The Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to helping injured and displaced wolves, and providing education to the general public of the plight of these amazing wild and mysterious creatures. The grounds are divided into fenced compounds for each different species of wolf, as well as a reception and presentation area. We briefly chatted with the staff and then watched a video presentation on the role of the sanctuary and how it protects as well as educates others in regard to wolves.
Once the presentation was over the excitement of seeing the wolves over took us, as we all ventured out to the different compounds to see the various packs of wolves. I was taken aback at how domesticated the wolves looked initially, as well as how they interacted with each other much like what you would see in an unleashed dog run. I had my 400mm Prime lens so I started to take photographs of the wolves, when a little Chihuahua came over barking away on our side of the fence, the pack of wolves instantly changed, all of them focused on the potential little snack just outside the fence. The all worked together eventually working their way over to the area where the brave little dog stood barking away, at least the little guy wisely kept a good distance from the fence! It was clear to me in that moment that these wild animals were certainly not your average dog, and that appearances can be deceiving. That is how crystal clear it was when I observed them change to wolf pack behaviour!
The little Chihuahua eventually got bored with barking at the wolves and instead took a liking to Johann who carried him (or her) around like a little baby! Made me laugh! I truly enjoyed seeing these very intelligent pack creatures, and how well they were taken care of by the Wolf Sanctuary staff, who without a doubt love each and every wolf. We returned to the reception area with a wonderful appreciation for wolves and the staff who care for them, so a group photo was in order!!!! It occurred to me as we were driving off that kindness comes in many forms, in this instance it was human kindness towards the wolves who need protection, a worthy and fulfilling journey for each member of the staff. Further proof to me that kindness counts in so many ways.
Our next incredible destination was Jefferies Bay, a surfer’s paradise with wonderful sandy beaches mixed with windswept rocks! Johann had planned the day so it would be a short ride, giving us most of the day to wander around Jefferies Bay and relax on the ground of our hotel at the Beach Cabanas only yards from the beach!
Neale, Anthony, Don, Cris and I walked the whole length of the Jefferies Bay Beach, stopping to have a quick bite to each while watching people splash in the waves from the Indian Ocean. As we wandered back to the Beach Cabanas the sun was starting to set in the Northwest, reminding me instantly that I was in South Africa!
Neale was missing his girlfriend Nina, and because we had limited time and internet access on the trip he wanted to make sure he had time to chat with her via Skype. Interestingly enough there was a restaurant in Jefferies Bay by the same name, and it was clear we had to go there for dinner! We all walked in the dark to “Nina’s” restaurant where we laughed and chatted about our South African Adventures so far! The only camera I had with me was my point and shoot, and was able to get a shot of Neale in the dark in front of the Nina sign…the guy was definitely in love!
We eventually made our way back to our rooms at the Beach Cabanas and despite being excited about the next day’s adventure, I went to sleep almost instantly once my head hit the pillow!