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De Hoop Nature Reserve

What do whales and ostriches have in common? They both reside in the wild and remote De Hoop Nature Reserve.

The reserve, a mecca for  watching the endangered Southern Right Whale migrate, includes 70 km of rugged coastline and sandy beaches.  In October we observed about 50 whales with their young calves from only about 500 feet off shore. If you’re going for the money shot of a breeching whale and some do bellyflops you’ll need a 600 mm plus lens. We didn’t have one. 🙁

The De Hoop dunes spread out along the coastline running right to the water’s edge. They provide an excellent perch for whale watching during the day then near sunset they transform into photographic jewels.

With over 260 bird species avian lovers can easily find  the endangered Black Africa Oyster Catcher, a black bird with red eyes and red feet.

Lens suggestions? Bring it all – wide to telephone you’ll use everything in your arsenal. Oh… and pack an umbrella, water, and lunch because you’ll be out until sunset as you wait for the cinematic drama at dusk.