Yesterday was such a fun day. It was probably the nicest day we’ve seen in South Africa so far, with temps reaching 80 degrees! So we decided to make sure and schedule something outside for the day. We decided to find the penguin colony we’ve been told about, and headed out to Betty’s Bay which is about 45 minutes from our apartment. We were told the drive along N44 was one of the most beautiful drives in the world, so we wanted that route. Luckily for us we could hop on that pretty much right outside of our apartment. Within 10 minutes we were driving through some shady neighborhoods and thinking people who had made the previous comment were out of their minds. But then we hit the scenic portion. Oh. My. Word. Gorgeous!
If you look closely at that mountain you can see a straight line along the bottom portion – that is the road we were driving on below…
We constantly felt like we were about to fall off the edge to our deaths.
It got so high at times, and there were so many curves that did not have road rails. I felt like if I leaned too far to one side we were goners. Big props to my hubby for driving on the left side of the road AND keeping us all alive on that route!
We did get brave enough to stop at a lookout point and take some pics quick. This is apparently a perfect spot to see humpback whales from the months of June through December, but we didn’t see any. This is a pic of Somerset West from across the bay.
We got back in our car, put on our terrified faces and started driving again. And that’s when we saw it. I mean, the signs had warned us – don’t feed them. But we didn’t really think they were just roaming around or that we’d see any…
Yes, my friends. That is a baboon. He was just sitting there on the railing, enjoying his morning. And he was big. And did you know baboons make a terrifying sound? As we were passing, he turned, looked right at us and let out some sort of freakish bark as if to tell us that he wanted to rip us and our car into shreds. Yikes!
So after surviving the beautiful, terrifying drive around the mountains on the edge of the ocean, and the wrath of the baboon, we found the penguins. And they were about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!
These are African penguins and they only get 24-28 inches tall, weighing about 5-7.5 lbs. This particular type of penguin is only found along the south-western coast of Africa. This is a large natural colony and it was really fun to see them in their natural habitat!
If you look closely you can see penguins speckled all over those rocks!
Then we found the march of the Penguins….
We could get so close to them!
And then if your heart isn’t already warm and fuzzy….
Oh, the mommy wing around her baby….Heart. Officially. Melted.
Okay, so seriously these things will bite (or so the signs said – and after the whole baboon thing, we believe signs around here!) so I had to refrain from cuddling them – even though they looked like stuffed animals.
Palesa enjoyed walking around looking at everything. However, she did seem more interested in the rocks on the ground. Anyone that has had a 2-year-old will know exactly what I’m talking about!
While we were there we saw a couple other types of animals:
Some sort of lizard. It was only about 3 inches long, but gross nonetheless.
And then this fuzzy animal that I only know three things about: it is about the size of a large house cat, it’s called a Dassie, and it poops on stuff to claim it as his and also to communicate. Exciting, huh?
As we were leaving, we happened to see a group of young penguins being released into the water by the reserve team.
We ate some good food at a local eatery in the coastal town near the penguin colony, and then braved our way back around the mountains. I was totally ready to get another shot of a baboon, but they were shy. I may or may not have mistaken someone crouched down with a hoodie on as a baboon and had him in my viewfinder ready to snap a barking shot until we got closer and Grant informed me, “that’s a man, not a baboon.” Oops!
Overall, we had a great day enjoying God’s creation!