I have always been in awe of life on Earth and have spent more and more of my time seeking out the most iconic and most bizarre of creatures. I’ve always looked for them in their natural habitat - I don’t visit zoos or aquariums. Instead I’ve done hundreds of dives looking for the tiniest of nudibranches in the Philippines, I’ve helped bring a lost polar bear cub back to it’s mother in the Arctic, and I’ve had to run away from a very close encounter with an elephant in dense undergrowth whilst on a walking safari in Ethiopia.
There are few wild creatures in the world that allow us to get so close to them. Bizarrely the African penguin colony on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa barely notices us as we approach them to within metres.
The cable cars silently glide over my burnt orange rocky perch and from this vantage point I can peer into the glass fronted levitated car. Inside is a cram of people all sporting sunglasses sunhats and DSLR cameras slung around their necks. I felt smug for my route up table mountain, the solitude I had coupled with views overlooking the cape peninsula surely beat being penned in a cable car. If anyone in the car looked downwards they may have seen me waving and I'm sure they would've felt the opposite, feeling smug for their quick and comfortable journey up to the top. But for any mountain it's about the journey more than the destination which holds for even for this benign looking mountain and hiking/scrambling up was the only way I would be getting to the top.
You know, I class myself a pretty lucky chap. I’ve had the fortune to get up and close to some of the Earth’s most phenomenal creatures and so I’m not often lost for words when seeing something new. But damn, the sheer size of Buffel took my breath away.