Respite from the pandemic; Rietvlei 18 June 2020

 

Under South Africa’s current “COVID-19 lockdown restrictions” our nature reserves and national parks are allowed to open their gates to local day visitors, and so Joubert and I used the opportunity to visit Pretoria’s Rietvlei Nature Reserve this past week (Marilize is back at work at the local Primary School). It was our first time out in natural surroundings since our visit to the Royal Natal Park in March and, despite all the new formalities of temperature checks and health declarations at the entrance and the constant aggravation of face masks fogging up the lenses of my glasses in the crisp winter’s air, still an experience to be treasured – perhaps even more so now that it is clear how easily freedoms like these are forfeited in a time of crisis. Being just 13km from our home and surrounded by development in South Africa’s most industrialised province, it is easy to underestimate the value of Rietvlei as a place where tired souls can find a temporary reprieve from the onslaught of seemingly ever escalating bad news.

 

30 thoughts on “Respite from the pandemic; Rietvlei 18 June 2020

  1. aj vosse

    Astounding diversity and beauty so close to your home! Great to be able to regain snatches of freedom!
    PS – Are you forced to wear them infuriating face covers even in the privacy of your own car?

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Indeed, AJ, you’re supposed to be donning a mask whenever you venture out of your residence. Keeping it on, irritating as it may be, is also preferable to taking it on and off regularly lest you contaminate the mask with virussed hands…

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  2. healingfootprints

    Thank you for the visual tour! Now more than ever is the time to connect with nature. You are lucky to have a spot like that so close by. What a nice way for father and son to spend a day.

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  3. petrujviljoen

    My niggie stuur my nou die dag fotos van haar trip in dieselfde reservaat. Sy bly ook net so naby daaraan. Hulle is in Faerie Glen. Regtig ‘n goeie krop fotos. Ek’s verstom so iets bestaan amper in die middel van die stad.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Rietvlei is regtig n juweel in daardie opsig, Petru. Die eertydse stadsvaders moet regtig krediet gegee word vir die versiendheid om die reservaat daar te stel. Lekker om van jou te hoor ook!

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  4. naturebackin

    What a fabulous and restorative day out. You saw so much and your photos are great. Thanks for sharing reconnecting with nature. I expect Marilize was just a teensy bit envious …

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      So she was, Janet, and we also really missed her company. With the limit on the number of vehicles in the reserve set at 50 and being tightly controlled you could wait hours for a turn to pass through the gate over weekends, meaning that you have to arrive really early and long before gate opening time to secure your spot. That in itself is not a problem for the de Wets, but the possibility of becoming another crime statistic is.

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  5. SoyBend

    Glad you were able to recharge yourself with this trip. You’re lucky there is so much to see nearby. Wonderful pictures! I didn’t know you had shrikes there. One of my favorites – part songbird, part raptor.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      You’ll be glad to hear that we have several kinds of shrikes, or “butcherbirds”, here in South Africa, Siobhan, and some of them are really beautifully coloured (like the Crimson-breasted Shrike Joubert photographed here).

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  6. H.J. for avian101

    Fantastic gallery of wildlife that we don’t have in USA. Fascinating photos. Joubert takes great photos, too. Very interesting post, my friend. 🙂

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