Mountain Zebras park



// Nikon D7200 | -32.13374 : 25.62377 |alt. 989m

Away from the garden route and the main touristic destinations, the beautiful Mountain Zebra national park is a well hidden jewel. You can tell no one is going there when you get to the small village next door, pretty empty and desolated, with no backpacker, no hostel, a pub you would not visit, and nothing else to do.

The park itself is lovely, with a few scenic routes overlooking majestuous plains with free roaming wildlife. I made it in the afternoon and I wasn’t expecting to see much (landscapes are much better in the late afternoon light), but you get many opportunities to spot most of the games (no predator obviously), including the mountain zebra (which seems black with white stripes).
The park could be a wonderful place to drive for days, but the goal here is to spot the unspottable : lions, cheetahs, and the elusive leopard.

Time to call it a day, I went back to this shitty town, and found myself a lovely spot in the bush. It was already pitch black, just finishing my diner, when a car came in, and stopped on the only dirt road going to my spot, then the headlights went off….. Why would someone come here ?! And now the only exit is blocked. I prepared the van to take off as quickly as possible, just in case. Needless to say I didn’t sleep very well, but nothing happened.
Next day, I went out very early to see if the car was still blocking the way…… gone ! Ouf, I left an hour before sunrise and went back to the national park. The gate opens at 7am, sunrise is in a few minutes, I’ve got some good chances to spot something new 🙂

Just a 5min drive, and I spotted a rhino, looking beautiful (his tusk was not cut). He looked very shy and scared (very young as well) and quickly ran away. Well, that was the highlight of the park ! Rhino spottings are very rare !
I still had a few 4wd only roads to explore, people spotted a few aardwolves there yesterday. I went to the park ranger office, and the girl told me to forget about those roads, I cannot make it with my vehicle. Alright lady, challenge accepted.

So it went from “baaah I don’t even need 4wd on this road” to “holy shit I’m gonna die !”. Still made it, amazing mister Fox, but didn’t spot anything ! I went back to the park ranger office, and that’s where I realized I lose my spare wheel cover with the sandtracks inside……shit !

Obviously, I know where to look for….. so here we go, second run on that ugly road…. for nothing, I didn’t find anything ! 🙁
Now, it was time to backtrack the whole journey, I had to find it…… it took a few hours driving around to meet another car flashing his lights : he went on the 4wd road and found my stuff. Good to get this back, but the cover is badly damaged… must have dragged some big stones or something….

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