Hoop Nature Reserve
Cape, South Africa
|Rare or endangered animal species in the reserve include
the Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra. Other animals you may see
are eland, the Cape clawless otter, baboons, rock dassies and the
occasional rooikat (caracal).
|The reserve is particularly known for its bird population,
many of which - such as the endangered Cape oystercatcher - breed
within the reserve.The flora and fauna are impressive too – the fynbos floral
kingdom dominates with 1500 species of plants in the reserve
alone – also 86 species of mammal, 260 different birds, 14
amphibian and 50 reptile species.
|However, it's not only today that people appreciate the
bountiful nature of the southern Cape. Spectacular caves
filled with rich archaeological deposits and ancient shell
middens that dot the De Hoop coastline provide evidence
that hunter gatherers visited this area for more than 100,000
years. Bones, plant materials and shells, the remains of
past meals left where people once lived tell us they hunted
and collected a wide range of small antelope, tortoises,
hares, hyraxes, fish and shellfish and large animals. Current
excavations at Vaalkrans Shelter and, in time, at other
archaeological sites provide another dimension to the background
and history of this unique reserve.