In mid-October 2017 the Twelve Apostles range of Table Mountain burnt over the course of 5 days in dense alien vegetation on the privately owned lower slopes and in old stands of fynbos within the Table Mountain National Park. It was a somewhat unusual fire in that it occurred in spring, before the typical Cape fire season. No human life was lost, and no notable damage to infrastructure was suffered. At the end of the day what we know as the #12ApostlesFire was a good ecological burn. I have been monitoring the fynbos regeneration and wildlife activity within the fire affected region and regularly visit the Twelve Apostles to observe changes to the landscape.
Scroll down for the details and images contained in the next update.
Cape Town – 8 January 2018
“Last week I returned to the burnt region of the Twelve Apostles in order to observe vegetation regeneration and signs of animal movements 12 weeks after the fire. It’s looking really good and already there is excitement for how beautiful it shall be in 8 months time!
For this update I spent the day hiking in the southern region of the fire affected range, as far north as Grootkop which I’ve touched on previously in these updates.
We ascended steeply in the beautifully forested Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine, river gushing after recent mid-summer rain, and saw our first Disa unflora of this season. The fist-sized splash of red caught my eye from a distance, and after admiring the orchid we proceeded up the wet ravine to exit the forest and enter the burn zone. An excellent example of how a mature patch of dense Afromontane forest typically survives a fire.
In the burnt area the stream was lined with resprouting Palmiet, Bracken fern coming up en masse and Todea barbara ferns lining the wet slope. Bergpalmiet is littered across the mountain in among various respouting restios.
Watsonia tabularis is in flower and it is an absolutely spectacular display up on the Apostles spine. These geophytes (of the Iris family) thrive after fire. Bobartia indica, Agapanthus africanus & Capelio tabularis are budding and/or in bloom.
There are many patches of unburnt vegetation and there you may see Disa harveiana & Crassula coccinea in flower.
Fresh Klipspringer spoor on the footpath had our eyes scanning the rocky terrain and later in the day a sighting of these beautiful antelope confirmed their presence. Caracal scat in multiple areas shows they have, as expected, been present and hunting soon after the fire.”
Original post HERE
The Slopes Of Table Mountain Burn can be viewed HERE
The Night Scene Above Hout Bay can be viewed HERE
The Burnt Western Slopes can be viewed HERE
The Fire And Forest Divide can be viewed HERE
1 Month Update can be viewed HERE
2 Month Update can be viewed HERE