Taking action on rhino poaching

As you know African rhino are under unprecedented, murderous assault. 448 rhino have been lost to poachers in South Africa alone during 2011 and SA National Parks has admitted that it is under siege and overpowered.

I photographed this rhino near Lower Sabie in 2006. The chances are good that it is no more.

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Straddling the Olifants: wilderness walking trails

(another Kruger safari)

Olifants Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park

Young leopard near Orpen. It was stalking impala. The rams were snorting at it and mobbing it.

The African bush has been calling for a while, so we packed up and headed 2000 km north-east for Kruger and our favourite means of really experiencing the [...]

Fighting the Kogelberg fire

Murray, VWS crew leader, exits the Squirrel

The latest fire that swept through the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve last week was nothing short of disastrous. Young veld burnt again and all the eleven-year old veld has been destroyed, so that, in the words of a nature conservation official, “everything between Kleinmond and Paarl” [...]

Patagonia Treks in Google Earth

“The Earth never forgets that trees were its first thought”

This intriguing idea was carved in Spanish on a wooden sign as we left Puelo on our first multi-day trek on the Los Hitos trail to Chile. And [...]

VWS at Slanghoek fire

VWS crew runs through the fireline to safe ground. Copyright 2010 Andrew Hagen. All rights reserved. Served from the VWS blog.

Amazing photo isn’t it? See Andrew’s fantastic photos of VWS Jonkershoek operations and read the VWS report. The fire started after a lightning strike.

Hats off to the volunteers for their selfless service [...]

VWS Jonkershoek firefighters in the Franschhoek mountains

Unfortunately – and unsurprisingly – my words were prescient: it has indeed become an “interesting” summer in the Boland mountains. Since December Volunteer Wildfire Services Jonkershoek (VWS-JNK) has been called out at least 6 times to fires in the local mountains (“local” is a relative concept – in our case it means 290 000 ha [...]

Volunteer Wildfire Services Jonkershoek

As I was contemplating a short post about the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS), and specifically its rookie branch in the Jonkershoek valley, we were called out to mop up a plantation fire above Rozendal yesterday at around 6 pm. It was our first op since 27 Jonkershoek volunteers qualified in November – so there was [...]

Baboons matter

On the Cape Peninsula there are few people who are neutral towards the local Chacma baboons: you either love them or hate them. The remnant troops of the Table Mountain National Park which now protects a large portion of the peninsula, range from the southern table of Table Mountain down to Cape Point. They form [...]

Rim of Africa Google Earth track

A Google Earth map of the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail, Stage One, 120km from Pakhuis Pass in the northern Cederberg to the Koue Bokkeveld mountains follows:

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Rim of Africa

Tomorrow I leave on what I expect will be one great adventure – the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail. This will be Stage 1 from the Northern Cederberg to the mountains somewhere around Ceres – 11 days of wilderness walking. As the blurb says – “a walk of no ordinary proportion”.

The vision of [...]

A caracal in Stellenbosch

A few weeks ago, after the fires that charred the mountains in the Jonkershoek valley,

Caracal. Source: Wikipedia

I was cycling to work through the Jan Marais Nature Reserve which is located near the centre of town. As I rounded a corner I was stunned to see a beautiful big caracal standing in the [...]

Hiking in Kogelberg

The Kogelberg Biosphere and Nature Reserve is my playground. When we’re not kayaking here, we are hiking its many routes. Kogelberg is the jewel in the crown of the Cape’s floral kingdom protected areas that make up the World Heritage Site.

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Reflections on corridors

After the Eden to Addo Mega-Hike, the participants were asked to reflect on the concept of “corridors”, as Eden to Addo is a conservation corridor initiative. Here is my effort…

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Eden to Addo Mega-Hike 2006

400kms, 17 days, 6 mountain ranges, many rivers, numerous veld types: 11 – 27 August 2006

The first time I saw the phrase “Eden to Addo” it spoke to me. Then when I saw it juxtaposed with “mega-hike” the synapses fired in my brain. The concept was so evocative I had to go.

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