The Knysna seahorse

There are between 30 and 40 different kinds of seahorses in our oceans, but only five of these have been seen around the southern African coastline.

The Knysna seahorse is the most well-known, and is the only seahorse that is in danger of extinction.

Knysna seahorses can be found only in the Knysna, Keurbooms and Swartvlei estuaries on the south coast of South Africa.

They are green to brown in colour and grow more or less12cm in length.

We normally find them at depths of 50cm to 8m, on sandy bottoms or around clumps of plants.

Kangaroo pouch
Seahorses have lived in our oceans for approximately 40 million years. Their heads are shaped like those of a horse, tails like a monkey’s and male seahorses have a ‘pouch’ similar to female kangaroos! The male seahorse gives birth to the offspring – the female lays her eggs in the male’s pouch and when they are ready, the babies hatch out of the pouch into the water!

Seahorses are mesmerizing to watch – you may be lucky to see male and female seahorses in a timid courtship dance or even a male seahorse giving birth!

Seahorses are fish
Seahorses breathe through gills just like fish, use their fins to move through the water and hatch from eggs. The biggest seahorse measures 35 centimeters from its head to the end of its tail and the tiniest seahorse is a mere 3 centimeters long!

Eyes like a chameleon
Seahorses swim upright, driven by its dorsal fin, while their small pectoral fins help to guide them as they move along. Seahorses feed on tiny fish and shellfish, which they suck into their mouths. The eyes of a seahorse are much similar to those of a chameleon and they can move independently, one eye would be looking for food and the other watching out for predators. Did you know that Seahorses can change in colour so that they blend into their environment?

Urban sprawl threatens Knysna seahorses
The biggest thread of the Knysna seahorse is humans. The development of towns puts the survival of the Knysna seahorses in danger. Houses and shopping centres are being built right on the water’s edge and polluted water flows directly into the estuaries where these seahorses live. Boats and people in the estuaries are also disturbing the unique habitat of these animals.

A costly cure
Every year about 20 million seahorses are being caught all over the world, for medicine or to be sold as ornaments. Some people believe that consuming dead seahorses will cure asthma, skin problems and baldness. Another one million seahorses are caught yearly to be displayed in homes and public aquariums.

We protect our seahorses
We have a strict law in South Africa that protects the Knysna seahorses. The law states that nobody is allowed to catch these seahorses or disturb them in their natural habitat. There are also firm laws about importing seahorses into South Africa from other countries in the world.

Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a small coastal town that forms part of the greater Knysna municipal region. It is surrounded by several private and state owned Nature Reserves. This quaint little town on the border of the Indian Ocean offers properties for those who love nature and scenic sea views. Are you interested in buying a home or build your own on an empty plot? View all Sophie’s available properties online and contact her today on 082 572 2729 to reserve your special spot in this unique area.

The Outeniqua Mountains

The Outeniqua Mountains, named after the Outeniqua Khoikhoi, is a mountain range that runs in parallel to the southern coast of South Africa, and forms a uninterrupted range with the Langeberg to the west and the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the east. The mountains are part of the Garden Route of South Africa.

“Outeniqua” is said to be unoriginated from a Khoikhoi tribe that lived in the mountains, and means “they who bear honey”.

The range is characterized by moderate southern slopes and steep drops on the north side down to the low valley Little Karoo. High points include Cradock Peak and George Peak located to the north of George. Changing conditions create different habitats. On the south-facing slopes there is montane fynbos at higher, moister altitudes, while the north hosts karroid and renosterveld shrubland. On the mesic southern slopes there are Afromontane gallery forests.

The exceptional good rainfall on the range has formed numerous streams used for irrigation in the Olifants River valley. While the climate along the range is generally hot to moderate, weather conditions can vary greatly. In winter the temperature can drop to 5 °C or less and snowfalls can occur on the higher peaks.

Animals that can be found in the Outeniqua range are klipspringer, grey rhebuck, leopard and various rodents. The Outeniqua mountain range is also home to a very small number of African elephants. New sightings of these large animals, including that of a young bull give hope that the legendary animals might, with time, become re-established in the Outeniqua reserve. Birds include black eagles and other raptors as well as the Cape sugarbird as well as fynbos birds.

