Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.

In the past 6 months there have been over 10 whale carcasses washed up, including a rare Sperm Whale, in the Garden Route. Depending on where they washed up, their handling varied from leaving them in situ to burying them or removing the remains for disposal elsewhere. Where possible, sampling was performed for DNA profiling and parasite collection. Generally, with the carcasses there is a … Continue reading Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.

Flaming Fynbos In the Garden Route

In June 2017 South Africa, and the world, watched in horror as a wildfire swept through the Garden Route destroying over 500 homesteads, farmland and timber plantations. The shear destruction left in the path of the blaze amounted to 22,000 hectares burnt, 7 lives lost and communities traumatized. The fire, like so many international wildfires that occurred in 2017, was the perfect inferno, the result … Continue reading Flaming Fynbos In the Garden Route

Leopard Trail – Baviaankloof Hiking

One of the last true wilderness areas in South Africa is undisputedly the Baviaanskloof, a series of folded mountains, canyons and valleys between Willomore and Patensie in the Eastern Cape. It is a botanical wonderland that transforms from Karoo through Fynbos and into pockets of Afro-Montane forest with hints of Spekboom along an east west axis. The Baviaans is a landscape that begs to be … Continue reading Leopard Trail – Baviaankloof Hiking

Karoo Hiking – Eerstefontein Trail

So often a sign lacks the detail of what it is indicating. In Graaff Reinet, as you enter the town from the south, there is an insignificant sign indicating a hiking trail. No trail name. No trail distance. Merely, turn west off the N9. Recently, while visiting Graaff Reinet, I again saw the sign and decided to do some online research. All I found was … Continue reading Karoo Hiking – Eerstefontein Trail

Garden Route Coastal day walk – Arch Rock and the Matjes Rivier shell midden.

The Garden Route coastline between Witsand and Nature’s Valley has a rich history of early hominids with records extending an estimated 164,000 years back. Within these incredible archeological records are the earliest recognised art in the world using ochre dating back from 72,000 years in the Blombos Cave, as well as three sets of hominid footprints dating from approximately 90,000 years ago. Keurbooms Strand east … Continue reading Garden Route Coastal day walk – Arch Rock and the Matjes Rivier shell midden.

Brackenhill Waterfall.

A little known, though spectacular, waterfall in the Garden Route is the Brackenhill Waterfall. A popular tourist destination in the early 1990’s, it has slipped from the sport light since access was limited by the landowners concerned about the fire risk to surrounding pine plantations. The waterfall is located on the Witelsrivier, one of the network of tributaries of the Noetsie River, and is access … Continue reading Brackenhill Waterfall.

Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.

Date: Sunday 2nd September 2018 Location : Swartvlei Beach By Mark Dixon. Late Sunday morning the much awaited autopsy of the beached Sperm Whale carcass got underway. Joining the research team were Dr Stephanie Plon from NMU with Dr Greg Hofmeyr from Bayworld visiting briefly while en route to Cape Town. The most noticeable external observation was of the advanced onset of bloat that had … Continue reading Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.