Sunday, June 17, 2018

Karibu - Cape Town, South Africa

Our first meal in Cape Town was at Karibu on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. We took Uber to and from our hotel. I'd scoped out restaurants before-hand and knew that Karibu offered a variety of game meats. 

The rainbow platter was three types of carpaccio, in thin round slices, with a variety of sauces streaked down the side of the plate and with a mango wedge. Carpaccio is raw meat, sliced thinly or pounded thin. Crocodile, white, transparent and in the center, was by far the best. Surprisingly flavorful.  Ostrich, left, and springbok, right, had more powerful, but unusual flavors. Ostrich was better than springbok. 
Ostrich, crocodile and springbok carpaccio. 
The safari platter was a whole smorgasboard of meats. At left were kudu, impala and springbok steaks. At right was an ostrich steak, and in the middle, underneath the pile, was a beef rump steak, with venison cheese sausage and venison boerewors sausage on top. 
At left: kudu, springbok and impala. At right, ostrich. 
When the platter came out we asked our waiter, Emmerson, which was which on the left side. He said he didn't know, but the chef told him, the kudu will be toughest, the sprinbok will be grainy and the impala will be most tender. He was right. I think the kudu could have been more rare and would have been better (I had it more rare later on our trip and liked it a lot). The impala, which was most rare, was the best. Cut like butter. The springbok was also very good. 
The kudu, impala and springbok cut in half to reveal the inner cooking. I learned from eating game meat on the trip that it needs to be cooked like seared ahi - seared on the outside and virtually raw in the middle. 
The ostrich was very rare and very wonderful. It was almost like eating flaky fish. 
Note how rare the ostrich is. 
Boerworse is a type of sausage that originated in South Africa. It is made from at least 90% coarsely minced meat, in this case venison, and up to 10% spices. No more than 30% of the meat can be fat. Spices can include coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.  
The boerwors is to the left and the cheese sausage to the right. I like fattier sausage. 
Very secondary to all of the above was garlic mashed potatoes, salad, beets,etc. 

This was one of my favorite meals of the trip. The ostrich and impala were really outstanding, the springbok was close and the kudu lagging behind. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Red-Crested Korhaan

The red-crested korhaan, also known as the red-crested bustard, is found in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Angola and Mozambique. 
It has distinctive "v" shaped markings. The red crest is only on males and only visible in courting. See this video for remarkable footage of a mating display. We saw a female. She has a black belly, but the male has more black on its head and other places. 
I find remarkably little about this bird on-line. We saw only one, in Hwange NP in Zimbabwe. Our safari vehicle was going down a dirt road and then pulled over to allow us a look. We only looked quickly, then continued on. 

Friday, June 15, 2018


The steenbok, sometimes called the steinbuck or steinbok, is a small antelope, only 16 to 24 inches in height at the shoulder, with an orangish coat. It has a white underside, chin, throat, and ring around the eye and a black nose and round scent gland in front of the eye. The male has straight, parallel horns, from 3 to 7 1/2 inches long. It has a very short tail, only 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. 
We only saw one steenbok. It was on our way out of Hwange NP in Zimbabwe. It ran in front of our vehicle and then hid in the bushes. 

They are found in two distinct areas in Africa. One area is Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa. The other area is in Southern Africa, including Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa. 

Very small tail. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Northern Black Korhaan

The northern black korhaan is also known as the white-quilled bustard and is a member of the bustard family. It is found in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho. We saw them on two occasions, both in Etosha NP in northwestern Namibia. 
Northern black korhaan 
It primarily eats insects such as termites, ants and beetles, but also eats seeds. It prefers heavily grazed areas with sparse ground cover. 
The male, which we have photos of, has yellow legs; a reddish-pink bill with a light-black tip; a black under-belly, breast, neck and head; white patches behind the eye, down the shoulder, on the outer wings and a whitish-black cap. The back and visible wings have black and white striped feathers. 

The female is a brown-tan, without all of the white and black, yellow legs and a more muted pink bill. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Southwestern Black Rhinoceros

There are two species of rhino in Africa: the white or square-lipped rhino; and the black or hook-lipped rhino. I've previously blogged on the southern subspecies of the white rhino which we saw in Kenya. The black rhino is native to eastern and southern Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. There are eight subspecies of the black rhino, three of which are now extinct. 
This black rhino was at the Okaukuejo water hole in Etosha at about 9:30 p.m. along with three giraffes and some zebras.  
While visiting Etosha NP in northwestern Namibia we encountered the Southwestern black rhino, a small subspecies adapted to survival in the desert. It was originally found in northwestern Namibia and southwestern Angola, but is now only found in wildlife reserves in northwestern Namibia. 
I saw four black rhinos at one time at Okaukuejo. There are two on the opposite side of the water hole although the clarity of the picture is not great. These photos were taken without a tripod.  
Two black rhinos at Okaukuejo, with the reflection of the back rhino showing in the water and a group of giraffes and zebras coming in in the background. We talked to a couple from Switzerland who also saw four rhinos at the water hole at Halili Camp. 
It is smaller than the white rhino and has two horns on the skull made of keratin, the larger horn in the front. It has a pointed and prehensile upper lip, used to grasp leaves and twigs in grazing, while the white rhino has square lips used to eat grass in browsing.  
This black rhino was off the main road northeast of the Rietfontein water hole and before the turnoff to Halili. It is the only one we saw during the day. We did see another one away from a water hole on an evening game drive that evening outside Halili. I'm assuming the front horn may have been removed by game managers to reduce the risk of poaching. 
The black rhino is extremely aggressive had has the highest rate of mortality from combat of any mammal, about 50% for males and 30% for females. They are very fast, reaching speeds of 34 miles per hour. 
A head-on view of the same black rhino. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

African Jacana

The African jacana is also known as the "lilytrotter" because it walks on top of water lilies and other vegetation with its long toes. 
Note the large toes on the foot pulled up out of the water. 
They have chestnut underparts; black wingtips, crown, rear neck and eye stripe; a light-blue bill with a coot-like upper shield; gray legs and toes; and white neck and upper chest turning into a golden yellow. 
The light blue bill and shield and golden-yellow upper chest are visible. 
They feed on insects floating on top of the vegetation on the water, or the water itself. It is found in wetlands throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. 
This is not a great picture, but it shows the habitat of grasses inundated with water and lily pads. 
We saw them in the Okavanga Delta of Botswana while we were in a motor boat on a river. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

African Fish Eagle

The cry of the African fish eagle has been described as the "sound of Africa" (hear and see it here). It is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and is the national bird of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Sudan. 
We saw it on several occasions, but our best views were in the Okavanga Delta of Botswana. It has a striking resemblance to the Bald Eagle of North America. 

The head, breast and tail is white, except for the face which is featherless and yellow. The eyes are dark brown and the beak is yellow with a black tip. Its body is mostly brown with black wings. 

It mainly eats fish which it snatches out of the water with its powerful talons.