The wildlife at De Hoop was spectacular. I'm afraid that my photogrophy skills weren't quite up to the challenge, so you'll have to rely on the narration in this post.
We saw an ostrich poking around in the grass, with a little cattle egret chasing it around and presumably eating the bugs near its feet. The ostrich is, fuzzily, kind of in the middle of this picture.
Herds of eland and bontebok were grazing all over the park. Unfortunately, my pictures of them are kind of hard to appreciate:
Best of all, we saw about a dozen southern right whales. They were floating right off the coast. Periodically, one of them would start breaching. I've wanted to see whales breaching almost as long as I can remember, so I was thrilled.
I wanted to share that experience on this blog, but my camera always delays for a second or two before snapping a picture, which makes it a bit hard to catch gigantic sea mammals suspended above the water. So, just to prove that I really, really tried, I'm posting all the pictures I took right after whales breached, or right when I thought one was about to breach. If you look closely, you might see a fin.
I did manage to take two photos of animals that are actually recognizable. The first is of some blue cranes, which are South Africa's national bird:
The second is of a Cape francolin that wanted to eat our lunch for us. Up close,
these birds make litte beeping noises. They sound like robots in 1980s sci-fi movies.