Somewhat New and Coming to SA

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Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Viridovipera » Thu May 26, 2011 12:12 am

Hi Everyone!

I've posted on here before briefly about my time in Cote d'Ivoire and have been lurking on the forum ever since. It's an awesome place! My name is Alex and I'm from the USA, and haven't had any African animals to post, so I've mostly just been lurking. However, that may all soon change. I'll be heading from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town for a wedding in December 2011 and would love some help planning places to stop along the way. I'll be with my non-herping family, but can you guys recommend any parks or reserves that we should stop at along the way? We'll probably over night at at least one along the way, so I'd love to go looking around in productive snake habitat. Any recommendations? If any of you want to meet up, we can definitely arrange that too! Even photographing captives would be fun (since your laws about elapids are much more lax than those over here!).

Here's my Ivorian post: viewtopic.php?f=75&t=24409 I hope to hear from some of you guys soon!

Cheers,

Alex
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Seaborne » Thu May 26, 2011 8:12 am

Hey Alex

If you plan a trip from PE to Cape Town I have some must see places for you.

As you head out from Port Elizabeth make your way to Jefferies Bay. This is well known for its waves and the surfers love it. It will be a nice little stopover point.

Next on the stop is the Blaukrans River Bridge and the Storms River Bridge. If you into adventure sports you can Bungee Jump from the highest bridge in Africa (if not the world). You are now in the Strorms River Valley and the Forests. Stop here and enjoy the big Yellowwood trees. This is also the home of the Knysna Forest Elephnats. They are like ghosts but its nice to know there are some. I suggest you overnight at the Storms River Mouth. Awesome place to stay in their log cabins.

Once you move on you must stop in Knysna and eat some oysters. You pass thru many little places like Sedgefield on the way there. Next is the old town of George and the Mosselbay. The drive from Mosselbay to Cape Town is a lot less dramatic, but you have places like Stilbay and Aghulus to stop off at. Once you leave Aghulus you have Hermanus (known for whales over September) and then its Cape Town.

That would just be my suggestion. Possibly somebody that knows the area can fill you in on where to view the reptiles.
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Brussel » Thu May 26, 2011 8:25 am

There is a great snake park called Lawnwood just outside Plettenberg bay
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Bushviper » Thu May 26, 2011 10:32 am

Pity you are arriving in winter and that area you are going to gets really cold. I hope you enjoy it anyway.
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Seaborne » Thu May 26, 2011 10:47 am

December 2011


Sorry BV that's still summer mate.

Ill excuse myself now and run away.
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Bushviper » Thu May 26, 2011 10:57 am

Seaborne wrote:
December 2011


Sorry BV that's still summer mate.

Ill excuse myself now and run away.


Oh dear it would help to read it all again. That is a nice time of the year. I am sure you will love it.
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby nvlooi » Thu May 26, 2011 4:14 pm

Take a look at this site.
http://www.crepinstitute.co.za/tours.php
Contact the people on their they might be able to assist you for a photography session somewhere.

How long are you going to be in the Western Cape?


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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby fuscusV2 » Thu May 26, 2011 7:03 pm

http://www.strimoo.com/video/1952802/Th ... utube.html

Boukraans bridge, storms river - the worlds highest commercial bungee :)

Some noteable venomous reptiles in the area:
Cape Cobra
Puff Adder
Boomslang (not often seen)

There are others, I recommend picking up Bill Branch's fieldguide to the reptiles of Southern Africa. You're going to travel one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in our country. PE, J-Bay, Knysna, Plett and Cape Town will be a tad overrun with tourists, so be prepared for traffic :) ENJOY it and post loads of pics!
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Viridovipera » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:14 pm

Wow. This is great advice, cheers! I'll definitely be making many stops along the way. For herping on foot, could you folks fill me in on some good places to look around that area? I'm a biologist traveling with my parents -- which is probably as far from a collector as you could possibly be -- but I understand if you want to keep locales quiet. There are so many forest reserves in the area that I didn't know where to start looking. We'll be going to Krueger, but I doubt we'll see many herps as you can't walk around. Are there places where you stay within walking distance (maybe even at night) that have a good amount of South African herp diversity for me to photograph? Feel free to PM any sensitive information. Thanks again for the help!

-Alex
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby SABOAMAN » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:51 am

If you are thinking of walking the country side it would be best if you hook up with someone in that area to go with you. Someone from that area and on the forum. Africa is a dangerous place spesialy for tourist walking alone in the veld.

And if someone from the forum goes with you, you will have a shortcut to his best herping spots and not spend hours in the veld finding nothing.

This is just for your safety sake,and if you go with someone world wide herp friendships will be formed :D
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Viridovipera » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:11 pm

That's another reason I posted it here! I'd love any help I can get! And the best part is, trans-continental herping friendships always make for the best vacations ;-)
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby wildfrontier » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:51 am

Hey Viridovipera,
Are you still planning to include Kruger in your trip? If so, I can help out with good camps to go to for great sightings. I am a safari guide specializing in Kruger, so if you want a guided trip I can also help you out.
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby bubblesharp » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:56 pm

If you are looking too overnight at a reserve on your way, you may want to consider Bonte Bok nature reserve. Its on the N2 towards Cape Town just outside Swellendam. It is the smallest of the National Parks in SA and underestimated by many. There is no dangerous animals like Lions. Leopard etc and has a few hiking trails also.

Here is a link to sanparks, I found it to be a quiet little camp without too many people. Just a tip, do not book a site on the river bed. They are without electricity and you don't have a view of the river. I made that mistake once. The do have some cottages also if you don't want to do the camping thing. The wild bontebok and other species often come wondering inside the camp and is lovely to see. The thing that makes this place so unique is that it is the only national park with wild Bonte Bok, indigenous to South Africa. Too my knowledge the only wild Bonte Bok left is found on this reserve. You should also be able to find a few snakes and other reptiles on this reserve, send them a mail and they'll get back to you on what you can expect to find. Of all our National Parks, I found the staff here extremely help full and polite.
http://www.sanparks.org/parks/bontebok/

Another park you will find along the road from PE to CT will be Storms River Reserve. An absolute must if you have the time, Also a national park and hiking trails in the indigenous forest.

A bit out of the way North of PE you will find Addo Elephant park, You are guaranteed to see at least more elephants that you can count on a hot day. On cooler days you will more likely find the rest of the animals at the water holes including the Lions. On the very hot days the elephants dominate the water holes and chases the other animals away. Last year we counted 85 Elephants in one day. Downside, cant hike in the park due to the predators and elephants.

There are many more on the route, including many Private game reserves! Enjoy it when you come!!!
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Re: Somewhat New and Coming to SA

Postby Viridovipera » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:19 am

wildfrontier wrote:Hey Viridovipera,
Are you still planning to include Kruger in your trip? If so, I can help out with good camps to go to for great sightings. I am a safari guide specializing in Kruger, so if you want a guided trip I can also help you out.


Unfortunately, it seems like going to Kruger will be too expensive for this trip. We'll probably just stay close to the highway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Thanks for the offer though!


Eben: Wow, this seems like great advice, I'll definitely look into those parks!

-Alex
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