One doesn't always associate Cape Town with wildlife. Most commonly when nature is discussed, flowers get the nod long before fauna. Looking around Cape Town and surrounds I am often astounded by the diversity of wildlife we actually possess.
July to November sees the largest of the mammals coming to visit. Southern Right Whales visit to give birth and mate as well as clean off a layer of skin on the rocks before making the long swim back to the feeding grounds in the Southern Oceans. Sightings of these magnificent mammals occur from Namibia to Durban with Hermanus being given the title of 'best land based Whale Watching' in the world.
Only living in the Southern Hemisphere are Penguins. The variety near Cape Town is 'African Penguins' otherwise known as Jackass Penguins due to the donkey noise the male produces. Colonies around Cape Town include Boulders Beach and Stony Point at Betty's Bay.
Cape Fur Seals are common in the cold waters of the Benguela Current. These animals can grow in excess of 300kg. Named after the fine fur found on their bodies. They feed on the schools of pilchards that abound in the nutrient rich waters of the Southern Atlantic. A popular trip is done at Hout Bay Harbour and lasts about 45 minutes.
Where there are seals there are sharks. Big ones, Great White Sharks. Some have been measured at over 6m in length and 2000kg. Now a protected species, people have swapped rods and reels for going in cages with cameras. Shark Cage Diving has become a popular activity. Gans Bay and Seal Island in False Bay are well known spots.
For the past number of years a small but vibrant safari industry has grown up near Cape Town.
Three Game Reserves in particular have been making their mark in this market - Aquila Private Game Reserve, Inverdoorn and Fairy Glen have been offering day safaris to visitors to Cape Town a glimpse of the African Big 5 for some years now.
The Safari market has been dominated by the northern parks (Kruger etc) for many years now and in recent years we have seen the growth of the Eastern Cape Safari Reserves surrounding the Addo Elephant Park
Make no mistake these Reserves deserve all the accolades the have gathered over the years. The local Safari Reserves have found a niche here in the Cape Town area servicing those visitors who may not have the time or desire to travel on safari, but wish to experience a day seeing the wild of Africa.
On this site we use Aquila Private Game Reserve as host for our Cape Town Day Safari the itinerary can be found here
The Himalayan Tahrs or mountain goats were thought to have been completely culled in 2004 from the slopes of Table Mountain.
Well these goats are much better at surviving then one would think. A handful of the goats were seen around the Platteklip Gorge area..........
The *Southern Right Whale *(Eubalaena australis) is a baleen whale, one of three species classified as the Right Whale belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Around 7,500 Southern Right Whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere........