Up and Over - 31 October 2016
Up and Over
Continuing on from the part 1 in the Addo Elephant National Park, Kabouga wilderness with my Trogon experience down in the Afromontane Forest, the day wasn’t over yet. Keeping with the theme of Alan’s last Blog, a few more surprises were install for me.
We moved on, all of us a little dazed from the sighting, climbing out of the valley to some more amazing scenery dotted with possibly the most cycads I have ever seen. Some of them so big they must be hundreds of years old and oh the stories they could tell. There are two species of this ancient plant found here, and it is reassuring to see so many as unfortunately this is another species that is illegally poached and sold to the Asian market.We negotiated our way around each hairpin turn of the Bedrogfontein Pass towards the peak, vegetation changing into fynbos with beautiful flowering yellow and orange pincushions. Near the top we came across a herd of the shy mountain reedbuck, so well adapted to this high altitude habitat. They dashed away from the vehicle and we scaled right to the top where your breath is taken away by the most amazing spectacle of the Darlington Dam with the expanse of the Karoo behind it. One never expects to see such a large body of water with the contrasting semi-dessert surrounding it.
To complete the awe-inspiring scene the mountain reedbuck had beat us there and the impressive looking ram was protecting one of his ewes and her lamb, he gave out a few high-pitched alarm whistles that travelled in the wind to us.
We made our descent down the other side and found ourselves in nama-karoo biome where we had close sightings of the scarce Cape Mountain Zebra as they skilfully trod over the rocky terrain. Bumbling along towards the exit we spotted another surprise; a bushig! The robust shaggy pig powered its way up and over a hill. An animal I’ve only seen a few times in my life and mostly at night when they’re normally active.
As we passed through Noorsveld Angora goat farms homeward bound in the dusty glow of the sunset I was filled with gratification, thinking; ‘Man this is a special part of world, so close to home’.
This was really such a thrilling day of wonders out in real raw wilderness, such a gem as something that can be experienced in just in a day trip.
Words by Carmen Warmenhove
Photographs by Alan and Angelika