All this talk about animals, reminds me that I still haven’t told you about the wildlife Mr F and I saw when we in South Africa earlier this year…
Full disclosure, you won’t be seeing the big five here ie. lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo, because we didn’t go to the Kruger National Park on this trip.
I’ll begin by showing you something as ordinary as a spider web.
The beauty, complexity, and enormous size of these webs reminded us that we really were hiking in Africa.
We’ve all seen penguins in the zoo swimming in their small pools, but have you ever swum with them on the beach down the road from the house?
I’ve never seen so many in one place.
A large colony of African Penguins live at Boulders Beach, a sheltered cove between Simonstown and Cape Point.
Previously called The Jackass Penguin because of their donkey like braying, there are now only about 150,000 African Penguins (compared to 1.5-million in 1910).
There are about 3,000 birds at the Boulders Beach Colony, which began with two breeding pairs in 1982.
They may look cute, but they have very sharp beaks and can cause serious injury if they bite.
Penguins are monogamous and the life-long partners take turns incubating the eggs and feedings their young.
When I saw these two penguins snuggling up together, I thought of my mom’s expression ‘happy together‘.
Have you ever seen a Baboon walking about, not in the zoo?
Early one morning Mr F saw a troop of baboons walking on the ridge above our cabin at the Forest Creek Lodge, several hours north east of Johannesburg.
He stared and they stared back.
I missed it. Sleeping in I was..
The Chacma Baboon is a protected species in the Cape Peninsula.
In the wild they eat fruit, roots, honey, bulbs, insects, but as the new housing developments have encroached on their home territory they have learned to break into houses, open the refrigerators, and with their nimble fingers can “unzip, unclip and rip open” almost anything ….
There are signs at picnic spots and along the roads, warning drivers that baboons are dangerous wild animals, reminders to keep the windows closed and the doors locked if you see them, and to never leave a bag in the car because in their search for food some of them have learned to open car doors. In other words, picnics are “Verboten“!
Even though the rental unit where we stayed [in Simonstown] was on the second floor, and there are special baboon “burglar bars” on the windows
(which you can see in the photo on the left),
there were strict instructions to only leave the windows open a crack, and not to put fruit on the window sill.
The owners, who live downstairs, told us they’d had baboons break in a couple of times, and they shuddered as they recounted the mess of peanut butter, jam, granola, eggs, and turds smeared all over the walls, floor, table and beds…
There are about 80 baboons in four troops in the Simonstown area, and the wildlife management authorities of the Table Mountain National Park and Cape Nature have been working hard to reduce negative human-baboon interactions.
I was relieved to learn that they haven’t had any “baboon break-ins” for about a year.
Have you ever seen Guinea Fowl?
We met these two at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.
Thank you Mahalia for telling us to go there, and Suzy for being the best tour guide!
We never really caught up on our missed sleep in South Africa, because of this harmless looking bird, the Hadeda.
When the Hadedas start their “haa-haa-haa- de-dah” calls around 5:30 a.m., it’s impossible to sleep in.
(Click this link to watch a video of the Hadeda from an earlier post.)
I haven’t told you about the dassies jumping on the rocks at Cape Point, or the Sacred Ibis at the lake, but this is long enough.
If you’re still with me here’s a slide show…