The Himalayan Tahrs of Table Mountain
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Have you ever seen a peculiar, goat-like mammal trotting the slopes of Table Mountain? If so, you’ve stumbled upon the infamous Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), a large ungulate (“hoofed animal”) native to Northern India, Southern Tibet, China and Nepal (ref). The story of how these exotic, ‘wild goats’ found themselves on Table Mountain is a colourful one. Way back in … Read More

Why is Table Mountain flat?
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Let’s face it: it’s one of those questions our children will probably ask us, and their children will probably ask them – and it would be rather nice to know what to say. The geology behind Table Mountain is something we don’t often engage with, yet it’s because of this peculiar, flat-topped phenomenon that Cape Town is home to a … Read More

Introducing our rare red orchid and her remarkable pollinator
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Known to most as the Western Province rugby emblem, the red disa (Disa uniflora) is an enigmatic gem of the Cape. It is found alongside remote mountain streams in the Western Cape and on the upper slopes of Table Mountain. Here it survives the dry summer months by gaining moisture from the Mountain’s famous ‘table cloth’. This is a cloud … Read More

A Table Mountain Glossary: Mysteries behind the mountain’s many names
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We spend our lives gallivanting up and down the mountain, crossing off poorts, pathways and landmarks as we go, often with no idea of how these sights came to be named. There are a wealth of fascinating theories out there, a few of which should be taken with a rather generous pinch of salt, and others that play a very … Read More

Table Mountain Ghost Frog
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In this month’s Introductory Series we introduce you to another of Table Mountain’s rare and mysterious species, namely the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, a rare and secretive creature of darkness. Few people will be lucky enough to ever see a Table Mountain Ghost Frog (Heleophryne rosei). This extremely rare frog is restricted to an area less than 8km2 (a total … Read More

The secret garden: 6 special spots in Kirstenbosch
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Kirstenbosch is no secret, that’s for sure. It’s considered one of the great botanical gardens of the world and without a doubt one of the Mother City’s most popular tourist attractions. Despite the status and grandeur it’s built up over the years, if you spend some time exploring its deeper nooks and crannies, you’ll find a secret garden: a warren … Read More

We’ve found Wally’s Cave. But who was Wally?
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That unmistakable picture postcard view of Table Mountain framed by the craggy, silhouetted edges of Wally’s Cave has manifested itself across Cape Town’s blogs and newsfeeds in recent years, most often followed by a barrage of comments such as ‘Is this the mysterious Wally’s Cave?’ and ‘How does one find this place?’ Well, we found it one evening not so … Read More

Why are there five dams on top of Table Mountain?
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The idea of a dam on top of a mountain seems to defy logic, doesn’t it? Well, one only has to explore the upper reaches of Table Mountain to discover that it’s entirely possible. Our Mother City’s magnificent mount has five dams dotted across its tabletop, the first of which was built way back in 1890.   This is how … Read More

Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood
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In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. Contrary to its colourful Afrikaans name, Spekboom (literally translated to ‘bacon tree’) is a lush, emerald succulent plant with juicy, round leaves and an unmistakable, lemony flavour. It grows naturally in the Western Cape and very prolifically in the Eastern Cape, where it earned its other name, ‘elephant bush’, due … Read More

Making KOS: Exploring indigenous plant foods with Loubie Rusch
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We have become increasingly removed from the concept of foraging for food as we’ve evolved to rely on planes, trains and automobiles to deliver our food to us, often from halfway across the world. Foraging requires an alternative mindset, focused on the indigenous resources that we can extract from ‘our back gardens’, rather than relying solely on what we find … Read More

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