March – Coastal splendour around Grootbaai (aka Moonlight Bay), Maasbaai and Hangklip lighthouse

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Meet at the Drosters Centre in Pringle Bay at 09h00.

Coastal paths, with little or no steep terrain, take us through three veld types and richly varied vegetation. This is one of the few areas where Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, usually found high on mountain slopes, sweeps down to sea level. Overberg Dune Strandveld showcases a startling variety of small trees and shrubs and Cape Seashore Vegetation boasts its resilient succulent plant communities. We’ll be especially looking for the spectacular candelabra flower, Brunsvigia orientalis, on the sandy flats.

Hangklip Peak looms impressively above the pathways where the rocky shore is interspersed with delightful inlets, rock pools and small beaches. Hopefully the tide will not be too high for us to see 2000-year-old Khoi fish traps. The area featured in ‘the secret war’ during World War 2 as host to one of a dozen or so testing stations around the world for the then new-fangled radar. Their brief was especially to spot German U-boats threatening Allied shipping passing around the Cape.

Sturdy footwear, a hat, sunblock, snacks and liquid refreshments are necessary for this moderate walk. Bring a field guide to fynbos and binoculars.

Barbara Jenman (082 338 4109)
Tim Attwell (082 343 2501)


April – Explore, see, find and understand more with renowned botanist Dr John Rourke

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Meet at Harold Porter National Botanical Garden at 09h00

Nobody knows fynbos like Dr John Rourke. Former curator of the Compton Herbarium at Kirstenbosch, Dr Rourke has played a major role in botanical research for decades, not only in South Africa, but worldwide.

Never mind merely knowing the names of countless fynbos plants, John Rourke has identified many newly discovered species as new to science, given many of them their names and described key ways in which they interact with other organisms in their habitat.

He is also highly regarded as a published botanical historian, including the highly valued Flora Herscheliana and many scientific and popular papers, monographs and botanical and botanical history books. He is a member of the prestigious Linnean Society of London – the world’s oldest active society dedicated to biological studies.

Closer to home, John Rourke is a former President of the Botanical Society of South Africa.

Now you can walk in the veld with him and see it ‘through his eyes.’ John Rourke will survey a number of possible areas to explore with us, and decide where the most interesting things are going on in April. All we need to know for now is that we will meet on Saturday 16 April and follow John to the area he has chosen to share with us. The walk will be moderate. Bring refreshments, a hat, sun block and sturdy walking shoes.

Dr John Rourke
Tim Attwell (082 343 2501)
Barbara Jenman (082 338 4109)