Wild Coast Beach South Africa

WildcoastBeaches

Let’s go down to the beach today to experience the open blue skies and seas on the Wild Coast of South Africa.

Still partially sub-tropical and warm, you see the giant stralitzia or Strelitzia nicolai that grows from ten to sixteen meters high, peeking through down onto the white sands and waves crashing through.

Wildcoast

Looking across the whites sands are terns who took flight before we got too close and was unable to identify.

Wildcoast_Tern

The rock pools are always fun, full of life both a small sea snake and fish were a bit to quick to capture, so here is just a pool

WildcoastPools

Walking all the way after exploring I could not miss the yellow flowers smiling as you beat your way back off the beach before it got too hot.

WildcoastBeachFlowers

The Wild Coast of South Africa is clean with many hidden gems to explore up and down the area.

First published on Steemit

 

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Small to Medium Sized Wild Cats of Africa

 

Sadly these cats are in captivity, a breeding program to assist local parks in building the number of wild cats back into the wild. Photography taken at the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre.

Personally, I do not enjoy seeing animals being locked up and not roaming totally free, we do not have the luxury of seeing all the animals in the wild cats, this was a once off even for me.

Baby Caracal and MommyBaby Caracal and Mommy

Caracal : The Caracal is a mostly nocturnal, secretive, solitary and an aggressive animal. Due to being hunted as a problem animal by farmers, Caracal became even more elusive and thus a sighting of one is very difficult.

The caracal is also commonly known as the Persian Lynx or African Lynx despite the fact that the caracal is not a lynx at all. The caracal is thought to be most closely related to the African golden cat and the serval.

The caracals name is believed to come from the Turkish word Karakulak, which means black ears. The caracal typically has 20 different muscles in the caracals ears which enables the caracal to detect prey.

Cheetah : The cheetah is a large feline inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx.

Serval Cat : The ears are black on the back with a distinctive white spot, and the tail has 6 or 7 black rings and a black tip.

The coat color is pale yellow with black markings, either of large spots that tend to merge into longitudinal stripes on the neck and back, or of numerous small spots, which give a speckled appearance.

These “speckled” Servals from west Africa – called servalines – used to be considered a separate species Felis brachyura, until it was demonstrated that the speckled pattern was just a variation or “morph”.

African Wild Cat : The African wild cat looks a lot like a domestic cat, except it has longer legs, reddish ears, and it sits more upright than domestic counterpart. The similarities are not entirely coincidental, as domestic cats originated from wild cats.

They were first domesticated 5000 years ago in Egypt. The people of the time were agriculturalists and stored the grain that they harvested annually in baskets.

These abundant stores naturally attracted mice, which in turn attracted the local wild cats. Because of the favour the cats provided humans by controlling the grain pests, they were encouraged to stay treats of fish that were left out for them.

With a constant supply of food, no harassment from people, and no natural enemies to threaten them around human habitations, the wild cats quickly habituated.

Gradual genetic mutation resulted in the approximately 100 domestic breeds we find today. Sadly the true form of African wild cat is being lost through hybridisation with domestic cats in many areas.

First Published on Steemit

 

Summit Sani Pass in a 4×4

 

Sani Pass

Warm weather prevailed at the bottom with sun shining brightly in Underberg the nearest town. We had pre-arranged to go up the pass with a tour group in a 4×4.

Looking up Sani Pass

With Passport in hand and ready to roll bright and early, here is the adventure as it unfolds. A look up into the mountain face from the South African Border Post (photo above).

After the border there is only 1 ‘pit stop’ to take a break, stretch your legs and catch our breath, some photo’s of the view and flora. It was our lucky day since we had relatively good views and weather.

Pit Stop

A spectacular view all the way down into KwaZulu-Natal.

With flowers and small bushes in flower this trip was in the Spring, after good rains, plenty of running water off the cliffs.

Waterfall

On top we visited a local tribal village, entertained with a cup of tea on top of the world in Lesotho. It was freezing up there and no wonder they get snow so often. Photo shows a glimpse of the flat landscape, with village further back.

Sani_Lesotho

Rural local folk on the top save every scrap of wood brought up to build their homesteads, the wood is used for roofing to hold the thatch and re-used again and again, it is a scarcity up here.

Still smiling faces greet you, managing to make ends meet in a place with cattle and goats, a small garden patch and little else.

Basotho

The young men (at a very young age of about ten) take the animals to graze, with little more than a Besotho blanket and a dog to accompany them for months at a time. This is traditional to see if the young men will be accepted into manhood.

So when you feeling low or down in the dumps, remember the people with little more than a hut who are able to live in sparce harsh lands, where few venture let alone live.

Lunch in the charming pub was good, did I mention that this is the highest pub in Africa? An ale was needed to steady the nerves…

A good look down, the reminder of what goes up must come down.

Pub
Down

As you bump and grind over the sand road with bolders so big you wonder if the vehicle will hold, then close to the edge you feel your heart thumping in your throat. Trusting the driver will play his part in getting you up safely….. and down once again. (Who does crazy for a living?)

SA_Border

Looking back you can see why a sturdy vehicle is required to get up this mountain pass. Back down in South Africa safely again, you realize this ride is “one of a kind”. (No the vehicle above was not our ride!).

So if you love adventure a visit up Sani Pass is a must, I have included 2 short video links by Trygve Roberts on You Tube to get you advice before venturing up.

First Published on Steemit