gmhTODAY 06 gmhToday Jan Feb 2016 - Page 93

give their horny “helmets” a smooth and shiny appearance. On an evening safari we spotted hyena pups in a nest built into an abandoned termite mound. The pups “laughed” (called) until their parents returned. It was nearly dark and the hyenas danced about, smelling one another to confirm their family ties. On another evening ride, we saw a leopard sleeping in a tree. He had cached a dead antelope in the branches above. Our guide told us leopards can track antelopes by the scent secreted from glands in their hooves. One morning, we learned that a group of female lions had killed a wildebeest the night before. The nighttime guards (who guard against poachers) said two bach- elor lions had tried unsuccessfully to take the meat from the females. We saw the bachelors, as well as the female lions. One female was licking the torn ear of another and the rest lay side by side, their bellies full, soaking up the sun. Our next stop was Cape Town. South Africa’s Mother City is widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. We stayed at Whale View Manor, a nearby boutique guesthouse perched above the historic suburb of Simon’s Town with sweeping ocean views framed by the distant Hottentots Holland Mountains. It was a GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 beautiful place reminiscent of the coastal pines, golf links and winding drive through Monterey/Pacific Grove. We boarded a boat to Seal Island with Captain Ned at the helm in order to view Great White Sharks. It is here that Southern Fur Seals come to breed. We watched them bob and play in the waves, with no sharks in sight. Our boat and two others dragged rubber decoys, giant fish heads and smaller fish in the hopes of attracting the sharks. It seemed like an eternity while my friend suited up in her scuba gear so she could take her turn in an underwater shark cage. I remained onboard watching for sharks and seabirds. gmhtoday.com 93