Highlights of the Henley zoo
An eagle soaring, a family of mongooses poking their heads through the grass, two bristling porcupines, the size of large dogs, scuttling across the road, a pair of delicate duiker foraging on Fraser Park …
We tend to forget we share our world here in Henley on Klip.
Of course, there are the more usual long-eared hares bounding off into the veld, domestic rabbits munching on the fringes of the Oval, innumerable cats strolling serenely about their business, horses, donkeys and dogs galore.
I’ve mapped out a route taking in the highlights of the Henley zoo, starting with the farmyard of geese, ducks and hens in Wargrave North, past the donkey family – two and an adorable foal – to visit the peacocks and horses around Milbrook. Head the other way and you’ll encounter the sleek brown cattle herd crossing the road. Further on a flock of sheep graze on a patch of open land and goats gaze at you sideways with their yellow eyes.
Down towards Dinsdale and you encounter a plot full of black pigs and piglets and a small herd of buck, plus, of course, any number of horses. On the mine side, I’ve seen blesbok and even a large genet sitting in a tree. There have been sightings of the monkey that sets off alarms along Regatta Road.
Keep going across the bridge and you’ll encounter Nguni cattle, dorper sheep that look a bit like goats, an ostrich, an emu and the sweet alpacas with their long eyelashes and modish fringes.
Plovers and dikkop hold convocations on the roads, warming their toes on the tar after the heat of the day and sweeps of birds in impeccable formations soar over the mielie lands. Their precision is awesome. Look up and you could spot an owl or two.
Of course, you have to keep your eyes open and some of these furry, spiky and feathered folk only come out to play in the small hours when Henley is asleep and we’re cruising the streets on CPF patrol. The moon is bright, the streets are dark, and the world is alive. It’s a special time and place.
Off the Rails: Henley’s haunted house
It was once a prefab hut for the British army, perhaps used for officers’ billets or a hospital annex, then, shipped to South Africa in 1904, it was one of Henley on Klip’s first family homes and a church.
If you can’t spell a street name, blame the Kents
Triumph and Disaster – The True Story of Horace Kent.