Zeb & Oki's Adventures in South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has so much to see, Zeb and Oki thought their trip would never end! A lion called Lencho showed them safari parks, coastal towns, and the big city of Cape Town. Now Lencho tells you about a few highlights of the journey.

Sawubona (that’s “hello” in isiZulu), welkom (“welcome” in Afrikaans), and nice to meet you, children! I’m Lencho the lion, from the Rainbow Nation, South Africa.

I live in Kruger National Park, and until last year I hadn’t travelled very far from my family. But one day Zeb Zebra and Oki Oxpecker came to the Kruger, looking for someone to join them on a trip around South Africa. I put up a paw and shouted, “ME!”

At first, Zeb was worried I would eat him up! However, once I’d explained he was far too skinny to make a good meal, he calmed down and we began to plan our trip.

We started in my homeland. The Kruger is in the north-east of South Africa, close to the border with Mozambique. And it’s enormous! It is almost as big as a country called Wales, in the UK!

The Kruger has lots of plains and woodlands. There are two rivers – the Limpopo and the Crocodile. As you might expect, the Crocodile river is full of crocodiles!

Other wildlife you can look out for on game drives includes lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo, known together as the Big Five. Zeb was pleased to see plenty of zebra, while Oki waved happily at all the birds in the park. She particularly liked this chap, a Bennett’s woodpecker, who is wearing a bright red hat!

Some camps in the Kruger offer activities for children. These include animal tracking, nature walks, stargazing and visits to the local schools!

After Zeb, Oki, and I had looked around Kruger National Park, we travelled west, to Madikwe Game Reserve. Madikwe is next to the country of Botswana and it used to be all farmland. It is famous for a project called “Operation Phoenix”, in which 28 types of animals were brought into the reserve.

Well, there are still a few farmers in Madikwe today, but most of the land is all for the wildlife. In fact, the reserve has its own “Top Ten”, which is the Big Five plus cheetah, hyena, wild dog, giraffe, and hippo. Game drives here are great! And there are lots of other things for young people to do, such as fishing, swimming, and baking.

A Madikwe highlight, for Zeb, Oki, and me, was spotting this charming fellow called a pangolin. He was very friendly and full of information. It was a real pleasure to meet him!

Next it was time to travel south, for our journey along South Africa’s Garden Route. The route runs for over 200 kilometres! Mostly it goes beside the sea, but sometimes it goes inland and you get amazing views of mountains.

Zeb, Oki, and I stopped off at various places on our journey, but our favourite place was Oudtshoorn. In fact, dear Oki was dizzy with excitement! That was because this town is the ostrich capital of the world. You can visit ostrich farms to find out all about these big bold birds.

All in all, the Garden Route was wonderful. There are so many different things to see and do!

Zeb, Oki, and I found plenty to keep us busy at the next place we visited. This was… the Winelands! To get there, we travelled west. This is a region of vineyards. Grape plants stretch for miles under the warm sun, with a backdrop of magnificent mountains.

If you would like to see a picture of us in the Winelands, simply look at my colouring sheet. I am holding a bunch of grapes. But this area is worth visiting even if you are not yet old enough to take a keen interest in wine. You can hike in the mountains, and go on bike rides and horse rides.

For the final part of our holiday, we travelled west again, to Cape Town! This town is known as the “Mother City” because it is so big. And as you would expect of a big city, there is an immense amount of things to do.

Zeb, Oki, and I loved our trip to Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. It has its own shopping mall, a craft market, and street entertainers. There are restaurants too, and the Two Oceans Aquarium for those who are interested in sea life. Zeb spent a long time looking at an octopus. It was waving at us with all eight tentacles! What a delight to see.

My highlight, however, was taking a cable car all the way up the city’s Table Mountain and then hiking to a well-known landmark called Lion’s Head. From here we had amazing views of Cape Town and, of course, the coast. The picture at the top of this page shows Zeb, Oki, and me gazing out over the Mother City, admiring a whale mother and child in the sea. We saw penguins too, at a place called Boulders Beach. That was excellent!

We were all very impressed with Cape Town, and with South Africa in general. Already I am looking forward to our second trip!

I HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED READING MY BLOG, CHILDREN. IF YOU WISH TO SEE WHO ZEB AND OKI MET NEXT, FOLLOW THEM TO THE SEYCHELLES! AND YOU CAN ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT ME AND LIONS IN GENERAL.

Seychelles

Follow Zeb and Oki on their travels to the Seychelles

Next adventure: seychelles

Lencho Lion

Learn some fun facts about Lencho and his lion friends.

Meet Lencho

Lencho's Colouring Sheet

Here Zeb, Oki and I are in the beautiful Winelands. I am holding a bunch of grapes.

Open Here

Lencho's Word Search

Lencho, who lives in South Africa, reckons his word search is the best! He thinks you should roar very loudly as soon as you have found LENCHO, his own name.