The Cape Aflame Project Team

The Screams of Baboons

Kelly Vlieghe

I’ve spent the past six months working as a member of The Cape Aflame Project Team. It’s a voluntary initiative designed to benefit organisations providing public services such as those rendered during the 2015 Muizenberg and other Cape wildfires.

We’re publishing a book in November – a large-format, hardcover, 176-page photographic publication with a French-fold dust jacket titled The Cape Aflame – Cape Town’s Dance with Fire.

It’s at the printers, but you can buy your copy now. In fact, I’m asking you to buy your copy now.

Here’s why.

The Cape Aflame‘s stunning…nay, awesome 200-plus images – donated by dozens of leading amateur and professional photographers – are accompanied by close to 30 000 words of editorial that chronicle the definitive story and serve as a permanent, educative record of the Muizenberg Fire of March this year – the largest single fire in Table Mountain National Park’s history (which took place at a time we experienced the highest temperatures recorded in “at least a century”).

We’ve firmly located the Muizenberg Fire in the context of the history and development of our integrated wildland firefighting capabilities, the greater Fynbos Biome, the preservation of our biodiversity (the Cape Floral Kingdom, covering only 0.04 percent of the Earth’s surface, is infinitely more biodiverse than any of the other five plant kingdoms) and our beneficiary organisations’ need of continued public funding.

And, lest anyone forget, the book is driven by the amazing spirit of community that, during and after the fire, swept through the 3.75 million people making up Cape Town. It transcended all socio-economic divides – and left us all gobsmacked.

It’s been a weird and mind-blowing ride. I researched and wrote the text. But you needn’t worry. I was part of a core team and a greater community that prevented me causing any of my usual trouble. We ran the material past some of the most hard-ass experts in wildland firefighting, animal care and restoration ecology.

You don’t mess with such people. I’m deeply indebted to them.

In short, I’ve been working with some remarkable people working their butts off to help other remarkable people. They’re all actively doing something to save our Fynbos Biome for and from us.

Because they actually do give a damn.

But here’s the kicker. Our eleven-person team is in it for nothing but the good it will do – if you buy it. We get nothing, nada, zilch out of the book but the most amazing feeling of having done something…well, right. Or decent. Or something.

It’s about payback. Okay, we have to pay the printer and take care of some minor costs but, ultimately, we’re able to put a R600 book on the market for close on half the price and donate a more than substantial proportion of its proceeds to:

• the Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association
• the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife and Horse Care Units
SANParks Honorary Rangers (Table Mountain Region), and…
Volunteer Wildfire Services

This appeals to my redistributive nature.

These are, as they say, ‘early days’. Nonetheless, I urge you to support us by visiting our website at Find out more about the book – and click on Buy Now.

Please spread and promote awareness of The Cape Aflame – Cape Town’s Dance with Fire among your family and friends, and revive the spirit that swept Cape Town during those fiery days of March.

It will generate the sales needed to drive much-needed funds to those best able to protect and preserve our unique biodiversity.

Mike Golby

Now…go buy the book and help save the world. Seriously.