In 1908, work started on a railway route between George and Oudtshoorn. This required the building of seven tunnels and numerous long cuttings. Eventually the railway was opened in August 1913.

Cradock Pass was completed in 1816 and became known as the “Voortrekker Road”. The Pass did not have a very good reputation and was considered as dangerous in the years to come.

In 1847, a vastly improved Montagu Pass was constructed and named after the Colonial Secretary, John Montagu.

Due to increasing demands of modern traffic, construction was started on the Outeniqua Pass in 1943. The pass was opened to traffic in September 1951.

Two other road passes cross: the Outeniqua, the Robinson Pass west of George; and Prince Alfred’s Pass, which connects Uniondale with Knysna.

Stay in the majestic Garden Route

It is never too late to move and what better place is there than the beautiful Garden Route! Brenton-on-Sea is an ever expanding town on the shoreline of the Garden Route and offers various houses and vacant land to buy.

To find out more about what is for sale, give Estate Agent Sophie Joubert a call on 082 572 2729 now!

The Outeniqua Pass

The Outeniqua Pass is a fairly modern pass, connecting the coastal town of George with Oudtshoorn and the Little Karoo. It was first built in 1942 – 1951 to provide a different route other than the narrow and steep Montagu Pass. It was made wider and modernized a few times since then and today carries the bulk of the traffic flow between the two towns and Langkloof.

Rockfalls and trucking accidents cause disruptions in the pass from time to time. The higher reaches of the pass are subject to heavy rainfall and dense mountain mists which can reduce visibility to a few metres, which can make it dangerous if you do not drive with caution, especially due to the high volume of commercial traffic that it carries.

The pass has 40 bends, corners and curves – many of which exceed 90 degrees. The road is well engineered, but it is advisable to stick to the speed limits to get you safely over the pass. For south-bound traffic there are several excellent view-sites which are marked as “The 4 passes”. The third one from the summit is particularly impressive! From this vantage point all four passes can be seen, including one of which dates back almost 200 years!

The Outeniqua pass forms part of the Outeniqua Mountains which lies in the Garden Route of South Africa. The Garden Route is a spectacular part of the most southern side of South Africa and offers great potential for housing.

One of the most beautiful towns in this stretch of land is Brenton-on-Sea. With its majestic sea facing stands and houses it offers its residents prime spots for Whale and Dolphin watching from the comfort of their homes.

Fancy a home in Brenton-on-Sea? Contact the best and most professional Estate Agent in this small town today on 082 572 2729. Sophie promises nothing less than top quality service and value for your hard earned money.

Paragliding at Brenton

About FlyTime Paragliding
FlyTime Paragliding was established in 2006 by the German DHV/OEAEC and SAHPA paragliding instructor Joerg Bueble. In 2009 Lucille Bueble joined FlyTime. As a passionate paragliding pilot she became one of the very few instructors and female tandem pilots in South Africa.

The Garden Route offers one of the top 10 spots in the World to experience a paragliding. Whether it is with one of the highly experienced SAHPA (South Africa Hang gliding and Paragliding Association) rated paragliding instructors on a tandem flight, or take up control all by yourself, with a introduction or full license course. They also offer coastal marine wildlife scenic flights along the coast with their Paragliding Trike. All offered tandem flights are disabled friendly.

FlyTime also offers guided tours for pilots who are already in possession of a foreign or South African paragliding license.

FlyTime is based in Sedgefield, situated between Wilderness and Knysna, the heart of the Garden Route. This area offers numerous paragliding sites from Mossel Bay up to Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn.

TANDEM PARAGLIDING IN THE GARDEN ROUTE
A tandem paragliding flight is simply the best way to experience the feeling of being completely free, depending on wind and thermals, to let you gain height without an external energy and power source. Everybody can join this adventure, young and old. FlyTime has taken disabled people up as well as seniors over 90 years of age.

