ALAN TOURS, the recognized Tour Operator in Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape would like to extend a hearty welcome to all the Ironman athletes, their family, friends and supporters. We would be delighted to show you the cultural, historical and natural diversity at the entrance to Algoa Bay. Pick up at place of residence in Port Elizabeth and travel to the southernmost tip of Algoa Bay, Cape Recife, Cabo de Arrecife and the Cape of Reefs as it was named by the early Portuguese explorers. Our first stop is at the SANCCOB for a Guided Tour of this Marine bird and Penguin Rehabilitation Center. We continue our Tour of the Reserve arriving at Cape Recife itself with its mobile sand dunes and historic, operational Lighthouse which was completed in 1851, the 3rd oldest fully operational Lighthouse in South Africa today. Parking the Tour vehicle, we walk the last 100 metres observing the wealth of shore birds and many species of Terns that inhabit this often wind swept rocky point at the southern entrance to Algoa Bay and the very reason for the existence of this well maintained Lighthouse. As we enter the Lighthouse, you will be introduced to the old machinery that provided the mechanical power to operate this lonely outpost. Climbing the wooden, circular, 101 stairs that bring you to the light at the top of the building one can only wonder at the efforts of those early Lighthouse Keepers. The steps worn smooth and polished by the weary footsteps up and down the stairway to keep the light burning and to maintain this beacon of hope, even in the worst of weather conditions. Stories of ghosts and intrigue stalk the very atmosphere of this ray of light. From the top of the Lighthouse, a clear view of the area and distant Port Elizabeth can be seen and if lucky, and the conditions are good, also the remains of the early Khoikhoi fish traps that still exist here.. Leaving the Lighthouse, we continue to a series of settlement ponds where a wide variety of mainly aquatic birds can be viewed from the bird hide or if the invasive vegetation covers the waters, we simply continue to the Main Road to enter the Grysbok Nature Reserve. A protected area of coastal Fynbos that surrounds the Nelson Mandela University (NMU). This is a refuge for a number of Antelope, Red Hartebeest, Common Duiker, Bushbuck and Zebra, amongst others, but is also home to the diminutive Cape Grysbok after which the Reserve has been named. This area is also host to a surprising wealth of Birdlife including a number of nocturnal (Owls) and Diurnal Raptors and ground Birds. While coursing the sandy roads of the Reserve in our 4 x 4 vehicle, we describe the many uses the hardy Herbaceous vegetation had for the Early Khoikhoi, many of whom inhabited and foraged in this area. We point out a number of ancient shell middens or discard heaps of sea shell and other domestic debris left as testament to the lifestyles of these hardy hunter Herders who occupied these windswept shoreline tens of thousands of years ago. .
- Pick up and drop off at accommodation - Entrance /Conservation fees - Bottled water in the Tour vehicle
|15 August 2018 09:00||Place of residence in Port Elizabeth||Tours run from 15 August until end September 2018|