From humble, post-war beginnings in 1950, when Toyota launched the Jeep BJ (its own version of the successful Willys Jeep),
|Jeep BJ by Toyota|
and there is now a major local assembly plant in Kenya.
It was so for me, in April 2013, when I visited the Kariega Game Reserve, just north of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
|The Author, at an Elephant afternoon tea|
Kariega’s story is one of enterprise, love and respect for nature, and the determined resolve of two families (Rushmere and Fuller) to develop a prime model of a conservation-based game reserve. The re-introduction of a wide variety of animals native to the Eastern Cape, and successful regeneration of the land to pre-farming splendour has been going on since the first 660 hectares was purchased in 1989. Kariega now occupies 10,000 hectares and is home to Africa’s Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Rhino).
I’ve selected just a small portfolio of photos from my ‘camera safari’ - but my memories are not limited by lack of space to share the results.
|Lion Cubs waiting for a feed|
|"Look dear, this grass is yummy for white Rhinos"|
|Standing guard over the pride|
Each day (6:30am and 4:30pm) we mounted the dark green Land Cruiser trucks to explore the reserve.
The roads are just tracks made by the trucks, and frequented by the animals, so the surface and condition is ‘variable’ - by that I mean, from relatively smooth, to deep ruts forcing us to slowly grind up and down steep hills in Low Range.
|Post-lunch repose - It's Good to be The King!|
|"Excuse us. Coming through."|
and later we sat, silently, waiting for a pair of hippos to raise themselves from the bottom of a bush pond.
|"This is our pond. Right?"|
|Champagne at Sunset - Great way to end your day|
|Giraffe - at their most vulnerable|