03 March 2012

Westward Bound

A week ago Friday, my friends and I headed out to one of the most famous parts of South Africa: the Cape of Good Hope. Visible from Stellenbosch Mountain here in town, we had all been longing to go see the open ocean and explore the rugged peaks where they meet the wide open Atlantic. On the way out there, we made a few preliminary stops at places such as Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary. Everyone else was there looking for Hippos, but I searched through the reeds for birds, and was pretty successful! Three-banded Plovers hid on the sandbars, a pair of Little Grebes and a lone Great Crested Grebe sat out on the water, and I even got another South African endemic on the water - Cape Shovelers.
Three-banded Plovers at Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary, Cape Town, South Africa

After failing to find any hippos, however, we headed out to Simon's Town for the night. As always, you cannot visit Simon's Town without visiting the penguins for which it is so famous! We walked down the beach gawking at the large concentration of birds hanging out at the beach as Cape Gulls and Great Crested Terns flew overhead. I even got another life bird on the boulders not far offshore - Crowned Cormorant, and endemic bird of the Benguela Current in southwestern Africa.
African Penguins jumping into the surf of Boulder's Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa

We spent the night that night in a backpacker's not far from the South African naval yard (we could even see a submarine!), and then attempted to sleep through the screaming kids and partying people for the next day.

I've got a lot of homework to do now, unfortunately, but I'll put up the Cape of Good Hope pics later this week!

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