenosed dolphins love to race in the bow of the boat – exuberantly enticing us to join them for a swim. Sadly for us we can’t swim with them in South African seas, but beneficial for their protection.
I am not going to tell you more, you will have to come and see for yourself.