2018 South Africa and Botswana Trip travel blog

Knysna Turaco

Knysna Turaco

Knysna Turaco

Purple-crested Turaco

Purple-crested Turaco

Monkeys from South America in Monkeyland


It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the Birds of Eden. It is the largest aviary in the world. It has many birds and the smallest deer. It is so large that the birds behave most naturally. Saw a group of male golden pheasants that were courting females. At this place I finally got to see the Knysna Turaco and Purple-crested Turaco. They are beautiful indigenous birds to South Africa. One landed on a railing just a couple of feet away from me. She looked at me and I talked to her. She did not move away. I noticed that she has a damaged right foot. She could not walk but stands on one foot. She stayed with me and I asked a person to take a photo of me with her. Pretty soon an African Gray Parrot and two bright red Lories of Australia came over to join us. They are social birds and curious also.

After a simple lunch with local fish nuggets right next to a lagoon with egret nests, I walked over to the Monkeyland. The staff there noticed that I was charged for 2 people and phoned the reception. They agreed to refund me about $35 after my visit. I did not notice it at the time, just thought it is expensive for South Africa for about $70. The attractions and tourist’s places charge two different prices: one for SA citizens and one for foreigners. China used to be that way, but it has changed in recent years. The Monkeyland has about 500 monkeys and lemurs of 12 species. They all roam freely in a very large walled place with electric fence 7 meters tall. The staff told me the fence does not keep the monkeys from escaping, but the food attracts them there. The animals seem to be content and happy. The feeding stations have lots of fruits and grains. I saw a couple of mothers with baby monkeys on their backs. Obviously, they could breed there. Not sure how they were kept from in-breeding. Interestingly I saw a monkey using a large stone to try to break a nut.

Stopped at a supermarket and got some soup and salad for dinner. Got to the house at about 5:00pm. Jasper was writing a letter by the front door in the warmth of the sun. His aunt just past away at age of 99. His father came to South Africa in the 40th after the WWII. Holland was in bad shape and he was offered a farm manager position at SA. Gradually he saved enough money to buy land little by little, and eventually he owned a large farm. Jasper’s mother and brothers came to join his father when he was a small boy. They never wanted to go back to Holland. I gave them my calendar and they loved it. Tomorrow they are leaving earlier than I to visit their daughter. Jasper offered to move my large luggage down to put into my car before they leave. They are so thoughtful. In the morning they even cleaned my car windows before I drive away. Christel helped me with laundry yesterday. They remind me of my own parents, especially Jasper of my father. They both grew up on a farm and worked hard all their life. They seem to always think of something to work on or take care of. It is seldom to meet a young man of this quality any more. Is it just a gone era?

Leonie wrote to me and said it would not be a problem for me to return to her place. They have that man under control. He would not even know that I will return tomorrow. I do not want to cause any more trouble for her. She said they had a big fight a couple of days ago.



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