My mates from the UK were delighted when we encountered kéwel Bush Buck, a type of antelope, on the West Head in Knysna, South Africa. They’d enjoyed the tourist attractions of Birds of Eden and Jukani but were lamenting that the only wild animals they’d seen were baboons on the N2 highway. Their wish was well-timed as we encountered a Bush Buck almost immediately… and then a herd less than an hour later.
The sky had drenched our town the past 3 days. Approximately 130mm had fallen, limiting options for my mates who’d travelled so far. That morning, however, i’d made a wild weather report on my Facebook that was more hopeful than anything else but it had surprisingly come true. Rain had become intermittent showers which prompted me to take them on an excursion to the Western Head where the Knysna suburbs of Belvidere, Lake Brenton and Brenton-on-Sea could be found. By the time we got there, there were even patches of sunshine.
After viewing the old church and classic houses of tree-shady Belvidere, we headed to Brenton-on-Sea where we found ourselves alone in the car park… except for a magnificent male Bush Buck 🙂 The sight made the girls so happy… but it was only to get better.
After beach and rock photography, it was down to Lake Brenton where we parked in front of the jetty. As soon as we got out of the car, we were treated to a view of 5 Bush Buck less than 100m away. We halved that distance and contented ourselves with watching the male flirt with a female who was seemingly willing as she’d separated herself from the rest of the herd (which were females and calves).
To our delight, she jumped up from the beach, over a wall, to brush past the male who followed her to a patch of grass where she urinated on his nose. There was licking and posturing before she led him off into nearby trees. Interesting, the other females followed but all waited at the treeline, as if to give them privacy.
I don’t know what the sum total for the West Head is but we were lucky to see 2 males within an hour as a 2010 survey of Lake Brenton found there to be only 6 males (plus 5 calves and 27 females).
We went for a beach walk, halfway towards Featherbed Nature Reserve, and then returned to a fabulous meal at Loui’s Restaurant and pool and beer at Long Barn. It was a lovely day and an experience well shared!