No.1: BATS! - Kalk Bay Caves
We take a walk up Kalk Bay Mountain and explore some of the dark sandstone tunnels that wind beneath the fynbos. Here we will discover amongst others, bats!
Things we can learn on this trip:
- Geology – Table mountain sandstone
- Botany – Fynbos and Afro temperate forest
- Biology – Mammals, insects, reptiles, birds
- Geography – Erosion, catchments, map work
No.2: A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT – Silvermine
A rare peninsula waterfall feeds into the Silvermine River under which we have our lunch. This trip is an exercise in observing a river system as it flows from its catchment area above Ou Kaapse Weg to the beach at Clovelly. The trip can be done as one day or as a series of days in which we look at each part of the river in more detail.
- Geography – catchments, river systems, map work
- Biology – Mammals, reptiles, insects, birds
- Botany – fynbos, riparian vegetation
No.3: MONKEYING AROUND – Cape Point Nature Reserve*
*NB Park fees not included
Baboons have a bad reputation in most of Cape Town because they don't respect human rules and regulations, however, one troop in the Cape Peninsula still remains wild. We spend a day observing the Olifantsbos troop and discuss issues surrounding human-wildlife conflict. Who knows what else we find?
While finding the troop we could also learn about:
- Mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds
- Fynbos, Strandveld and Milkwoods
- Coastal systems
- Historic view of Cape Town
No.4: INTO THE HILLS – Signal Hill / Tygerberg / Paarl Mountain
The geology of the peninsula has produced some unique rocky outcrops. For example, Signal Hill is made up of Cape Town Shale resting on a bed of Cape Granite; Tygerberg is Malmesbury Shale on the same bed of granite; Paarl Mountain is a huge outcrop of that very same Granite. Each supports its own unique vegetation and thus eco systems that are well worth exploring from a micro (tiny insects) to a macro view (predators).
- The last remaining Renosterveld patches
- Possible caracal observation on Paarl Mountain
- Excellent Geology observation on Signal Hill
No.5: THE POINT OF TRACKING – Cape Point Nature Reserve*
*NB Park Fees not included
The sandy soil of Cape Point and the larger variety of wildlife makes this the ideal place to practice our tracking skills. We will look for tracks of the larger mammals that have been reintroduced, like bontebok, eland and zebra, as well as those animals that can still be found in all the wild areas of the Cape - baboons, caracal, duiker, mongooses, genets and otters, and even the smaller inhabitants like mice, birds, reptiles and insects.
Cape Point is ideal for looking at:
- Fynbos vegetation and Strandveld
- Dune systems
- Coastal systems
No 6: SEARCHIN' FOR URCHINS – False Bay Coast
"...this kingdom by the sea"
Exploring the intertidal rock pools on our coast is always a source of wonder for the young and old. Anemones, urchins, bivalves (mussels, clams etc.), octopi, fish, chitons, crabs, gastropods (limpets, periwinkles, whelks), starfish and barnacles are some of the noticeable inhabitants of our rocky coast. We will also find lots of algae and kelp and perhaps even eggs from the ocean predators – sharks!
Apart from the intertidal ecosystem the coast is the perfect platform to learn about:
- Urban development and effects
No.7: CAPE TOWN ROCKS! – Cape Peninsula
This is a tour of the Cape Peninsula looking at its formation and various rock types. We will look at how many millennia of sandy deposits have resulted in the layering of our Table Mountain Sandstone. We will observe how some pressurized areas have caused Quartzite to form and how Cape Granite outcrops were oozed out of the earth's crust as molten rock. Lastly we will look at the softer Shale areas in the North of the city and try and figure out how they and all our vast quantities of sand came about.
This trip is focused on:
No.8: TOP PREDATORS – MASTERS OF THE MOUNTAINS, SEAS, AND SKIES
The Cape leopard, Black Eagle and Great White Shark are all masters of their environment, adapted through many thousands of years to be perfect predators, yet they only hunt for what they (or their young) need. Mostly solitary and silent, these animals are only threatened by one other species – humans. Leopards have been exterminated in the Peninsula, sharks are difficult to see and although we may catch only a glimpse of our single pair of Black Eagles (in the Peninsula) we will be perfectly positioned to discuss and find out more about what it means to be a top predator in the wild.