Down Memory Lane: Still Inside Africa

Many sightings of wildebeest, prancing zebras and pronking antelope later, we exited Kruger.

 

 

A number of breathtaking sights confronted us as we sped towards Pretoria for the night, before our backpacking group split up. Some heading for Johannesburg, and some of us for Cape Town.

The drive through Pretoria threw up a surprise in the form of the Union Building. Also designed by Sir Herbert Baker, architect of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the similarities between the two powerhouses of political force were unmistakable.

During my two weeks in Cape Town, even though food and wine were top priority, I gave myself a good look-see around and beyond city limits. There was that excursion to Cape of Good Hope. For long, merely a geographical location you marked on maps for school-work. Standing at the very end of the inhabited world one fine day is something else altogether!

Not much further from this point lies a sheltered beach commonly known as Boulders Bay. This is one of two mainland locations that are home to African penguins, who usually inhabit islands. Friendly enough, they permit humans to within a couple of feet of themselves but their loud, ass-like braying keeps most creatures at bay.

Spotted this lonely ostrich enjoying the sunset as we returned through the Cape Of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The nature park is home to some of the most beautiful species of the protea flower growing wild. The national weed, as some locals will indulgently call it.

Another water creature to inhabit the southern coast of Africa is the seal. A short touristy boat ride from Hout Bay brings you to a tiny isle called Duiker Island, completely over-run by thousands of Cape Fur Seals. Playful and noisy, they amazed us by mimicking our movements as we rushed around the boat snapping their colony.

 

 

 

Yet another time, it was land-based whale watching at Hermanus, a narrow coastal town also described as the Riviera of the South. Southern Right Whales begin arriving in May to mate and calve and can be seen cruising in the shallow coves. Their arrival peaks in October, tailing off in December, which is when yours truly found herself there. Believe it or not, I did glimpse a couple cavorting in the waters, but they were too swift for my photographic skills.

Somewhere in the blue of the water, in the image on the left, is a tiny black speck. That’s my whale πŸ˜‰

I wouldn’t bother squinting needlessly though as I share one last, albeit endearing, image from inside Africa. Of an animal I braced myself to get real up close and personal with. Folks, I present to you, the cheetah.

9 comments

  • ‘Pronking’. Interesting word, never encountered it earlier!

    Your pictures are nice and do describe the beauty well.

    The description of whales, seals and penguins reminded me of New Zealand. All these are seen there too. Maybe because it is roughly the same latitude and in the southern hemisphere…?

    • ‘Pronking’ is an Afrikaans phrase describing the act of leaping into the air by male sprinboks (and most gazelles). They do so in order to show off to mates as well as to ward off predators.

      Yes, I would think the similarity in land and aqua life would have a lot to do with the geographical location. And, I must concede those pictures are really very inviting. Am tempted to return to the southern hemisphere πŸ™‚

  • Puneet I really really envy you so much you been to such lovely plces I WANT TO GO TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO πŸ™‚

  • Wow! You’ve been to great places!You have a lovely blog! Keep writing!!

  • Cape of Good Hope has always fascinated me as the southern most part of Africa and the place that countless ships crossed in colonizing our part of the world… and what a nice word “Good Hope” perhaps because sea travel was so uncertain those days…

    Yes I am slow, but Puneet I read and enjoy every word of what you write.

    Keep travelling and keep writing.

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