For many nature lovers a wilderness safari to South Africa would be incomplete without having been on at least one ‘night drive’ when visiting one of the many national parks and nature reserves in the country.
On such an outing, expected sightings can range from Aardvark, Aaardwolf, Porcupine, Honey Badger and Genet to Bush baby and leopard, all established nocturnal species associated with bushveld and thicket habitats.
By contrast, in the Garden Route there is little infrastructure or opportunity for a night drive, and indeed the nocturnal species are evasive and well hidden in the fynbos and Afro-montane Forest habitats making them near impossible to find or see.
Fortunately for wildlife enthusiasts spending time in the Garden Route there is the Moonlight Meander, a guided night walk to explore the rock pools at Gericke’s Point near Sedgefield. Beginning at sunset, guests receive an introductory talk about the intertidal marine life before heading down to the beach for a detailed ecological interpretation of the aquatic life that they encounter along the shoreline
The tours are limited to the spring low tides associated with the full and new moon phases. This allows for easy and safe access to the rock pools.
Armed with a torch and a spirit of adventure, guests are informed about the numerous species encountered focusing on the three core elements of food pyramids, reproduction strategies and adaption to the intertidal zone that enable each species to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.
Under torchlight guests are captivated by hunting octopus, foraging crabs and vivid anemones while sea urchins, sea stars and limpets glide along the rocks in search of their next meal. The intricate life cycles and myriad of species seen make this the best natural night time fun you can have in the Garden Route.
Location : Swartvlei beach, West of Sedgefield in the Garden Route, South Africa.
Tour times : starting at 19h00 over the spring low tides over full and new moon phases.
Reservation : essential, via Garden Route Trail website.