I was actually looking for a picture of my old dog, Jesse, when I came across these photos. The quality is not the greatest, since it was late afternoon, and these young colts from the bachelor herd were playing, but they are still good enough to share.

According to the folder name, these were taken back in November, 2008. More than likely, Marc and I were having another weekend away at my favourite getaway spot, Heia Safari Ranch. Although not the most wheelchair friendly of locations, they have made a concerted effort in ensuring our every visit was pleasant and relaxing. Each time we entered the ranch, I easily forgot the outside world. Being about an hour from Johannesburg, maybe less, it’s no wonder I call it my urban oasis.

Looking at these pictures, you are definitely not mistaken in thinking that the zebra from this bachelor herd are awfully close to the building. In fact, when you visit, you will also see springbok, impala and if you are lucky, even a giraffe or two. While these beautiful and gentle creatures are allowed to freely roam, interaction with them is strongly discouraged. Several signs are posted warning that the zebra kick and bite.

That does not stop you from getting fairly close with a camera and taking as many awesome shots as you like. The first time we went, I was nicknamed a Japanese tourist, just clicking away with my camera at every opportunity I got. It did not change after each visit and I have several hundred pictures to prove it.

Any time someone asks me for a place that they can go for a weekend to relax, this is the first place I can think of. Not only are you so close to nature, but the food and the service is excellent, the rates are reasonable, and Sundays, one is treated to a buffet lunch and a traditional dance.

What more reason do you need to add this to your list of “Places to see” next time you are in the Johannesburg area?