South Africa-Western Coast

Cape Town, South Africa…a long way from California (especially with the re-routes taken to circumvent Hurricane Sandy).  A country as big as the entire US west of the Rocky Mountains and with at least as much diversity.  Here, in Cape Town in the shadow of Table Mountain, we began our tour covering an area about the size of California from coast to desert to savannah, focusing on photography of the varied wildlife species.  So many species…so many clicks of the camera (close to 10,000 in 15 days).  This will be the first in a series as I go through and edit/delete/file.

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The Cape of Good Hope is a headland in South Africa, near Cape Town, traditionally regarded as marking the turning point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The Cape of Good Hope was first rounded by Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, who named it “Cape of Storms” (Cabo das Tormentas).  Bucking the winds there, I could see why he named it that.

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Fynbos, meaning “fine bush” are the most common category of plant life found here and many of the species are unique to the Cape peninsula.

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Bonteboks, once reduced to about 30 animals, are recovering and are native to the fynbos at the cape.

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Cape sugarbirds, double-collared and orange-breasted sunbirds, Cape eagle owls, and Cape Canaries…so many birds.

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African penguins, an endangered species.  These are in a thriving colony at Boulders beach and now increasing in several other areas.

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Mongooses try to sneak in and steal a chick (but this one had caught a lizard).

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Up the west coast to Lambert’s Bay we visited a Cape gannet colony and the rocky coast.

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The beaches here are littered with mussel shells over a foot deep.

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Next time…The Karoo

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