ChasNature ~ Explore and Protect
Cape Agulhas is a region with incredible splendour and where nature abounds. It is the perfect place for the adventurer and nature lover with plenty of magnificent walking trails, beautiful wildflowers and fynbos, enormous diversity of animals, and impressive views.
We would like to preserve this beauty for the generations to come, and urge everyone to TAKE NOTHING BUT MEMORIES, AND LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS. Below are some of the wildlife in our area that you probably have spotted already but know little about.
They are all considered to be Icons of the Strandveld (Cape Agulhas).
The tortoise regularly seen on the Cape Agulhas roads is the Rooipens, Angulate Tortoise, and an endemic species to the Southernmost Tip of Africa. Please be careful when driving especially during the summer months when they are most active and often seen crossing the road.
The African Black Oystercatcher (Swarttobie) is a very colourful bird with its jet black body, pink legs and bright orange red bill and eyes, and is endemic to the coast and offshore islands of southern Africa south of the Sahara. It is often spotted on our coast and usually found in pairs.
The Cape Grysbok is a small antelope that is endemic to our area. With a reddish sandy coat flecked in white, they are sometimes spotted around the urban edges. Their native habitat is the "Fynbos biome" (Cape Floristic Region), and it inhabits thick shrubland.
The Cape Spurfowl or Francolin (Kaapse Fisant), is endemic and a common resident in the Cape Agulhas area and will happily venture into gardens, sometimes even bravely enter a house to feed on scraps from the dog's bowl. Their habitat is coastal fynbos. But lookout! They often jump in front of cars just as you approach them.
Geelstert (Yellowtail) were caught with purse seine (large fishing nets), but because of dwindling numbers, it was stopped. Yellowtail is however still the best managed fish which can withstand the fishing pressure. It is an inhabitant of the Atlantic waters and a favourite with anglers because of its excellent taste.
The Milkwood tree (Melkhoutboom) is an ecosystem in its own right and provides shelter and food to a diverse animal life, from insects to birds and tree snakes. The flowers have a distinctive smell which draws insects. Birds and baboons love the ripe edible purple black berries. Milkwood trees are protected by the Forestry Act.
The Witkwasmuishond (Yellow Mongoose) is often seen in the streets in Struisbaai and L'Agulhas. It is carnivorous, consuming mostly arthropods, but also other small mammals, lizards, snakes and eggs of all kinds, adapts easily to an urban environment to its own detriment. Please don't feed them. A colony can have 20-40 members.
PARRIE THE STINGRAY
Meet Parrie, the famous short-tailed stingray living in Struisbaai. These stunning creatures are the biggest of all marine stingray species, measuring up to 2.1m wide and weighing over 350kg. Despite being wild animals, Parrie and his friends love spending time with humans, who can feed and swim with them in the water. However, caution is still advised.
CAPE CLAWLESS OTTER
Cape clawless otter mother and her two pups playing at Struisbaai harbour. They are the largest freshwater otter species with thick fur to stay warm and long whiskers to find prey. At bedtime they float around in groups called "rafters," holding hands while they sleep. Please be cautious and don't approach them.
There's a new high-speed resident in our Struisbaai harbour. Tucked away at the far side, this tiny dweller is no larger than a grain of sand but carries a spirit larger than life. Meet 'Korreltjie', our little Plover chick. Catching a glimpse of him might be a game of luck, but when you do, you'll be enamoured by the rapid scurry of those petite legs.