Go eye-to-eye with vul­tures on this new deck

Imag­ine a bird with a wing­span of 2,5 me­tres (that’s longer than the tallest per­son you know) cruis­ing past you, so close you can hear the wind rush­ing un­der its wings…

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

This is pos­si­ble at De Hoop Na­ture Re­serve’s new view­ing plat­form, built near the Cape vul­ture breed­ing colony on Pot­berg moun­tain. It’s the only sur­viv­ing colony in the West­ern Cape, where the rare birds roost on the cliffs with pere­grine fal­cons, Ver­reaux’s ea­gles, jackal buz­zards and rock kestrels. Cape vul­tures were dy­ing out a decade ago; we were down to 100 birds. Thanks to the ef­forts of CapeNa­ture and the lo­cal com­mu­nity, their num­bers have dou­bled. In­stead of poi­son­ing and killing the birds, many farm­ers now feel proud of ‘their’ vul­tures and sup­ply them with live­stock car­casses to feed on. The Bredas­dorp vet treats sick or in­jured vul­tures at no cost; they are re­turned to the colony as soon as they’re well enough – such as this one pic­tured, which sur­vived poi­son­ing. Visi­tors to De Hoop can ac­cess the vul­ture deck only with a guide. The hike there takes about an hour, through rare fyn­bos and with the fan­tas­tic views of the ocean and dunes this re­serve is fa­mous for. It ends with the awe­some sight of swoop­ing, cir­cling, div­ing birds – a walk well re­warded, we’d say. It costs R550 pp, in­clud­ing a pic­nic back­pack. Book­ing is es­sen­tial (max­i­mum 10 peo­ple per walk, no chil­dren un­der 12). 021-422-4522,

stay at Turn the page to win a ex­pe­ri­ence. De Hoop with a vul­ture

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.