Driving along the stretch of road on Rhodes Drive from Kirstenbosch to Constantia the other night I had an inkling that I might have been possessed by Lewis Carroll the famous Author, who penned Alice in Wonderland. What a delightful experience!
At first we thought that the reflective boards featuring wonderful little creatures had been placed there to assist drivers through what is an enchanted and yet somehow spooky stretch of road. We now know that this impressive visual masterpiece is the brainchild of a local artist and filmmaker named Brian Little. This theatrical pleasure aimed at heightening awareness about the unique wildlife in the surrounding area, (some of which is endangered or critically endangered) is nothing short of brilliant!
Drivers along this stretch of road simply need to download a free geotagged soundtrack and “press” play from the first piece of reflective art (which cannot be missed). They must then drive 50km per hour to enjoy the full experience. The drive lasts for around 5 minutes and will transport you into the wonderment of the natural world. The audio tour created by sound designer Sylvan Aztok, uses atmospheric music accompanied by the sounds of the animals thus leaving you thoroughly entertained.
Running parallel to Rhodes Drive is the Table Mountain National Park an important area for biodiversity that is home to around 1470 floral species, 70% that are only found here. Animal life is also present in the form of chacma baboons, rock hyraxes, the elusive caracal and, believe it or not, a rare land-based colony of penguins!
Brian, however, chose 16 species that are endemic to our fynbos for this night time experience. These include the geometric tortoise, the Table Mountain ghost frog and the orange-breasted sunbird just to name a few.
Reaction to this project has been hugely positive and sees many residents driving the route purely to enjoy the wonderment this experience provides.
Interestingly the artist believes that an important part of this project is the fact that some of the artworks might be stolen because this reflects on the feeling of loss when a species goes extinct in real life. He considers it is a way to make us feel something for the nature that is around us even though we may not come across it in our everyday life.
We fully recommend that you take yourself and the children for a drive along this stretch of road one evening soon. It will most certainly reignite a feeling of discovery in the routine of life.
Duration of the project – From now until the species disappear.
Please see below instructions on how you can participate in The Endemic Project.
All Images courtesy of The Endemic Project