Even though Betty’s Bay is a very small ,holiday town in the Overberg area of the Western Cape, it offers a very scenic drive between mountain and sea. The first Saturday in February saw me take a trip through to Betty’s Bay with my parents.
Tucked away on the mountain side of the town you will find a national treasure, the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. It was the first time that I went to visit this site. It certainly won’t be the last!
The garden offers spectacularly landscaped Fynbos, Protea and Erica sections. The colours bursting through these little pockets are mind-blowing. It also includes a small wetland system and a mini forest. There are some hiking trails that lead to a magnificent waterfall. You can also take another route which leads to a panoramic view point higher in the mountain. One of the bridges was undergoing maintenance so I couldn’t venture that far into the mountain, but I’d love to go back and do the full trail.
Besides the abundance of indigenous flora in the garden, you’ll be able to see a wealth of fauna too. From the entrance I could hear many frogs croaking in the pond and nearby streams. Many birds were chirping about as the sun was starting to rise. You may be lucky to see tiny Steenbok or Klipspringer in the gardens if you are there early enough and have a well trained eye. Up in the mountain you might even be lucky enough to spot a Cape Leopard.
I followed this Blue Agama for a few meters until it settled on a rock to bask in the warming sun.
The striking Erica section was beaming with lively, colourful Double-Collared Sunbirds and Malachite Sunbirds and others passing through.
The impressive Protea section was dominated by Cape Sugarbirds. One male in particular looked as if he ruled that section. He posed on a Protea and was not camera shy at all. I managed to get pretty close to it and snap some pics.
There are many tiny insects, butterflies and dragonflies buzzing around the various sections.
I saw some Jackal Buzzards soaring high in the sky scouting for something to prey on. Unfortunately they did not venture any closer and decided to perch on some rocks higher up in the mountain.
The entire garden can be covered with a comfortable walk. Keep an eye open for any activity and you may just find something very special there.