WATCH: Tortoise ingenuity along Hermanus golf course is a must-see
Cape Town - From Pilanesberg in the North West to Hermanus in the Western Cape - it's been a good week to be a tortoise.
In this video shared with Traveller24 via readers Lynda & Sam Oosthuizen, the unexpected ingenuity and speed from two 'Rooipensie' tortoises are not only ridiculously cute but rather remarkable too.
Lynda Oosthuizen says, “We Bumped onto this Rooipensie tortoise getting a bit of help from his friend on our daily morning walk around the Fernkloof Village Golf Estate Hermanus".
The couple who are originally from Bryanston, Gauteng have just completed building their house in the Fernkloof Village Golf Estate and will soon be relocating to retire in this beautiful Estate next to the Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus.
Oosthuizen says the village, which straddles the northern area of Hermanus and includes the Cliff Path and Hoy’s Koppie, often allows for spectacular whale viewing along the sea.
She says the reserve’s 1800 hectares has a floral species count of over 1300 plants, making it one of the most species-rich areas in the Cape Floral Kingdom.
TRAVEL GUIDE: A Whale-spotting wine escape in Hermanus
"There are some 60 kilometres of well-signposted walking trails of varying degrees of difficulty around the Reserve and Estate.
"The creatures we know that inhabit the Fernkloof Nature Reserve are klipspringers, grysbokkies, steenbokkies, snakes, tortoises and baboons and many more. We also very much enjoy the small Village feel of the Hermanus town with all its cosy little restaurants and art shops."
In another rather extraordinary feat of defeating the odds, this tortoise in Kruger is one lucky fellow. Any animal caught in the midst of elephants would fear being crushed, so you can understand how remarkable it is that this tortoise survived the stampede of a herd of thirsty elephants at a waterhole.
Shared by Latest Sightings, who says “in the animal kingdom, it is more like saved by your shell”, the video was watched live by viewers from all over the world through WildEarth’s live webcam, who witnessed the miraculous sight as it unfolded.
A lone tortoise was quenching its thirst when suddenly, a rumble began, forcing the tortoise to go into its shell.
“A thirsty herd of elephants in the Pilanesberg strolled down to the watering hole for a drink from the Kwa Maritane lodge,” says Latest Sightings, adding that the elephants “seemed to be aware of the tortoise’s presence and were very careful to step over the tortoise or only bump him gently with their giant feet”.
“Everyone watching was just waiting for the unfortunate moment that one elephant didn’t see this unusual ‘rock’ and steps right onto it. But it miraculously didn’t happen!”
It's a wild world out there, so whatever you do this weekend - don't get crushed and lend a hand where you can. If you're in one of SA's major cities and still not sure what you'd like to get up to? Check out our SA Insider guide here.