Saturday, 20 August 2011

Baviaans - in and out

On Tuesday Anja, Elena and I headed into the kloof to attend a meeting put on by Willowmore tourism on how to make Baviaanskloof a destination (as opposed to just a drive through route). Water is still up on the western section – the eastern section through the reserve has only just been reopened for 4x4s. The kloof is looking beautiful with Aloes and other flowers along the way.

Euphorbia mauritanica (Melkbos)

We arrived a bit late because there were lots of beautiful birds to distract us along the way.


Cape Batis (female) - actually this was one of only three birds in my mist nets on Monday

Ooooh who's that handsome fellow in the water? this Hamerkop seems to be saying

A relaxed Jackal Buzzard on its perch

No trip into the kloof is complete without a Black Eagle sighting!

One other tourism company, one guide from the Sewefontein community, the reserve manager, and the hosts of the meeting (Pieter and Magriet Kruger from Zandvlakte) and ourselves were the only attendees. Apparently most other kloof residents are busy with their farming now that there have been all these good rains. The meeting was chaired by the mayor of Willowmore, with special guest speaker Trudi Malan from Jeffrey's Bay.

We learnt that we are already a tourist destination. However, Pieter and Boetie Terblanche pointed out they had many cancellations due to the road through the reserve being closed and maybe we need to print bumper stickers saying 'Baviaanskloof – more than a road', although I'd say it should be 'Baviaanskloof – Accessible Adventure'. We should also be working harder to attract tourists other than the 4x4 community. Not that we (Blue Hill Escape) get many of those anyway!

Either way, lunch at Zandvlakte was lovely, and it was a good excuse for a drive through the kloof.

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