|04/03/2013 - 07:37|
Want to get away from it all? Dawn Kennedy discovers tranquillity – and Africa’s most dangerous animal – right in the middle of the city.
Whoever penned the famous phrase about the journey being more important than the destination had clearly never tried to cross Prince George Drive during rush hour to reach Rondevlei Nature Reserve. Hands sweating, gripping the steering wheel tightly, I beep with fury, cursing the rush hour, the apex of our cultural madness.
Battling through traffic, I fix my aim on Imvubu Island. Nothing signals tranquillity more than an island. The very word sounds like a sigh and makes me think of undisturbed peace. They say that no man is an island, but it’s on an island that we can feel most at one with ourselves. Perhaps, surrounded by water, we are reminded of our embryonic existence before entering the madness of this world.
|11/12/2012 - 15:54|
The black skimmer is a tern-like seabird that is native to the Americas. It breeds in North and South America. Northern populations usually winter in the warmer waters of the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, while the South American populations make only shorter movements in response to annual floods. The bird is known for “skimming” the water surface in low flight as it searches for food. read more
|23/09/2012 - 10:09|
Residents in the Cape Winelands are not only blessed with great wine and important historic architecture, but also with wild cats in their back yard.
The Boland Project camera trap survey was initiated in March 2010. It observes an area that covers 2000km², incorporating the Limietberg and Du Toit's Kloof mountains overlooking Paarl, the Jonkershoek mountains near Stellenbosch, the Hottentots-Holland Mountains in the Grabouw area, the Helderberg mountains of Somerset West and the Steenbras mountains above Gordon's Bay. So far, the project has identified 52 adult leopards. At least 11 leopards live in the Helderberg and Kogelberg reserves. Caracal (rooikat) and African wildcat (vaalboskat) are also seen in the area. read more
|28/05/2012 - 11:53|
I guess you could describe Jeremy Johnson as a downhill kind of guy, someone
who loves sliding down slopes. The champion surfer has a lesser-known passion
– snowboarding. Every year, Jeremy and other members of the Ski Club of South
Africa head towards the Matroosberg near Ceres which, at 2 249m, is the Western
Cape’s highest peak. read more
|28/05/2012 - 11:45|
“There are not many natural phenomena that have intrigued me as much as the auroras.
Not only for their intrinsic beauty, but for what I discover, while looking for them.” BERNARD FRANZ
Like that one time in arctic Tuktuyaktuk, home to a dozen Inuit families. After
some long nights of unyielding auroral observations, only nurtured by strong coffee
and thin slices of whale meat, I was initiated instead into a true wonderland right
underneath my very feet: accessed through ladders made of driftwood, we climbed
down into the permafrost, where walls covered in ice crystals – formed from people’s
moist breath – had been carved into a labyrinth of caves, which slowly revealed
the ghastly sight of a huge white beluga whale – frozen in time in this underground
natural fridge, it had supplied the very whale meat I had chewed for the past few days. read more
|15/03/2012 - 12:41|
When Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first sighted the Cape of Good Hope in 1497, he was met with the unusual sight of baboons foraging on the beach. Five centuries later, 021 tracks down a troop of Chacma baboons who still enjoy a marine diet. read more
|03/10/2011 - 18:14|
Taking a media group on a tour to visit the African penguins at Boulders Beach is one of the more subdued events in Justin Buchmann’s life. As a highly-trained antipoaching agent and an expert in wildlife capture, he’s got plenty of tales of derring-do in the bush – from the time that he fell off the back of a bakkie in Kruger when he was catching a giraffe and unwittingly walked past a pride of nine lionesses, to last night when he arrested two abalone poachers. read more
|01/06/2011 - 00:00|
Surely one of the great pleasures of life in the Cape is being able to feed an entire family, or group of friendS, with a huge Snoek bought for a few rand. Dawn Kennedy went to meet the fishermen from kalk bay who bring home the Snoek. It’s 2pm at Kalk Bay harbour and Kalkies’ second boat is emptying its catch for the day. there are few places where you will get a better sense of nature’s abundance. Slimy fish spew onto the concrete like silver coins. Women wearing overalls and Wellingtons haul the snoek, some of which reach up to their waists, onto stone slabs where they get gutting and cleaning. It’s visceral, bloody work and not for the squeamish. There something ancient about the scene. You can’t be in a hurry to buy fish. They can’t be caught to a schedule. Waiting around the harbour is part of the ritual. Frenzied schedules are forced aside as you slow down and smell the life aquatic. read more
|01/06/2011 - 00:00|
Discover a winter-flowering Cape Orchid:
Disperis capensis was described by the innovative Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus in 1760, from a specimen collected at the Cape in the late 17th century. This orchid is widespread in the Cape Floristic Region from the Matsikammaberg near Vanrhynsdorp, south through the Cederberg to the Cape Peninsula, and ranging eastwards to Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. It occurs from near sea-level to altitudes over 1700m. During the cold months of July and August, when flowering orchids may least be expected in the fynbos-covered mountains of the Cape Peninsula, these striking floral jewels are frequently seen. Often hooked into the restio reeds and fynbos shrubs alongside which they grow, variously coloured forms range from rosypurple or lilac to the more rare white, with the petal margins suffused in darker hues.
|01/06/2011 - 00:00|
Bernard Franz reflects on the changing relationship between whales and humans.
“It's WhalIng Season again!” As an indication of how our world can change fundamentally in a few lifetimes, this ancient collective cry to gather harpoons, sharp stonesor blubber tanks has given in to appreciation for one of the world’s largest animals. As only a handful of super-rich countries continue to slaughter whales commercially for reasons that make sense only to themselves, whales have become a symbol of intelligence and, strikingly, of frailty. And with that, at last, humanity has begun to really care for them.
|01/06/2011 - 00:00|
Jerome Davis describes, in loving detail, his favourite winter hike.
All through the scorching summer, the seeds, bulbs and root balls of the fynbos hide from the sun, underground, waiting for the winter rains. it starts gently, with mist condensing on cool rocks, clouds licking mountaintops; then the drizzle starts and soaks through the soil that sucks it in and feeds it down to the sleeping life beneath. Lichens swell out from dead flat grey to vibrant orange, red and green, splashing the rocks with abstract graffiti. Minute ferns unfurl from cracks, the fat tips of bulbous leaves burst through the wet sand crowded with nodding flowers. This reawakening marks the start of the best season for walking in cape town – by far. read more
|15/10/2010 - 00:00|
Cape Town is rated the world’s most biologically diverse city and since 2010 is the international year of biodiversity, it seemed like a good time to take a tour around the city’s mountain to appreciate its natural riches.
In the Company Gardens (that may soon become the city’s third UNESCO world heritage site) grows a pear tree, fenced with Victorian cast-iron posts and planted in 1652 by the fi rst Cape governor, Jan van Riebeeck. To some, it symbolises colonialism; to others, it’s a reminder of early globalisation.