R3.00 Wildlife in snow a worldwide hit
Graaff-reinet experienced a spellbinding bout of snow this past weekend.
People from far and wide travelled to marvel at the snow which had covered the town's surroundings in white and had fallen as near as 15 kilometres from the town.
In a rare occurrence, even the Valley of Desolation received a light dusting of snow.
Although many photos of residents and visitors playing in the snow were posted to social media this weekend, it was that of local wildlife that made international headlines after Kitty Viljoen's photographs of a herd of elephants and two giraffes enjoying the snow, swept across social media.
The BBC, the New York Post, Sky News as well as the Evening Standard in the United Kingdom reported on these breathtaking images, which were captured by Kitty on the Asantesana Private Game Reserve in the Sneeuberg Mountains near Graaff-reinet on Saturday afternoon.
According to Kitty, the last time the reserve has seen snow to this extent was in 2010.
“I have been amazed by the interest in these photos," said Kitty.
"Although the public might not be used to seeing photos of giraffes amid the snow, the animals are quite used to extreme weather conditions. Temperatures at the reserve drop to below -5 degrees celcius and go up to 40 degrees. The temperature at the time of the snow was 3 degrees."
"I hope these photos encourage people to visit the Eastern Cape and the Graaff-reinet area in particular,"concluded Kitty. A herd of elephants seen in the snow on a private game reserve near Graaff-reinet. Two giraffes captured in the snow. Photos: Kitty Viljoen