OMG. Baby Owls at Kirstenbosch, Cape Town.

Posted on
May 25, 2015
Posted in: Attractions

I was tempted to once again use last week’s gimmick – of attempting to write about the Holy Grail, but getting distracted by my fascination with flightless birds – at the beginning of this post. But I didn’t want to exhaust the joke and besides, I don’t need any pretense here: this post is about baby owls.

Baby. Owls. I dare you to find something more important on this plane of existence.

Technically, we’ve not left the theme of flightless birds – these owls couldn’t yet fly, and so sat on a rock, under the watchful gaze of their mother, who perched in the trees above. A group of photographers, both professional and amateur, huddled around the birds, but I felt it better to keep my distance and rely on whatever alchemy my old, abused camera lens could offer. (As such, my apologies. These photos are not as clear as I would like, as I was standing further away.)

Some woman getting way too close to these guys.

But it’s cool. Momma’s keeping an eye on things.

I’ve often been wary of owls. I didn’t need to work to imagine what a mother would do if she felt her owlets were threatened – there was evidence nearby, in the form of a decapitated snake.

Back. The F#ck. Up.

We unexpectedly found them all at Kirstenbosch, where, fittingly enough, we unexpectedly found ourselves. We had intended to go to Table Mountain but it had been closed for several days prior due to weather, and now that it was finally open the crowds were brutal. A three hour line to get to the top.

The closest we got to Table Mountain.

We told ourselves it wasn’t worth the wait – I relied on my ignorance to protect me here, because I don’t quite know if this is true or not. We’d tried to go once before on our first trip to Cape Town, and the same thing had happened. That, I think, was how we ended up at Kirstenbosch on that first trip. And it’s how we ended up there again on this one.

As consolation destinations go, it is not at all a bad one. I’ve written about Kirstenbosch before – noted how it is one of the most botanically diverse places on the planet, how it has one of the highest levels of endemism (i.e., species that exist no where else) in the world, and even made the obligatory horticulture joke.

I could rehash all of that now, in this post. Or I could show you more photos of baby owls.

Guess what I’m going to do. Go ahead. Guess.

Yup. BABY OWLS!!!!!

I particularly love this photo, because it looks like one of the owls is checking with the other owl before talking to us.

“Shut up, Jimmy. Mom said when she’s gone I’m in charge.”



You are welcome.


Leave a Comment

  • GreenWyvern

    The next time you’re in South Africa, you might like to consider visiting the Company Gardens, and the various museums and art galleries around it. It’s right in the middle of the Cape Town, and close to everything.

    It’s is a very beautiful and historic area, with a history going back to the 17th century, and there’s really a lot to see within a short walking distance.

    Google images of the area:

    You can top it off with afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel nearby – they’re famous for their lavish and decadent teas.

  • CatAJ

    Those fuzzy baby owl legs are somewhat helping me get over the trauma from seeing the inside of a penguin’s mouth (did NOT ever need to see that picture).

  • Amanda

    Very cute!

  • First penguins and now baby owls. You’re killing me here!

  • We visited Kirstenbosch last October and we saw the adult owls, but there were no babies. (I think the same life rule applies to owls as to people. Never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you see the baby’s head crowning. I learned this the hard way—twice.) Sorry you missed Table Mountain. It is worth it to go up there, but I totally get the weather thing and the not wanting to stand in line thing.

  • We saw a sign in Kirstenbosch that described it as a “living museum” and I think that’s the best way to look at it. The Cape is it’s own Floral Kingdom, afterall. I could have spent all day there. I hope you get up to Table Mountain next time because it is worth the wait. We hiked a bit to get away from the crowd and it is a quiet and beautiful place to be.

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