Pleasant Surprise at De Hoop Nature Reserve

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Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

We recently stayed at the De Hoop Nature Reserve for the first time earlier this year, and were absolutely blown away by the sheer diversity of life that called this place home.

A few of the highlights we encountered each day included a pair of endangered African Oyster Catchers who were nesting near the main beach, large numbers of Southern Right Whales (with their newborn calves) breaching and frolicking a few hundred meters off shore and the beautiful simplicity of the dunes all around us.

Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

Although this World Heritage sight may be famous for it’s birdlife and whale sightings but who would have thought that a very unusual visitor, a Southern Elephant Seal, would have popped its head out of the surf directly below the rock face that we were perched on!

Dipping in and out of the waves for a few minutes, it slowly made its way along the shoreline and eventually disappeared.

The size of this animal was staggering!

It looked to have been around 9ft long and weigh well over half a ton.

Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

It wasn’t just our lucky day as there was a reporter from the Cape Argus newspaper, who was also sitting nearby at the time with his camera gear.

So we were pleasantly surprised to find this article in the paper a few days later.

Wild Eye - Chad Wright Photography

Needless to say that we had a great time at De Hoop and can’t wait to get back!

Chad Wright

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