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EASTER WEEKEND - KZN

Gerhard van Rooyen

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
755
Likes
118
Age
36
Location
Empangeni/Durban
#21
If anyone still want to join us on this trip, you are welcome to find out from kznwildlife whether there is still space available in the Inkwazi camp site.
Please let me know should you be interested.
 

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
1,488
Likes
121
Location
Centurion
#23
Confirmation:

1.Gerhard
2. Tony & Sharon (Booked)
3. Heinie & Margaret (Booked)
4. Alan & Karien (Booked)
5. Henk & Sophia Theron (Booked)
6. Deon & Annalene (Booked)
7. Erns & Anso (Booked)
8. Wolfgang en Dina (Booked)


I see just the tour guide is not booked.:eek:
9. Chris and Corne (paid)
 

Heinie

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
352
Likes
73
Location
Florida Park, Gauteng
#24
Confirmation:

1.Gerhard
2. Tony & Sharon (Booked)
3. Heinie, Margaret, Michelle, Mario and Anya - Daughter, Son in Law and Granddaughter. (Booked)
4. Alan & Karien (Booked)
5. Henk & Sophia Theron (Booked)
6. Deon & Annalene (Booked)
7. Erns & Anso (Booked)
8. Wolfgang en Dina (Booked)
9. Chris and Corne (Paid)

I see just the tour guide is not booked.:eek:

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Gerhard van Rooyen

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
755
Likes
118
Age
36
Location
Empangeni/Durban
#26
Trip Report from this lovely weekend:

Thank you to everyone that joined us for this weekend, everybody that attended came from quite a distance.
The first few to arrive decided to do so a day or two early, and most people ended up staying a day extra to make full use of the long drive and beautiful weather.

Initially we were watching all possible weather channels and apps with hawk eyes because we know that the Ongoye forest can be very trickey if it is wet, however the forecast cleared up as Saturday approached and we decided to continue with the planned trip through the forest on Saturday.
As Murphy dictates there was a shower of rain on Friday night with on and off drizzle characteristic of Zululand. This drizzle is known in isiZulu as Khiza. Saturday came with a pleasant morning sun and filled with good spirits we set off to the forest with one stop to make at the local Spar to top up on snack supplies for the day. While we were topping up our snacks the heavens topped up the water table a bit more with another light shower. We were in our cars and geared to go already so we continued anyway.

After a short drive on the R102 we made our way through some beautiful rural area towards the entrance to the forest reserve. After entering the reserve the first scenery one encounters is made up of alternating natural grassland and scarp forest. This combination is unique to this area, and it is believed to be attributed to the rare geological formation (Granitic Monolith) and the manner in which it has weathered.

The route through the forest is a well known birding route since the forest is home to a number of scarce bird species like the Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Southern Ground Horn-bill and the Green Barbet - which is endemic to this forest.
The first section of the trail was a bit wet, however it quickly dried up to the point where we stopped to enjoy a magnificent view from a raised granite outcrop overlooking a valley stretching out to the North.

After making photographic records of the G's in their natural habitat we set off into the belly of the forest. We crossed the first stream and the fun started on the opposite bank with a steep wet slippery exit, with lots of tree roots and a somewhat deep erosion channel down the one side to test all of the G's abilities at the same time. After a few attempts we found the most effective line and the rest of the G's went up without too much effort.

We continued with the trail through the lush forest while sometimes having to cut away vegetation to allow the roof racks to pass unharmed. Some of the G's liked the forest so much that at various points they tried to merge with the nearest tree they could find, however we managed to gently persuade them to stay on the trail. At each of the obstacles or difficult sections the passangers and other drivers jumped out their cars and like a well oiled machine helped to guide each vehicle through the section.

We found a small clearing in the forest among large 'Giant Umzimbeet' trees and had; lunch, laughter, excellent company and a little something to warm the tummy and spirits.

Soon the overcast weather and the forest canopy limited the visibility on the forest floor, then we realised that a lot more time had passed than we thought and we were driving in the dark.

After some more slipping and sliding and careful navigation of tight corners we reached the edge of the forest (with a slight sigh of relief) and continued through the grassland to the tar road that took us back to the campsite, which was obviously closed by now. We had to please explain to the security guard about why we were late, however I think the sight and sound of 8 G's in a row with lights and engines idling did the trick and we were let into the campsite.

I left the campsite convinced that everyone would take a shower and go straight to bed, only to learn the next morning that the campfires were kept company until the early hours of the morning.

On Sunday we took a leasurely drive to the eShowe surrounds. We visited the Mandawe Cross which is a, now derelict, catholic church built on one of the highest 'koppies' just outside of the town of eShowe. The building was not designed in the western church typology but rather took on aspects and forms of the local Zulu culture. We proceded to the Dlinza Forest which is part of, and surrounding the town of eShowe. A short walk on a wooden walkway through the forest took us to a tower from which one can look over the forest canopy to reveal breathtaking views. Unfortunately we could not have the planned lunch at a local restuarant so we decided that a braai at the campsite is a good way to spend the more relaxed afternoon.

Monday was time to relax and enjoy what the Umlalazi reserve has on offer - board walks along the Umlalazi river lagoon through swamp forest and the beach of course!

Everyone returned home safely despite the dreaded Easter weekend traffice which we are greatful for.
 

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