The Overberg district, Western Cape
Lat week I went exploring, taking a road I have not yet travelled: the whale route towards Rooiels. The road winds along the edge of the False Bay coastal stretch in the Overberg district, and Rooiels is at the very tip of the visible mountainous stretch. Rooi Els is an Afrikaans name which, translated, means Red Alder. It is little disturbed by the impact of modern day living. The focus of this whole area is on the conservation and preservation of indigenous plant and wildlife.
After passing Rooiels, we left the coastal road, turning inland in search of a place called Betty’s Bay. Also on the Overberg coast, Betty’s Bay features gorgeous white beaches and dunes.
This is still a place of tranquility and peace, where road signs warn motorists to wacth out for wildlife pedestrians rather than the human kind.
It has become a protected home to a large African penguin colony. When walking amongst them, we were amazed at how docile they seemed, allowing us to get really close. One of the security
conservationists who were strategically placed along the walkway to ensure the safety of the penguins, told us that they would accept us in that calm way as long as we walked slowly, doing nothing to alarm them. I returned from my day out, having lunched at the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, feeling rested and enriched
by what nature had to offer. It is so easy to get caught up in the buzz of a busy, often noisy and commercialised existence and to forget that just a short drive away there is a town where shopping malls have not yet found a home. This is a place where humans can live alongside various forms of wildlife in mutual acceptance.