Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ostriches, Baboons and Penguins

The above title could be the answer to this question, name three animals that you would not expect to encounter over the course of a single day unless you were visiting a zoo. Last Saturday, we were lucky enough to run into all three when we visited the Cape of Good Hope (COGH.)

Mr. Deep joined us in Cape Town on Friday night. Saturday the weather was windy, cold and slightly rainy and we thought it might improve if we traveled a little bit out of town. If you have been to San Francisco then you know what I am talking about. The weather is often better to the north, south or east than it is in the city. I think Cape Town is the same way.

The COGH, while not boasting the title as the southernmost point in Africa, does mark the location where ships traveling around the coast of the continent begin to travel in a more eastward than southward direction. This doesn't really matter much if you are not piloting a ship though. Here is a map showing the location.

Even though the COGH is located only about 30 miles outside of the city, it takes over an hour to get there because you have to drive on these winding mountain roads. It was well worth the trip as the area was gorgeous and the weather was much better! I will post pictures of some of the scenery soon but for now I want to get back to the animals.

We spotted the ostriches shortly after we entered the park area. I have never just casually been in a car and seen an ostrich on the side of the road eating before. I think the picture below is pretty cool as it has the ocean in the background.

This female was on on the opposite side of the road.
After we hiked around the Cape area, we went to another spot where there was a shop and a path to walk to a lighthouse. There, we saw a troop of baboons. As you know from the first Madikwe post, I am more than excited to run into baboons or monkeys of any kind. I guess a lot of people feel this way because there were signs everywhere stating that baboons are dangerous, wild animals with sharp teeth and that you should not feed them. 

The baboons in this particular area have really hit the mother lode because they are living in a place where there are lots of people and therefore food within easy reach. In the 30 minutes we were there we spotted a baboon pulling food out of the trash, two baboons climbing into a car while the trunk was open and one sitting on top of a van in the parking lot. These guys were bold! A tour bus driver told us that he saw a baboon go right up to a table in the nearby restaurant and steal a whole pizza off the table. I know they are dangerous, wild and apparently thieves but I still think they are super cute!

How can you not love this guy? 
On our way back to Cape Town we drove around False Bay and realized we were in an area full of African penguins. This type of penguin is only found on the southwestern coast of Africa and there are two colonies living near Cape Town. These are small penguins and only grow to be about 24 inches tall.


About Me

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.