Grazing horses, leaping kudus and migrating leopard toads?!

02 February 2013

As we drove over Ou Kaapse Weg (cough-cough!) to Noordhoek this morning, Reggie said I should look out for some unusual signs by the road.

Look at this strange one:

Caution! Big antelope may cross the road!
Caution! Big antelope may cross the road!

“Do you have moose or elk here? In the middle of the city?!” I asked, astonished. Those signs look a bit like ours back home.

Reggie chuckled. “No, Flat Kathy, we don’t have moose or elk. But we do have other large antelopes, like kudu and gemsbok and eland and bontebok, and we’ve got lots of little ones, like bushbuck and duiker and klipspringers. But not many of those can be found here in this reserve, perhaps just a couple of the smaller ones – who may want to leap across the road from time to time.”

(In case you’re wondering, I asked Reggie to write those names down for me; I certainly couldn’t remember them! She said they are all Afrikaans words, so that’s why they look and sound so peculiar.)

I don’t think many of you will have seen this sign, though:

Caution: Western Leopard Toads may cross the road!
Caution: Western Leopard Toads may cross the road!

“We have Western Leopard Toads in this part of the Peninsula,” Reggie told me. “They are an endangered species, and so the residents are very protective of them.”

During their breeding season, from July to September every year, the male toads look for females that are willing to mate with them, and they all migrate to their various breeding places. But because there are so many houses and roads across their migration routes, many of them get killed by traffic. Life is dangerous for these toads!

As we drove down into the Noordhoek valley, I saw a herd of horses in a large open field. It seems that this is a very horse-loving suburb, with many smallholdings and lots of people owning horses. It looks quite idyllic!

Noordhoek is a very horse-friendly area
Noordhoek is a very horse-friendly area

6 thoughts on “Grazing horses, leaping kudus and migrating leopard toads?!

    1. Oh yes, it’s important to learn lots of new things when you’re exploring the world. I never had a chance to go to school, Kathy, so this is my way of learning about the world and life and everything. I am very pleased to have jumped on that plane!

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