Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Penguins, Baboons, and Me, Oh My!

5 February 2012

The sparkling ocean was packed with people. Children, parents, locals, and tourists were playing in the sand. I’ve never seen a beach so full of noise, laughter, and life, and I come from Florida! With one glance, you can tell that this beach is different. It might take a second or third, though, to see why….


PENGUINS ON THE BEACH! PENGUINS ON THE BEACH! Just chillin’! No one bothers them, no one cares, except the group of 28 Americans squealing and crying and taking turns getting close to them for their very own Kodak moment.



I must admit, I was expecting to see a lot of wildlife while in Africa, but penguins were not in my original plan.
       
       
Once the penguins became old news, we drove about another hour to Table Mountain National Park, home of both Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. The scenery and hikes were to die for, but what was really special about Cape Point were the animals we saw.



This was first sign to greet us on the way in. I’m sorry, what? I thought there was no way we would see any baboons, and if we did, it would be from a shy distance. Just as that thought flitted away from my head, what do you suppose walked right past me? As if he were just another human, a monstrous baboon! I heard a shriek nearby when my friend Emily sat down and heard a rustling in the bush next to her. She had a baboon friend, too! These baboons were EVERYWHERE, and not shy at all.

 


There was more to this park than baboons, though:

But, baboons were still the highlight:


 A girl in our group bought a muffin for the trip home. A baboon ran up to her and grabbed her arm. She screamed and flailed, sending the muffin at least 10 feet up in the air. The baboon snatched it up in its mouth and ran off. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen and the perfect way to say bye to the baboons.

Then we went to the Cape of Good Hope, a place that claims to be the southern most tip of Africa. I learned from Hestea, however, that this is false! There is a small piece of land to the east that is just slightly more south. Bummer. The view is still pretty incredible, though!

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