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Bush dog

Western Captonian snapshots : De Hoop Nature Reserve and along the coast

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xelas

Excellent timing as our DeHoop visit is coming closer by the day. The whales will probably not be around anymore but hopefully some flowers will remain. Also looking forward to the rest of your Western Cape drive & report.

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Bush dog

@xelas

 

I'm afraid the whales will already be gone but there might be more species in bloom in the fynbos.  Already, I wish you a safe and rewarding trip.  Beware of the snakes at De Hoop.

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Bush dog

The other important stop of this trip was the Walker bay Nature Reserve, between Hermanus and Gansbaai.  I stayed four full days (five nights) at Lagoon Lodge in The Mosaic private sanctuary near Stanford.  There are only five spacious chalets and the food is really excellent as well as the staff.  Several activities are on offer : walks, quad bike, excursions to the beach, boat on the lagoon.

 

Some pictures of a chalet (outside and inside).

 

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View of the Klein Rivier, from the chalet.

 

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The Kein Rivier lagoon, from the sky.

 

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I visited Hermanus and the coastal little towns.  Apart from the whale museum, Hermanus is not really exciting.  I also visited the beautiful Hemel-and-Aarde valley, known for its fine wines.

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xelas
1 hour ago, Bush dog said:

Beware of the snakes at De Hoop.

 

I will wear my ankle high hiking boots at all times. Any specific place to look for them?

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Bush dog

@xelas

 

I can count on the fingers of both hands the snakes I saw during my trips in Africa, thus just a few but at De Hoop, I saw two puff adders in three days, one crossing the path to the beach, just after the parking area, at Koppie Alleen and the other one, the main road.  

 

In the fynbos, snakes are in large numbers but it's so thick that you will only be allowed to walk on the paths and on the roads.  So, normally, there is no real danger at all but it's good to know it.  Enjoy your stay at De Hoop. 

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Bush dog

Some pictures taken around the lodge.

 

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Speckled mousebird.

 

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Fiscal Flycatchers.

 

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Cape canaries.

 

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Pin-tailed whydah.

 

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Cape weaver.

 

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And a caterpillar.

 

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Towlersonsafari

The lodge looks splendid @Bush dog

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Bush dog

@Towlersonsafari

 

It's indeed a nice lodge.  Each chalet is connected to the others and the dining/bar building by a boardwalk network.  It has been built under milkwood trees. 

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Bush dog

Out to sea to try to find the great white shark.

 

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While waiting for it, some shots of kelp seagulls, in flight, looking for some food.

 

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Eventually only some copper sharks appeared but no great white.

 

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It was said to me that, in the first part of the year, a couple of killer whales came in the area and they appeared to also be killer sharks.  As a consequence, all the great whites disappeared until the killer whales decided to move away.  Since then it’s not easy to see one.

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Bush dog

Whales at Pearly Beach.

 

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Flowers at Pearly Beach

 

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Kelp seagulls at Gansbaai.

 

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Cape cormorants at Gansbaai.

 

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Aerial pictures around Walker Bay.

 

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Sangeeta

All the photos are just stunning @Bush dog - thanks for sharing! Love the rhebok especially, and your bird’s eye view, from land, of the whales! Very cool.

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Bush dog

@Sangeeta

 

Thanks a lot for your kind words!

 

To close this topic, I would be remiss not to post some pictures of a place that pleasantly surprised me, the valley of Tulbagh.  I decided to go there to visit the Rijk's wine estate which produces, in my opinion, the best South African pinotage and one of the best chenin blanc.  I also discovered a charming little town, set in a mountain setting surrounded by vast expanses of land that mass tourism has not yet invaded, probably because the place is, off the beaten track, far enough, away from densely populated areas.

 

Old church museum.

 

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One of the tomb stones in the graveyard behind the old church.

 

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Old mailbox near the museum, obviously still in use.

 

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Houses dating from the first settlement along the old main street.

 

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Rijk’s wine estate.

 

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Rijk’s hotel and restaurant.

 

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Saronsberg wine estate.

 

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A last picture taken between Stellenbosch and Franschhoeck, from the top of the Helshoogte Road.

 

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End of the topic.  Thanks to everybody!

 

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TonyQ

Thank you for posting this. Beautiful photos throughout, both landscapes and wildlife.

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Peter Connan

Thanks to you.

 

Beautiful photos throughout!

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Bush dog

@TonyQ

@Peter Connan

 

Thank you to both of you!  It was a real pleasure.

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Treepol

@Bush dogthanks for this detailed De Hoop report. What a diverse place De Hoop is - bonteboks, proteas and whales to name just a few stars from your photos.

 

I enjoyed the photos from the wine region and have made a note for our 2018 visit, thanks again.

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Bush dog

@Treepol

 

Thanks a lot!  Happy to read that it might inspire you for your 2018 visit.

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Kitsafari

Thank you for such a lovely report on De Hoop and what a lovely place to go to. I was very encouraged by @michael-ibk's earlier report and now by yours. My sister is keen to experience a safari, and I'm looking at a rather tame experience for her (in 2020 though!) without the need for anti-malarial meds or vaccinations as she suffers from a lot of allergies to medications. De Hoop looks like a potential candidate with its flowers and ability to go on walks on our own.

 

On 12/11/2017 at 9:14 PM, Bush dog said:

@xelas

 

I'm afraid the whales will already be gone but there might be more species in bloom in the fynbos.  Already, I wish you a safe and rewarding trip.  Beware of the snakes at De Hoop.

 

but this caught my eye!! why the caution on snakes @Bush dog? are there loads of them?? i'm terrified of snakes.

Edited by Kitsafari

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Bush dog

@Kitsafari

 

Thanks a lot!

Fynbos is also known for its wide variety of reptiles and insects.  As for snakes, I do not know if there are loads of them but there are quite a few.  As proof, the signs along the roads signaling their presence asking to respect them.

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michael-ibk

@Kitsafari

 

As Mike says the fynbos vegetation is perfect for Snakes nut no need to go in there, just stay on the paths. And to make you feel better - I did not see a single snake in De Hoop.

Edited by michael-ibk

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