Oumatjie Cave - Plettenberg Bay

June 19, 2019, 1:14 pm

Oumatjie Cave, Plettenberg Bay

The conservation officers at the private Fynbos Reserve near Plettenberg Bay kindly allowed Anthony, Reece and I to park within their reserve and walk across to Oumatjie Cave on the coast line below.

The access path down the cliff, and the cave were as I remebered them from my last visit in 1998, when we surveyed the cave. On our last visit, some local children were cooking an octopus when we emerged from the cave. This time, the locals were climbing the path from the sea, complaining that the steep climb down and tiring climb up had not yielded anything to eat, even though it was spring low tide. The octopus that Reece saw later on, was obviously quite lucky to escape.

Reece in Oumatjie Cave

As this cave is direclty below the Grikwa Nedersetting, there is a lot of traffic going past the entrance, and from the fire places that we found in the cave, it is often used for shelter.

The small shrimp like creatures are still in evidence in the pools of water towards the back of the cave, but the bat population was much smaller than I remember, even though our last visit was also in July.

We found lots of spiders on the walls of the cave, and in the boulder pile from the side chamber. There were also beetles "Darkling Beetles (Tenebrionidae)" (I think?) feeding on the piles of dry bat guano.

Tenebrionidae beetle

Reece did some "Torch Writing" before exploring Oumatjie Arch and another two entrance further eastwards. The upper entrance was about 7m long and the large entrance in the headland proved to be about 25m long. He did not explore the next entrance near the tip of the point.

Light Writing

The most interesting highight of the day for me, was finding the Nycteribiidae fly on the Rhinolophus capensis (it was a very small Rhinolophus, hence the tentative ID)

Rhinolophus capensis with Nycteribiidae fly parasite

After a very plesant day on the coast, we made the steep climb back to the car.

Click here to see all pictures from the day

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Oumatjie Cave - Plettenberg Bay