AN ALL-EN­COM­PASS­ING GET­AWAY

In Flight Magazine - - AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING GETAWAY - { TEXT: PAULA RA­BEL­ING | IM­AGES © DE HOOP NA­TURE RE­SERVE }

VUL­TURE SPOT­TING

Let’s be hon­est, vul­tures have a bad rep­u­ta­tion. Th­ese scav­eng­ing birds of­ten in­spire fear, mis­trust, and re­pug­nance. None­the­less, vul­tures play an es­sen­tial role in the ecosys­tem as re­cy­cling agents of or­ganic mat­ter – they clean the en­vi­ron­ment of thou­sands of car­casses, and con­trol the prop­a­ga­tion of dis­ease such as rabies, an­thrax, and bot­u­lism.

In 2015, the IUCN (In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture) re­assessed the con­ser­va­tion sta­tus of th­ese rap­tors, and the pic­ture they painted was bleak, with a wors­en­ing threat sta­tus for six of the 11 African species.Three species are now clas­si­fied as en­dan­gered, while four oth­ers are con­sid­ered to be crit­i­cally en­dan­gered.

Amaz­ingly, though, a num­ber of vul­tures have made De Hoop their home. The ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered at De Hoop now in­clude vul­ture hikes and view­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Pot­berg Moun­tains on the re­serve.The steep cliffs along the moun­tain pro­vide the per­fect habi­tat for the Cape vul­tures, of which a

IF YOU’RE LOOK­ING FOR A HOL­I­DAY THAT COM­BINES MUL­TI­PLE NAT­U­RAL EL­E­MENTS, AC­TIV­I­TIES, AND PAMPERING, THEN LOOK NO FUR­THER THAN DE HOOP NA­TURE RE­SERVE IN THE OVER­BERG RE­GION OF THE WESTERN CAPE.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.