We headed off on another little jaunt down to the reserve this past weekend, and we were once again treated to some exceptional wildlife sightings and experiences…
The silence, beauty and diversity is so dazzling in this place – I have to keep pinching myself as I very quickly forget that we are not far from the suburban sprawl of Cape Town.
The morning was warm and as we drove down towards Olifantsbos (a favoured haunt), I mentioned to the company (two kids, one adult) that we would almost certainly see a snake. I then went on to say “I think we are going to see a really big fat Puffy….quite soon”.
I think I am a witch.
My son is convinced of this fact (and my husband too, for that matter).
I say that because literally a minute after this utterance, I slowed the car down and we watched as a very large, sleek, powerful Puffadder cruised effortlessly across the road before us. He raised his head in a strange defensive position (something I have not seen before) and then slunk off into the bushes. What a specimen!
I very often have this bizarre intuition when it comes to serpents, and when I feel that I am about to see one, I generally do. So it was a little unnerving to have made my gut-feel public and to then have it confirmed. However….
We boulder hopped along the coastline as far as the Thomas Tucker ship wreck. Here we stumbled across a massive herd of Eland – lovely to get so close to these massive creatures. And so odd to see them in a coastal context.
The slightly sulphurous smell of kelp mixed with sea salt and ozone, the windless heat of the sea-reflected-sun, the rhythmic pounding of the waves and the tink-tink of the Oystercatchers….it’s a delicious combination.
We came across a large baboon family – happily munch-crunching their way through the sour figs, restios and other glorious fynbos tit-bits around them. One large male lay sprawled, legs hanging over a rock as his partner sat and meticulously groomed him. They are so wonderful to watch. Particularly when you know how persecuted they are in the urban fringe where a tragic human/wildlife conflict is playing out. Here they are at ease, unaggressive. As it should be.
We saw armour-plated lizards, pollen saturated bees, tortoises, ostriches, baby seals and bontebok. We listened to frogs chanting in the vlei, and interpreted strange lines and tracks in the sand.
We ended the day with a sea swim on the other side of this little perfect little slice of the peninsula….two tired, sun-soaked happy kids bounding in the churning surf having sampled more wilderness treats than many of their peers in one day.
Now. I must be off. I have a broomstick to polish and a cauldron to stir…