SA’s 5 most famous resident pets and animals

2015-09-03 13:46 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town – Nothing makes one feel as welcome as walking into a landmark in SA and being greeted by a friendly face. 

What’s even more reassuring, is being welcomed by a furry friend, right? 

These pets and famous animals are characterised by their friendly nature and service to the tourism industry in SA. 

We are forever indebted to them… 


Skabenga – King of The Oyster Box hotel in Umhlanga

This gangster-cat of Umhlanga has the luxury Oyster Box hotel revolving around his right paw. This top cat even has his own brew named after him and attracts many famous visitors to his abode. 

In May this year, Skabenga had the whole of KZN up in arms when he ran away from his seaside home. He must have gotten wind of a vet-appointment he had scheduled. A country-wide search was launched and luckily Skabenga was able to return to his life of luxury unharmed. 

SEE PICS: Help find Skabenga, the Oyster Box's famous feline

Trompie die Donkie of Babylonstoren 

Trompie is the baby donkey of Babylonstoren, born on May 29 this year. Although this foal is mere months old, he’s already stolen the heart of every visitor to the farm. 

A photo posted by Lizanne (@lvdmmmm) on

Trompie lives a placid farm life with his mom,  Lulu and grandmother, Meisiekind. 


READ: 5 Reasons to visit Babylonstoren


Able Seaman Just Nuisance in Simon’s Town

Just Nuisance was the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. He was a Great Dane who between 1939 and 1944 served at the Royal Navy shore establishment in Simon's Town.

JN died in 1944 at the age of seven years and was buried with full military honours.


Legend has it that this loving Great Dane took day trips by train to Cape Town with sailors. Despite the seamen's attempts to conceal him, the conductors would put him off the trains as soon as he was discovered. 

This didn’t startle JN, as he would wait for the next train, or walk to another station, where he would board the next train that came along. Amused travellers would occasionally offer to pay his fare.

Some people claim JN also helped get the sailors back from Cape Town after having too much to drink in Cape Town... what a legend.  

There is a statue of this Able Seaman in Simon’s Town. 

READ: 9 Budget staycations for every South African

A photo posted by @terrapura on




The Tortoises at The Vineyard Hotel

The Vineyard Hotel is home to 8 resident tortoises in total - quite often seen around the fountain or soaking up the sun on the hotel's lush lawn. 


These cool guys all have names, obviously. The Vineyard hotel says Gloria is perhaps the most famous of the lot. Sadly the other famous favourite, Wingtips passed away recently. Our condolences go out to close friends and family. 


Maddox, the majestic Percheron of the Overberg

This massive percheron has the temperament of a new born kitten, regardless of the fact that he stands almost 2m tall. 

Maddox is a working horse on Elgin Ridge farm in the Overberg, but loves entertaining young and old who come to visit him in his stable. 

Yeah for big horse kisses for everyone!

READ: Five first impressions of the Elgin Valley

Extra famous SA animal:

Karoo #MissingLion 


This big guy crawled into our hearts when he went missing from the Karoo National Park in June this year after being bullied by other territorial male lions in the park. During his three week prison break, this cool cat even managed to get the hashtag #missinglion trending in his name. 



We forgive poor Sylvester - as he was dubbed - for killing a few sheep here and there while he was out and hopes he’s living a better life in the Karoo now. 

SEE PICS: Missing lion airlifted back to Karoo Park



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