28 February 2012 by Kate Turkington

Prepare to be dazzled

Visitors to our shores have a fascination with the zebra – each with its unique pattern of black and white stripes.

I’m lucky enough to visit our national parks on a fairly frequent basis and when I’m with visitors to South Africa, other than the Big 5, the animal that’s high on nearly everybody’s wish list is the iconic zebra. Everybody it seems, wants to see a zebra.

Each animal has its own pattern of black and white stripes and when a baby zebra is born it must stay with its mother until her unique pattern has firmly imprinted on the foal so that it will never get lost.

The animal you’re most likely to see is Burchell’s zebra, named for the famous 19th-century English explorer who travelled almost 7 000km in South Africa in his search for animals and plants to describe.

But set your sights on the endangered Cape mountain zebra which is even more striking than its more familiar cousin. You’ll find over 500 of them in the Karoo National Park just outside Beaufort West - the largest population in the world.

Prepare to be dazzled.

www.sanparks.org

Category: Adventure, Wildlife

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