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Bidding Capetown Farewell

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yesterday morning we left for the Cape of Good Hope, one of the southern most points on the continent and a beautiful nature reserve. After a 90 minute ride in which most of us caught up on our sleep, we arrived and were let through the gates. Immediately upon arrival we spotted the rare Bonka Buck. Prior to conservation efforts only 30 Bonka Bucks remained worldwide but even today thier population is unnervingly small. Later during our time in the reserve, we saw two baboons; baboons are very clever creatures whom we were warned to be wary of. We learned that a baboon can attain the same number of claories from a bag of chips as from a full day of foraging and consequently we had to keep all food like items out of thier sight (thier sight is much better than thier smell). Soon we arrived at the cape and enjoyed the beautiful view of waves crashing against the staggered, jagged rocks. We werejoined by two ostriches whom we were able to get surprisingly close to (within 5-10 feet). After enjoying the area we headed to cape point. There we walked along a beautiful, pathway to the top of the point which ended in a lighthouse where we took many pictures and marveled at the crashing waves, beautiful beaches, steep cliffs, clouds and several other beautiful sights. After leaving the reserve, we ate lunch at a pancake house in which pancakes were stuffed with a variety of foods such as chicken, tomatoes, cheese etc. After lunch we left for SANCCOB a bird rehabilitation center. There we learned of capetowns efforts towards saving birds (primarily African Penguins) who have been hurt by other animals or as is most often the case, by oilspills. The center generally releases "patients" as soon as they are back to their original form, howeversome birds have been affected to the extent that they cannot be released or come from other parts of the world and hence can't be released. Amongst these afflicted birds was a penguin named Rocky whom the group became very close to. ONce we were done exploring the rehabilitation center we bid a bittersweet farewell to Cspetown and left for the airport. We flew for 2 hours to Capetown and took a bus to our hotel. Our new hotel featured soft beds, an odd key activated lighting system and many other ammenities our old hotel lacked, but we still miss the scenic views and meeting rooms of the Protea Hotel in Capetown. We are all very excited for the next few day's in Johannesberg and hope they prove as rewarding as Capetown.


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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History