Dreamy flying over Alexandria Dunefields, Eastern Cape, SA.

Dempsey’s Blog has been slumbering. Here’s a dream that woke us up:-
William Fraser: Published on Dec 8, 2015
Sling2 aircraft x6. The sequel to my first video of the flight, “Six Sling Formation”.
GoPro footage : Jordan van Eeden.

The unique Alexandria Dunefield stretches for a distance of fifty kilometres from Sundays River Mouth to Bushman’s River, and is one of the largest existing active coastal dunefields in the world.
Situated on the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast, the Alexandria Dunefields cover a total area of one hundred and forty two square kilometres. The dunefield displays an average width of about two and a half kilometres and some of the dunes are about a hundred and forty metres high. The Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park encompasses the Alexandria Dunefield. The dunefield and unspoilt coastline of mainly sandy beaches is flanked by Southern Coastal Forest with species such as coast coral trees, real yellowwoods, white stinkwoods and knobthorns in abundance. Wildlife occurring in the forest includes bushbuck, bushpig, the rare nocturnal tree dassie, vervet monkeys and blue duiker. Signs of leopard and brown hyena have been recorded in the forest and on forest margins but sightings of these elusive predators are few. Many bird species occur in the forest, including the Trumpeter Hornbill and Knysna Turaco. There have been sightings of the Ground Hornbill in grassland pastures adjacent to the forest. The marine section in Algoa Bay encompasses the Bird Island and the St Croix Island chain. These islands are vitally important for marine bird breeding colonies. Bird Island is home to the largest Cape Gannet breeding colony (some 160 000 birds) in the world while St. Croix houses the largest breeding colony of African Penguins. Endangered birds, such as the Roseate Tern, also breed on the islands.

The Alexandria Dunefield is considered to be the best example in South Africa of bare coastal dunefield, often referred to as a dune sea. It offers a unique and extraordinary wilderness resource which only a few other landscapes in South Africa provide. It is the largest and least degraded coastal dunefield in the southern hemisphere. The dunefield imparts a unique experience of solitude, infinity and spatial freedom.

The Alexandria Dunefield falls within the “Algoa Bay Hope Spot”: http://www.sst.org.za/hope-spots/algoa-bay-hope-spot–2/algoa-bay-hope-spot-details

“Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet. While about 12 percent of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks etc.), less than six percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs), which are like national parks on land where exploitative uses like fishing and deep sea mining are restricted. Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed. They can be large, they can be small, but they all provide hope due to:

  • A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
  • Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
  • A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
  • The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
  • Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
  • Particular economic importance to the community”
  • Taken from: https://mission-blue.org/hope-spots/

Sources: https://www.wheretostay.co.za/topic/3461-alexandria-dunefields 

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/camps/woody/conservation/fauna_flora.php

 

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