Tandem Flights in the Garden Route: Down here at Sea Level, the air is more dense that high up on a mountain. This dense air makes it possible to take off much quicker and with slower speed and at the same time the landing will be much slower as well. Of course this makes it more ideal for a passenger as it is easier. Because of the strength of the African sun, the thermals are stronger which allows you to fly more consistently. This, together with consistent Southerly coastal sea breeze conditions, combines all this positive influences, let alone the mild climate, with mostly sunny days. There are no better conditions to experience this type of activity.

Safety: Many people ask this question. FlyTime explains it this way: Think about mountain biking. It’s a mass sport and because it is well established nobody really questions the safety. Paragliding flights in the Garden Route are conducted from grassy hills and dunes. This is the ideal environment for this sport as there are no rocks and hard obstacles. FlyTime has a 100% safety flight to date. The FlyTime team are proud to say that they do not take any risks and that they are working hard on keeping their admirable safety record.

Clothing: Because of the mild climate on the Southern coast of South Africa, it is OK to fly in a T-shirt. For those who don’t like the slightest chill, it is advisable to take a light jacket along. It is strongly advised to give to proper shoes, such as trainers or any other closed shoes. Please take note that Flip Flops and high heels are not really an option.

Paragliding at Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a small town with two take-off fields where paragliding pilots are flying in South Wester winds. It offers a picturesque area to fly.

Elevation: 171m
GPS coordinates: 34°3’36” (34.06)S; 23°0’36” (23.01)E
Directions: Drive on the N2 and look for the Brenton on Sea turn off either before you enter Knysna from Cape Town coming, or a few kilometers after you left Knynsa once you crossed the Knysna Lagoon. Follow the road all the way to Brenton-on-Sea and drive down to the parking lot. There you will see a grass field next to the parking. This is the main take-off for this site.

A tandem flight is an easy and safe way to experience this amazing adventure at its best.

Book your FlyTime paragliding adventure by calling Lucille on
072 612 8168.

Properties in Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a green, quiet and scenic place to stay and offers vacant land and houses overlooking the ocean.

Sophie Joubert of Sophie’s Properties has been an Estate Agent in Brenton for more than 10 years.

Would you like to own a house or build your dream home in Brenton-on Sea? Say no more… contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729!!

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

The Phantom Forest Eco Reserve is a 137 hectare private nature reserve situated on the Garden Route, a mere seven kilometres from Knysna. The reserve is an unspoiled natural wonderland incorporating Afromontane forest, Cape coastal fynbos, and estuarine wetland, with more than 150 bird species, bushbuck, grysbok, blue duiker and several other small game.

As you head south towards the Indian Ocean for about 9 kilometres, you will reach the well-known coastal town named Brenton-on-Sea. This small town is expanding rapidly and offers potential residents spectacular sea view vacant stands and houses for sale.

Sophie Joubert has been an excellent estate agent for 10 years in this area and she believes in only the best service. To buy your home or empty plot, contact Sophie from Sophie’s Properties today on 082 572 2729!

How the Phantom Pass got its name

The beautiful tree-lined Phantom Pass runs uphill from the Knysna Lagoon and over towards Rheenendal. Closer to Rheenendal you will find the Millwood Goldfields as well as Jubilee Creek between the Knysna Forests.

In these forests you will find many tragedies due to mankind’s awful ways. As you most probably know, men have been trying to rule in these forests for hundreds of years.

The name of the pass comes from a moth (Leto venus), named the phantom moth. But little do we know that the phantom moth has a very sad story to tell.

It all started when the French explorer and naturalist, Francois le Vaillant, spent six months in the Knysna district in 1782, recording all the most important natural phenomena that he could found here.

But if the phantom moth is widely spoken about, why did he never describe it? And why doesn’t it appear in any other texts from the early nineteenth century?

Did the phantom moth exist before 1881?

Apparently the Victoria Esposito was the most beautiful of the silk spinners of Gouna. And the silk spinners of Gouna were a group of about forty families who were brought to Knysna from Italy in 1881: the British Government had supported the dreams of a wealthy farmer in the district – the Honourable Henry Frederick Francis Adair Barrington – who hoped to create a silk industry here. The worms, he thought would thrive on the wild mulberries which grow abundantly in the Knysna Forests. But South Africa’s wild mulberry – Trimeria grandiflora – bears no resemblance at all to the real mulberry – Morus alba – upon which the silkworm only feeds.

