Goukamma Nature Reserve lies between Sedgefield and Knysna in the Western Cape, and has some of the best – and most pristine – scenery in the area. By Scott Ramsay
Goukamma Nature Reserve‘s marine protected area extends for one nautical mile offshore along the length of the reserve’s 14km coastline, and is a critical habitat for conservation of red roman fish, whose numbers have plummeted due to overfishing.
Goukamma isn’t just about the marine protected area and coastline. Lying just next to the national N2 highway, the spectacular Groenvlei is also part of the reserve. This fresh water lake is remarkable in that it has no inflowing or outflowing rivers. It consists just of groundwater that has percolated through the surrounding vegetated dunes which separate the ocean and beaches from the lake.
Groenvlei is superb for birdwatching, and also for spotting otters. One morning I borrowed ranger Wayne Meyer’s little electrical powered boat and pottered around the lake, taking photos. I had my first ever sighting of a Cape clawless otter when one popped its head up momentarily before diving down again and swimming away.
Macro photography of flowers and insects is highly rewarding when everything comes together, but when the wind blows, and the light is poor, then it’s tough. I’ve often found that indirect light is the best for macro flower photography, so use your hat or hand to block the direct sunlight from your subject.
Photojournalist Scott Ramsay captured these images on his Year in the Wild.