Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 <strong>Province</strong>: Eastern Cape<br />

Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4

 
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Ref: HD12
Departs from: Place of residence
Province: Eastern Cape
Days: Half day
Persons: minimum 2
Departs: Departure on request
Price: morning drive R680 pp
 
Rates Valid till Oct this year, All Rates subject to change
   
   
Itinerary: Pick up at place of residence in Port Elizabeth and travel to the southernmost tip of Algoa Bay, Cape Recife, Cabo de Arrecife, the Cape of Reefs as it was named by the early Portuguese explorers. On arrival we collect the key and enter the reserve.

Our first stop is at the SAMREC for a guided tour of this marine bird and penguin re-habilitation center. This is a modern facility designed to re-habilitate the endangered African Black footed with particular emphasis on the possible rescue of many birds in the case of a large oil spill in the bay and designed to release any Penguins back into their natural environment.

After our visit to SAMREC we continue our tour of the reserve arriving at Cape Recife itself with its mobile sand dunes and historic, operational lighthouse which was completed in 1851, the 3rd oldest fully operational Light house in South Africa today.
Parking the tour vehicle we walk the last 100 metres observing the wealth of shore birds and many species of terns that inhabit this often wind swept rocky point at the southern entrance to Algoa Bay and the very reason for the existence of this well maintained light.

As we enter the lighthouse you will be introduced to the old machinery that provided the mechanical power to operate this lonely outpost. Climbing the wooden, circular 101 stairs that bring you to the light at the top of the building one can only wonder at the efforts of those early lighthouse keepers, the steps worn smooth and polished by the weary footsteps up and down the stairway to keep the light burning and to maintain this beacon of hope, even in the worst of weather conditions. Stories of ghosts and intrigue stalk the very atmosphere of this ray of light.
From the top of the lighthouse a clear view of the area and distant Port Elizabeth can be seen and if lucky and the conditions are good the remains of the early Khoikhoi fish traps that still exist here.

Leaving the lighthouse we continue to a series of settlement ponds where a wide variety of mainly aquatic birds can be viewed from the bird hide or if the invasive vegetation covers the waters we simply continue to the main road to enter the Grysbok Nature reserve a protected area of coastal Fynbos that surrounds the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). This is a refuge for a number of antelope, Red hartebeest, Common Duiker, Bushbuck and Zebra amongst others but is also home to the diminutive Cape Grysbok after which the reserve has been named.

There area is also host to a surprising wealth of birdlife including a number of nocturnal (Owls) and diurnal raptors and ground birds.

While coursing the sandy roads of the reserve in our 4 x 4 vehicle we describe the many uses the hardy herbaceous vegetation had for the Early Khoikhoi many of whom inhabited and foraged in this area.
We point out a number of ancient shell middens or discard heaps of sea shell and other domestic debris left as testament to the lifestyles of these hardy hunter herders who occupied these windswept shoreline tens of thousands of years ago.

This tour departs either at 09hrs00 or 14hrs00 from your place of residence in Port Elizabeth.

   
Included: Entrance/conservation fees
All travel in 4 x 4 vehicle
Bottled water in tour vehicle
   
Excluded: *
   
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