Most Capetonians know about Koeberg nuclear power plant on the west coast. Few know about the wonderful nature reserve that the plant hosts.
The Koeberg Nature Reserve caters well for cyclists and hikers. I decided to try out the approximately 25km mountain bike trail. I set out on an early Saturday morning in January striving to photograph the various game in the reserve as well as take a break at Gordon’s bird hide.
Before you reach the car park you stand a good chance of being greeted by some Springbok. These animals seem well accustomed to visitors and will casually wander past you.
A dazzle of zebra’s were introduced to the nature reserve quite recently. Some move close to the cyclists without alarm, but the greater group remain on an open field until they become familiar with their new surroundings.
I was hoping to see some of the bigger Eland and Gemsbok along the trail, but only realised half way through how large the reserve really is. I saw a lot of tell-tale signs like droppings and hoof prints, but did not manage to spot the antelope in the open west coast fynbos.
There were a handful of raptors flying around hunting for rodents or smaller birds. I managed to take a pic of what I believe to be a Steppe Buzzard.
After cycling through most of the reserve, I managed to reach Gordon’s bird hide. It is well positioned on a bank, towering over a small dam. Many eagles and herons pass through the wetland section of the park searching for a meal. I managed to witness a majestic African Fish Eagle soar through, but I was unable to take a picture of it. This was the first time I saw one in the greater Cape Town area.
While setting up my camera in the hide, I saw a large herd of Eland approaching the water from the opposite bank. There could easily have been 30-40 Eland. I watched as one of the Eland moved closer to the water. It cautiously moved down a strip of soft white sand. The sand gave in beneath it, but the antelope managed to find its footing and it did not topple over. I watched as the group grazed and moved leisurely through the fynbos. Some moved lower down to drink while others were just ambling around.
I managed to get a picture of these Eland with a rather startled gaze. It may have been some of the cyclists passing through that caused alarm. They scanned the area and simply resumed their grazing.
I also caught a quick glimpse of a tortoise on the side of the road before I headed off back home.
What a lovely outing
What a special place! Being around the power plant, do you need special permission or permits to enter?
Best thing is it’s free entry. You just need to sign in at security. They are trying to encourage people to experience what nature reserves have to offer.
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That’s an excellent way of buying some goodwill for Eskom 😉