Because of this finicky worm, these beautiful moths found themselves left to die in a clearing in the Knysna forest.

Proud and beautiful Victoria decided to take one of Barrington’s horses, and ride to Knysna to find a ship to take her and her family back home.

Victoria rode out on a stormy night in September. The path she travelled was lit by flashes of light that tore at the sky.

Both horse and rider were terrified, and the animal bolted. Victoria could only cling to its neck and hope.

Lightning struck just as the pair appeared at the edge of the forest at the very top of the Pass. It was a direct hit and girl and horse were killed instantly – but the power of the girl’s beauty was so great that, instead of transforming to ash, their bodies changed into moths.

Delicate brown and grey moths which appear again and again each year in spring – each one of them with Victoria’s beautiful, baleful eyes etched forever on its wings.

Fiction story as written by Martin Hatchuel


Close to Knysna is the beautiful, small coastal town – Breton-on-Sea – with its exotic ocean views. Sophie Joubert has been an estate agent in Brenton for more than 10 years and knows the area very well. To buy a piece of land or a house, contact her on 082 572 2729.

Prince Alfred’s Pass

The Prince Alfred’s Pass on the R339 gravel road between Knysna and Uniondale is probably Thomas Bain’s greatest work. Not only was this an extremely long pass, but it also presented almost every possible technical obstacle to the pass-builders.

At 68,5 km it is the longest (publicly accessible) mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin, as well as being the second oldest unaltered pass still in use.

This article is brought to you by the courtesy of Mountain Passes South Africa. The original post covers the whole length of Prince Alfred’s Pass and contains several videos. Please follow the link provided for detailed information about the Pass.

This information is posted by Sophie’s Properties, an Estate Agency in Brenton-on-Sea. Buy your next home on the shoreline of the Garden Route in the Western Cape of South Africa – the sunshine country! Contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

Sandboarding

Sandboarding is a fun sport activity run by Dune Adventures in Knysna who have daily guided tours to experience the thrill of sandboarding.

The trip is well suited for families, beginners and seasoned snowboarders. Sandboarding is much like snowboarding where a board is strapped to your feet and the rider is able to turn, carve and stop themselves as they ride down the sand dune. Snowboarders will feel at home on sand and will get a kick out of boarding in shorts in the sun.

It is possible to sit down on the boards which makes it easier for children as young as 3 and a half years to join in on the action. The oldest rider so far has been 76. You will be accompanied by trained guides who will instruct you on what to do at the dune.

Sandboarding involves walking up the dune and riding down. With no lifts on the dune you will find our dune is high enough and surprisingly easy to turn in the soft good quality sand which is forgiving when you fall.

The dune is in a special location with great scenery. Non boarders are welcome to come along where there is a comfortable semi sheltered spot to enjoy and photograph the activities and adventure.

It is a perfect thing to do in Brenton-on-Sea on hot, cold or windy days. All you need to bring is shoes, water, a hat and sunscreen to enjoy the day out.

Would you like to make Brenton-on-Sea your permanent home? With house and vacant land prices fitting your pocket, contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

Sophie has been an Estate Agent in Brenton for 10 years and knows the area very well. Why wait? With a star-bright smile and sunshine personality, Sophie has a passion for pointing out the perfect home for you and your family!

The Knysna Elephant Park

The Knysna Elephant Park was founded in 1994 by husband and wife Ian and Lisette Withers. Ian’s family had lived and worked in the Knysna area for several generations and Ian himself grew up surrounded by the legends of the forest and the famous Knysna forest elephants. In the evenings, around the fire, Ian’s grandfather would tell stories of his encounters with “Big Feet” and how his great-grandfather built the road passes along the tracks, made by these elephants through the Groot River and Bloukrans ravines and forests.

