South Africa 2015 - Cape Peninsula

Simon's Town - view from the hotel room


Traveled to Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula, situated in False Bay about 45 minutes drive south of Cape Town, after the safari in Botswana for a pelagic birding trip. Due to windy conditions, Cape Pelagic Birding had to cancel the trip on Saturday, and also the backup trip on Sunday. This was of course a big disappointment, but the Cape Peninsula region with its Fynbos vegetation and rich wildlife is still a nice destination for relaxing a couple of days after a hectic safari. After all, the African (Jackass) penguin colony in the middle of town is a great place to spend some hours.

I also took a Seal Island trip, with thousands of Cape Fur Seals and cormorants, but we did not see any Great White Sharks. As a bonus, however, we saw a couple of Subantarctic Skua's following the boat at 33 knots, and a Southern Right Whale on our way back to town. On Sunday I went to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve on the tip of the peninsula, to experience the (almost) most southernly point of Africa, and hopefully to get a glimpse of a few local bird species. Some impressions from the region are posted here, including some wildlife photos.

Simon's Town


South African navy, Simon's Town

Diving boat going to Seal Island and the Great White Sharks, Simon's Town



At Cape of Good Hope

Seal Island, False Bay


Seal pups, are there any great whites here today?

Cape Fur Seals, Seal Island, False Bay


Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus)

Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis), False Bay



Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus), Simon's Town wharf quay

Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta antarctica)


Subantarctic Skua

Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis)


Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus), Simon's Town

Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)


Cape Gull (Larus dominicanus vetula)

Hartlaub's Gull (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii)


Red-Winged Starling (Onychognathus morio)

African (Jackass) Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), Boulders Beach, Simon's Town


African Penguins

African Penguin


Nice view. From the penguin colony

Cape Bunting (Emberiza capensis)


Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis)

Cape Point viewed from Cape of Good Hope


Cape of Good Hope cliffs

Rock Hyrax, locally called Dassie (Procavia capensis subsp. capensis) at Cape Point


Black Girdled Lizard (Cordylus niger)

Cape Point


Cape Point Lighthouse

Cape Point Baboons (Papio anubis)


Cape Point - The Flying Dutchman

Fynbos vegetation. Few plants were flowering when I visited in August (late winter), but I can imagine the colors in spring


Cape of Good Hope fynbos vegetation. Some more fynbos photos can be seen here

South African Ostrich (Struthio camelus australis) in the fynbos vegetation. Are the African ostriches different species? According to new evidence, there are three living subspecies of the Common Ostrich. Of which the South African is one



Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedas

Southern Double-Collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus)


Southern Double-Collared Sunbird

Karoo Prinia (Prinia maculosa)


Cape White-Eye (Zosterops virens)