De Hoop Nature Reserve is probably best known for the opportunity it offers for on-land whale watching. Ilona Kolbe took a day trip recently, and took some photgraphs that show other pleasures in this diverse region.
The reserve doesn’t feature the “Big 5”, which makes it an extra special space for walkers, joggers and cyclists who appreciate the outdooors and are careful about stepping on the rare fynbos and other flora in park.
Booking or planning for quieter times pays off.
Ilona took her daytrip on a Thursday, hoping that the park might be quiet. It was, though there were more visitors than expected. This never spoilt the trip.
Through the Lens
Photographs © Ilona Kolba, used with kind permission
Ilona spotted many babies in reserve, a sign that the habitat is well balanced, but they are fun to watch, too.
Primates groomed themselves by an emerald algae green pool, while some of the youngsters foraged. A baby bontebok was less adventurous and stayed close to its mother.
Out and About
Eland near the water reminded the photographer of Namibia (except for the water), a country she loves dearly.
The seascape with the building on the left shows part of the reserve. De Hoop stretches 5kms out into the sea.
My husband often says that you will never see a thin zebra, apparantly this applies to the Cape mountain zebra, too. The browner coloured one in the photograph is the baby.
The ostrich reminds me that there are many ways to view our world. A helpful tip for me, while I hone my skills – Dodging the news might become a new art form!
The vlei shows the diversity and unique beauty of the area.
Hoopoe are sometimes (according to the RSPB) seen in spring in the UK – when they overshoot their migration. I haven’t spotted one yet, but you never know. The one pictured in the tree is a real beauty.
The pilot training manoeuvres in the sky never disrupted the birds synchonised in their water sweeps, nor the little bird sitting on the wooden poles welcoming visitors at the gate.
Eland are abundant, and the herds are big and healthy. The youngster eating happily explains why – Healthy greens on demand.
The hammerhead heron is “min gepla” (or largely untroubled) by the huge beasts around him or her.
A male ostrich is babysitting. If you look closely you can see the young ones under his feet. Despite their camouflage, they are there, need protecting, and know where they are best off.
Finally, The picture of the vista is the scene on entering the reserve.