Sadly, by the time Ian and Lisette settled on their farm just outside Knysna, the mysterious forest elephants were almost extinct, with a mere five animals thought to be still alive. Then, in 1994, Ian and Lisette heard of two young elephant calves, rescued from a cull in the Kruger National Park, that were in need of a safe home. Would this be an opportunity to bring elephants back to Knysna? Could this young elephant couple help to highlight the protection of elephants in the nearby forests?

And so the foundations of the Knysna Elephant Park were built on the struggles of the elephants in the Knysna Forest. Harry and Sally arrived at the Park in October 1994. Ian and Lisette hardly realised how this small family would grow. The word to spread fast throughout South Africa: The Knysna Elephant Park was a place that could offer elephants in need of a good home. Twenty years later, more than forty elephants have passed through the gates of the Park; and the park has developed into a world class elephant sanctuary.

The large family have welcomed thousands of visitors over the years, giving them unique insight into the lives of elephants. Guests are privileged to have a close-up and personal encounter with these gentle giants, and leave having gained a healthy respect for these wonderful animals, as well as a better understanding of the African elephant and his quandary across the continent.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

On the outskirts of Knysna lies the well known Brenton-on-Sea. This small town offers houses and vacant land for sale. To buy your home coastal home, give Sophie a call today!

The Knysna Heads

The Garden Route is a splendid part of the South African coastline, known the world over for its breath-taking panorama and natural abundance. It links the provinces of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape and includes a number of popular holiday towns; such as Nature’s Valley, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay.

This is also the very unique route along which the Knysna Heads are found, emerging from the raw power of the ocean to stand like tall sentries, guarding the picturesque lagoon and town. The ocean waters gush and crash dramatically through the passage between them, providing breath-taking views from so many different vantage points throughout the town and its outlying areas. The Knysna Heads are also notorious for having been the resting place for many fishermen and seamen that tried to negotiate the unpredictable, powerful waterway in days past.

Today, The Heads are a dazzling sight to enjoy from a number of restaurants, and offer the perfect backdrop for those indulging in water sports nearby. The East Head is easy to get to, and visitors need only head to Leisure Island and follow the sign posts to be part of the excitement and magnitude of this headland. It possesses of a number of stunning homes, which have incredible views, as well as a selection of great restaurants. East Head Café has indoor and outdoor tables that are all positioned to make the best use of these spectacular sights. Blankets are provided so that, even when the seasons turn, tourists can enjoy delicious food or cocktails accompanied by world-class views.

The East Head is effortlessly accessible by car, and has a number of viewing points and decks from where to take in the stunning scenes. Cony Glen Road has two different viewpoints, each of which promises a slightly different perception of this incredible natural wonder. There are also numerous little beaches and rock pools that can be reached via the East Head. These are an amusement for young and old to explore, and are the launching point for snorkelers, Stand Up Paddlers, canoeists, paddlers, kayakers, kite boarders, and more. The beaches are also attractive little spots at which to enjoy a family picnic. Always practice caution of the changing tides before getting into the water, as it can become risky without warning.

The West Head is significantly trickier to access, as there are not public roads to it. The only way to see it is by taking ferry trip across the lagoon. These are conducted frequently from the waterfront. The West Head is well worth the visit, though, thanks to its being home to the charming Featherbed Nature Reserve. A trip to the reserve includes the ferry trip across the lagoon, a 4 x 4 trip up the headland, stops at various lookout points, and an easy 2.2 kilometre walk that really shows off the loveliness of the area. The coastal forest and fynbos are stunning, and the ancient caves are an exciting bonus.

The charters to The Heads include sunset cruises, oyster cruises and lagoon cruises; giving tourists even more diversity in terms of the different ways that they are able to see and experience this beautiful part of South Africa.
Steeped in history and laden in breath-taking beauty, The Heads are very exceptional must-sees for tourists to the Garden Route.

VACANT LAND AND HOUSES FOR SALE

West from the Knysna Heads lies Brenton-on-Sea – a beautiful small town with stunning ocean views and breathtaking fauna and flora scenes. Sophie has been an estate agent in this area for 10 years and knows the town very well. For professional service contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729 to buy a home or empty plot.