I recently had the awesome opportunity to go on a safari day trip just outside Cape Town to Inverdoorn Game Reserve. It was a great day in search of wildlife and just being in awe of the beauty of South Africa, would definitely recommend it to any travelers who are visiting Cape Town and don’t have time for a multiple day safari further away. Read below to find out how the day went…
I was picked up on time from my accommodation in Cape Town. I would like to say bright and early, but it wasn’t very bright as the sun hadn’t even risen yet. Our driver Frances was very helpful and friendly, he explained that there we would be a few more pick-ups and we would stop for breakfast along the way. The van was clean and comfortable, and the ride was smooth. I actually managed to have a cozy sleep and was well rested by the time we reached our breakfast stop, just outside Ceres in the mountain pass. Die Tolhuis is a very charming farm stall with a warm fireplace, playful kittens and friendly hosts, serving traditional South African food as well as the usual offerings. They are known for their roosterkoek (bread dough ball cooked over coals) and I couldn’t resist a warm buttery one with cheese and jam.
After a beautiful drive through the countryside, where the landscape changed from green and mountains to flat and dusty Karoo, we reached Inverdoorn Game Farm. We waited for our guide in a lovely outdoor reception area with cactus and succulents, comfortable seats and a fire pit with a fire to keep us warm. There was a nice selection of tea and biscuits to help ourselves to.
After meeting our guide and being escorted to our vehicle, we headed out on our safari! We visited the cheetah sanctuary first and immediately there was a male cheetah practically waiting for us at the gate. It was the resident male cheetah, he was walking around looking for the female (who unfortunately has very little interest in him). We followed him for a bit at a gentle pace, stopping to observe while our guide told us more about the sanctuary. Western Cape Cheetah Conservation is based at Inverdoorn, the cheetahs are rescued and come here to be rehabilitated so that they can one day be introduced to the wild. So far, 2 cheetahs have been successfully rehabilitated. It was amazing to observe these beautiful felines and learn some interesting facts about them.
It was now time to cross over into the main reserve where the rest of the game is found.
The first animals we encountered were Zebra, Wildebeest, and Oryx. For me the Oryx was the most interesting and beautiful. Our guide was able to tell us some very interesting facts about the various animals, such as that the Oryx can survive for incredibly long in the desert without water. Next, we came across a giraffe who was walking amongst the thorn trees, which is their primary source of food, later we even saw a giraffe family – mom, baby and sister. We also saw 2 of the Big Five: a herd of Cape Buffalo and some elephants.
Then it was off to some more of the Big Five: the lions, they’re kept in a separate enclosure for their own safety, unfortunately they can’t hunt as they were bred in captivity, most likely for trophy hunting. This means they can’t protect themselves against an angry buffalo. They also can’t have offspring as they won’t be able to teach them to hunt, thus perpetuating the cycle. But at least they have been saved from being mounted on someone’s wall. Inverdoorn likes to keep to their natural feeding patterns so they have their meals in the morning and the evening. In the day they sleep although we did see some movement, the male specifically decided to check us out. He gave us a look, sussed us out, reminded us who’s the boss and then went back to sleep.
And that was the end of our wonderful game drive experience. Our guide was great, he was constantly making sure that everyone was happy, was very knowledgeable and was also rather humorous, putting everyone at ease with his jokes of feeding us to the lions. At the end of it all we had a delicious lunch in Inverdoorn’s restaurant until it was time to head back to Cape Town.