Tag Archives: game

Posberg Private Nature Reserve – Flower Walk

Posberg Private Nature Reserve 16 Sept 2011

Hearing that the flowers on the West Coast were wonderful this year we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather on Friday to head of to Posberg. There have been good rains in the area this year, as well as further up in the Clanwilliam and Namaqualand, but this is the closest toCape Townone can go to get the real wild flower experience.

Posberg is a private nature reserve within the boundaries of theWest CoastNational Parkand managed by SANParks. It is only open to visitors in the flower season of August and September each year. It has an extensive network of roads for drivers, but you only get the true benefit of the beauty of the flower by walking. They only allow 20 hikers on the day route, so it is advisable to get there early, particularly if you are going on weekends. 

The nature reserve is set on a peninsula that sometimes can leave one a bit disorientated, with the sea on one side and the Langebaan Lagoon, that links with the sea, on the other. It almost feels like being on an island and leaves you wondering how you got there. There is really has a bit of everything from crashing waves and beaches on the one side to still calm waters on the other, animals, rock formations and of course – flower. The walks are easy, with only one short climb on the day route (14km) that we were doing. There is also an overnight route that is booked up well in advance. For this you would need to carry your own tent. There is a small variety of game, with Zebra, Eland, Bontebok and Kudu being the most prominent.

The flowers did not dissappoint, with carpets of white and blue stretching across the flat areas, punctuated by patches of orange. This is the macro view however and there are many more beautiful flowers would simply miss if you don’t get out on the walking paths. The bright orange and white of the daisies is the most dominant, but there are the pinks of the Oxalis, the reds and blues of the Gladioli, the very prominent blue irises and the yellow, orange and blue of the vygies. There are of course many others and it is very rewarding to spend a day of easy walking through this magnificent Park.

At this time of the year one needs to keep a good look out for snakes – we came pretty close to stepping on a puff adder and were lucky enough to be able to get a photograph before it slithered fairly slowly away. There are also masses of tortoises and if you look at the photographs you will see a sequence of a fight between two males, with the one tipping the other over on to his back and then biting his legs every time he tried to right himself. Needless to say, he was rescued by the interfering humans.

The day hike finishes with a short walk along the beach and back along the road to the car park. All in all a very satisfying days outing, but I did feel sorry for those who can only do it from a vehicle.

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A Safari close to Cape Town

Safari close to Cape Town

This one calls for an early start. The Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve is situated a 230 km drive from Cape Town, on the edge of the semi-desert Karoo. The route includes some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the Western Cape, winding past towering peaks, through vineyard covered valleys and over passes originally constructed over 150 years ago, breaching the barrier to the hinterland. The clear morning air highlights the crags and crevices, giving them a daunting and impregnable presence.

After leaving Ceres, the tar road ends, replaced with a good gravel surface as the hills fall behind. The drier, flatter scrubland stretches out ahead. The turnoff to the reserve appears suddenly and within minutes you are being welcomed by enthusiastic staff, clearly ready to make sure you have a good experience. It may be a good idea to pack a costume as quick dip in the sparkling pool might be welcome after the hot drive. Breakfast is served on the buffet, with Cape Bunting and Cape Canary hovering in the trees behind, ready to peck on the muesli, toast, croissants and fruit on the table as soon as there is no one to chase them away.

Soon after breakfast, the game drive vehicles depart. The rangers have already done an early morning drive and have a good idea of where the game can be seen. First stop is the cheetah enclosure – part of the reserves cheetah breading program (read more http://bit.ly/4NtQ4b). It is difficult to believe that these beautiful, but lazy looking cats can accelerate up to 120 km per hour in less than 60 seconds.

There is open scrubland and bush, herds of eland and springbok are plentiful. More elusive on the day are other antelope such as the blesbok, red lachwe, kudu and impala. The ranger tells excitedly of a leopard kill nearby, obviously made the night before . Unfortunate for the zebra, but this is good as the threatened cape mountain leopard are indigenous to the area and it a step towards restoring the natural balance.

In the shadows of the bush the striped shape of a zebra appears, sheltering from the harsh sun. As the vehicle moves closer the herd materializes and then moves off, deeper into the bush. The rhino teases with views of tracks, but they are hiding in there somewhere. Blesbok, buffalo and black wildebeest show themselves at the water point and one of the hippo shows it’s head above the water before disappearing with a mouth full of something growing on the surface. A few minutes later the dark outline reappears for the next mouthful.

The elegant giraffe poke their heads above the trees and two walk arrogantly across the open veld in front of the vehicle, before breaking into a slow gallop to join the rest of the herd. On to the lion enclosure, where three lion, rescued from a ‘canned lion hunting’ facility (now illegal), spend their days at leisure. Having been born and reared in captivity these lion can never be released back on to the wild.

Back to the lodge for lunch – laid out under the trees. This feels fairly colonial, with attentive staff and colorful table settings. The lunch is simple but tasty, chicken casserole with fresh salads and fruit salad for dessert – an excellent finish to good morning. There is time to relax and have a quick dip in the pool before heading back to Cape Town.

Of course there is the option of staying overnight and doing an evening and morning game drive. 

See itinerary details Cape Town – Day Game Safari

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