Ever been in the area of Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay or Rooiels? Then you must have hiked up or least know of Hangklip. Well not many people know of its secret deep within the mountain – a cave! Also the home of some bats and a ancient tree.
What type of cave?
A talus or scree cave. This type of cave is formed by openings between large boulders fallen into a random heap. The Hangklip cave is the result of it being in an gulley which resulted in water removing all the soil between these boulders resulting in an talus cave.
The “entrance” to the cave is situated under a giant white milkwood tree (a tree unique to southern Africa) which’s fruit are conveniently part of the resident bats’ diet. This particular tree my family like to call the “fairy tree” because it feels enchanted especially when making the transition between the sunny fynbos outside and the damp, shaded interior of the milkwood tree.
Look for the path leading to the cave (34°21’57.8″S 18°50’00.7″E) and cherish this small piece of paradise.
An African penguin population at Betty’s Bay provides opportunities for the public to observe them in their natural habitat. The African penguin is experiencing a catastrophic decline in its global population. As a result it is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. Stony Point is the only mainland colony of African Penguins that is known to be expanding.
The penguin colony at Stony Point started in 1982 and has subsequently grown to about 150 pairs. African penguins breed with one partner for their entire life. Each breeding pair will return to the same breeding colony and same nesting site each year. The age at first reproduction ranges between four and six years and life expectancy is up to 27 years in the wild.
African penguins are flightless aquatic birds with reduced wings that are modified to form efficient flippers for swimming. They have heavy bones to enable them to dive. The feathers in adults are specialized to form a thick coat of overlapping layers that assists with waterproofing, wind resistance and insulation. The penguin has a black bill and shortened tail. Each African penguin has a unique and distinct pattern of black spots on the white chest that can be used to distinguish individuals from one another.
The distinct pink patch of skin found above the bird’s eye helps the bird to cope with changing temperature. As the external temperature around the African penguin increases, the bird’s body sends more blood to the glands found at these pink patches of skin, causing the pink patches to change color and turn a darker shade of pink. This in turn causes the glands to be cooled down by the air surrounding it.
The African penguin’s black and white belly coloration is an important form of camouflage at sea. The white belly deters predation from underwater predators looking upwards and the black deters detection from predators swimming above the bird whilst looking down onto the dark depths of the water.
African penguins is a charismatic species that is known for its loud donkey-like braying noises (hence the nickname Jackass Penguin), distinctive black and white plumage and large breeding colonies. They are very clumsy on land, waddling upright with flippers held away from the body as if they are drunk.
Written by Van As Jordaan, uploaded by Jacques Jordaan.
The average student needs some time off every now and again. After a week of studying for a chemistry test, we thought it’s time to treat ourselves. Consequently we let ourselves loose on the Kogelberg 24km trail!
As seen in the video it was a clear and hot day. By the time we arrived at the beach our feet were aching and we were in desperate need of some refreshment before the last push home. Jumping into the cool mountain water after the long hike was a feeling I’ll never forget.
Another special sighting we made was of the Red Cluster Disa (Disa ferruginea) hidden between the fynbos adjacent to the trail. Being a big fan of orchids, I considered myself very lucky to see this scarce and special flower.
I hope you enjoy the video and the photos. Feel free to comment, like and subscribe.
Happy 2016 to all readers! May it be filled with lots of wonderful experiences!
Grandpa, my sister and I went on our annual expedition up Leopard’s Kloof to view the Red Disas in flower. See my previous post on Leopard’s Kloof to find out more about this stimulating route.
The Red Disas grow in the moist moss which covers the rocks surrounding the Leopard’s Kloof waterfall. We spotted one in bloom close to the base of the fall. This is considered lucky because in the past there were many more Disas at lower levels of the fall which have now gone because of environmentally harmful activities like the picking or total removal of these flowers.
Orchids (like this one) are some of the most beautiful creations on Earth. Seeing the Red Disas again was an amazing experience. A good kick off to 2016!
A mental and physical challenge made easy by beautiful surroundings!
Kogelberg 22 km trail (roughly 13,6 miles) meanders around the steep and high Platberg, 910m. What made this route special was how we hiked through different ecosystems including forest, mountain, plateau and river. Needless to say, the fynbos always provide ample photo opportunities. Among other things, we encountered the Red Crassula, the Inkflower, lots of Ericas and the Cape Everlasting. Another special experience I’ll never forget is spotting a beehive.
Interesting fact from Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve: Scientists believe that the amazing fynbos’ biodiversity is the result of the southern tip of Africa having escaped the last ice age that destroyed numerous plant species around the world. As such, many of the 8,560 different plant species found in the Cape Floral Kingdom are literally ‘living fossils’. The Cape Floral Kingdom also has more endemic species for its area than anywhere else in the world … some 5,800 species.
The location of this trail is the same as the Palmiet River Hike, in Kogelberg Nature Reserve.The reserve lies between the towns of Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay and is easily accessible via a paved road. Permits cost R40 per adult. Wear comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing and water.
Nature will always provide with a memorable experience, no matter where you are or what you’re doing!
A ravine forest. Streams the color of black tea.Twisting past yellowwood and hard pear, towers of the forest. The thundering waterfall displays the red disa along the rock face.
The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden (located in Betty’s Bay, South Africa) features the magnificent Leopard’s Kloof Trail. The garden has a rich diversity of cape fynbos, including the renown marsh rose. Pay it a visit any time!
Leopard’s Kloof is a refreshing 3km walk in a ravine and turns around at a waterfall where the red disa can be spotted in December. The route has a few wooden ladders, but is otherwise quite easy. The forest is full of ancient, endemic trees like the yellowwood, hard pear and cape beech. A couple of waterfalls comes by where (if the sun doesn’t shine) one can take some beautiful long exposure photo’s. Look out for the metallic glint of the sunbirds in the garden and the small cape batis in the forest.
A place to replenish the soul. Make it one of your destinations!
With the african sun beating down upon us, we ascended Hangklip. What we got on top is an experience hard to describe. For many minutes we gazed at our vast earth.
Hangklip appears to literally be a “hanging” mountain. It’s situated between the costal towns of Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, South Africa. One can start at either Betty’s Bay or Pringle Bay. No permits required.
The hike starts easily along Hangklip. Once you start ascending, the slope becomes steep and you’ll be stopping for some periodic rests. Have courage. On top there’s a breathtaking 360′ view. The descent is much more gradual with nice scenery. I recommend ending your hike at the beach, for Brodie’s Link is the link between the mountains and the ocean. We covered 13km in 5 hours.
The fynbos was healthy when we hiked (in December). We found a blue disa, which I consider a special find. We also heard a troop of baboons and many sunbirds.
Remember your water, sunblock and camera.