De Hoop Nature Reserve

Written by Jacques Marais
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“Trees are poems
that Earth writes upon the Sky.
We fell them down
and turn them into Paper,
that we may record our Emptiness.”

Khalil Gibran

The ‘Meeting Tree’ at #DeHoopVlei Nature Reserve in the #Overstrand Region certainly rates as one of those ‘remarkable trees’ you only encounter a few times in your wanderings upon Planet Earth. These #ficuscapensis giants reach up to 35m in height and grow hundreds of years old.

Most impressively, their canopies often spread wider than they are tall, creating arboreal ecosystems supporting birds, insects, reptiles and mammals, all depending on the tree for food, shelter and sustenance. At #dehoopnaturereserve, you will often see bontebok, eland or mountain zebra resting in the shade of its ample crown; baboons, vervet monkeys and bulbuls feeding on the sweet, wild figs; flocks of roosting hadeda ibis and other nesting birds; and geckos, lizards and snakes hunting amidst the branches for millions of insects living in, on and around these amazing woodland specimens. They truly are independent #ecosystems 🍃🦎🐛

The fig trees of this world-renowned #naturereserve also serve as natural beacons for visitors to DeHoop. This is where your guided #naturehike will start, or where you can rest in glorious shade after a #mountainbike ride; or relax during the heat of the day while relishing one of #figtree Restaurant’s delectable picnic baskets.

What a privilege to join @just_anneke, @michellelombardi68 and the crew from @dehoopvleimtb to recce the new #mtb routes for this annual event. Let’s just say the #flatrock #singletrack is going to blow your mind! And if you’ve been wondering where to go for a first post #lockdown #mtb experience, this is it 💙👌🚲

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