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Walk in Africa Blog - Capturing the Spirit of Africa and Nature
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24 Jun

Cape Fur Seals and Great White Sharks

In False Bay, not far from Cape Town city lies a small island called Seal Island, which is home to about 64,000 Cape Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus). The pups are born in early November and are dependent on their mother's milk for 9 months, during which time they build up enormous fat reserves to sustain them when they take to the sea and have to learn to feed for themselves.     Around about now is the time that theses young inexperienced seals begin to leave the island on feeding forays. And this...

17 Jun

Beautiful Cape Winter Days

We have had the most beautiful warm sunny days in the midst of a wet winter. Since I will soon be departing on an exciting safari I'm fitting-in as many walks with my furry Belgian friends as possible before my not-so-furry Belgian friends (especially Jan) drag me off on safari.   This time of year heralds the start of the flowering season in The Cape (although there are ALWAYS beautiful flowers out here). One of the first flowers to appear is Chasmanthe floribunda, the Cobra Lily or Pimpiempie. In my first year living...

17 Jun

Really bad parking

While on a walking tour recently with a regular group from Russia we came across this scene. Some visitors to Cape Point Nature Reserve were VERY fortunate. Somehow their motor car had left the road and travelled about 35 metres off the road toward the cliffs that drop to Smitswinkel Bay. Miraculously the vehicle did not roll, was barely damaged and somehow stopped just a short distance from the cliffs which drop vertically to the ocean about 200 metres below. ...

3 Jun

Musth Elephant in Okavango

I recently returned from yet another wonderful safari in Botswana with a special couple. On one of our drives we came around a bend in the road in the midst of a beautiful mopane forest and encountered this bull elephant in musth.   Musth is a hormonal condition exhibited by male elephants once a year after they have reached sexual maturity. It is associated with increased sexual activity and is recognised by three visual cues. A bull elephant in musth has a copious (strong smelling) secretion from his temporal gland, his penis...

16 May

Lion Passion

  The safari season is upon us again and that makes me shiver with excitement. As an introduction to the season I dug up my favourite photo from last year. Last year while on a safari deep in the central Kalahari we came across a pair of mating lions. When the female is sexually receptive lions will mate every 20 to 40 minutes for several days. They do not hunt or eat during this time and do not move very far. They were close to our camp and as a result we had...

8 May

Into the Big Blue

I promised not to post any more about Great White Sharks, but I didn't say anything about Mako Sharks. Earlier this week I was privileged to do another ocean trip with my friends Chris & Monique Fallows, and it turned-out to be an absolutely incredible experience. It's impossible to decide what was the highlight of the trip. How does one choose between seeing albatrosses, Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Common Dolphins or diving with Bottlenose Dolphins,  False Killer Whales, Mako Shark or Blue Shark? Since I didn't have my camera with me, Chris kindly provided...

29 Apr

Dental Floss for Great White Sharks

Normally I try to avoid posting two consecutive posts about the same subject, but Pat Verbraecken sent me this incredible photograph that he took on our recent trip with Chris Fallows and I couldn't resist but show it to everyone. I've seen some wonderful photos of Great White Sharks and I've even taken some pretty mediocre photos of them myself, but I've never seen a picture like this. Great White Sharks amaze some people and they instill fear in others but no-one is neutral about them. The sentiments all revolve around...

22 Apr

Great Whites

Just the other day I had the good fortune to spend the day with two "great whites" - fellow adventurer Patrick Verbraecken and fellow "great guide" Chris Fallows. [caption id="attachment_2325" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Chris, Steve & Patrick[/caption] Chris was guiding us off Gansbaai taking us to see some other "Great Whites". [caption id="attachment_2328" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Great White Shark[/caption] Great White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are wonderful animals. They are one of the apex predators of the oceans reaching upwards of 6 metres in length and 2,268 kilograms - all accompanied by a mouthful of impressive, replaceable...

19 Mar

A gift of Black Eagles

Yes, I know that they are now officially known as Verreaux's Eagles but I never liked words with too many vowels and anyway I've always known them as Black Eagles. Be that as it may, we were walking along enjoying the beauty of the mountains and I had just commented on how it was ages since I last saw a Black Eagle in the area - when they appeared above us.   These magnificent Eagles with their wingspan reaching up to 2.2metres have always been one of my favourites. They occur in...

18 Mar

A heavenly lunch

What a day!!!! What a place!!!!!   Perfect weather, perfect place, perfect walk.   And then . . . we had a heavenly lunch in heaven - more than half a kilometer above the sea. ...