Fieldtrip 1: Ingula Nature Reserve
The Ingula fieldtrip is a full-day activity. Please understand that this means you will miss out on the Tuesday morning’s conference sessions.
Wetlands Walk at the Ingula Nature Reserve and visit to the power station
In 2003 the Ingula Partnership was established between Eskom, BirdLife South Africa and the Middelpunt Wetland Trust with a common conservation objective of managing the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme as a sustainable conservation site. It is a classic example of how an industrial undertaking can be integrated within a conservation area and will hopefully provide a model for future conservation initiatives.
Join us for a picturesque 6,5km hike through and alongside the newly designated Ramsar wetlands to one of the large wetland rehabilitation structures on the Ingula Nature Reserve, weather permitting. The hike should not take longer than 2,5 hours, after which there will be a visit to the Ingula Visitors Centre and underground power station of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme.
Please note the following:
- The Ingula fieldtrip is a full-day activity. Please understand that this means you will miss out on the Tuesday morning’s conference sessions.
- Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and will dry quickly, as some sections of the hike will require you to go through wetlands.
- The hike involves quite a few up- and downhills, and given the time constraints a steady pace will be required.
- Please wear closed shoes for the power station visit. Other safety equipment will be provided.
- Please bring snacks and water with, as there are no shops nearby.
- Only 30 people will be allowed on this fieldtrip. First come, first serve.
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION FOR FIELDTRIP1: THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER
Fieldtrip 2: Brandwag Butress hike
Brandwag buttress hike @2.7km for people who are not challenged for steep walking (can be completed in 2 hrs max). No visit to Golden Gate would be complete without a hike to the top of Brandwag Buttress (Afrikaans for “Sentinal Buttress). This sandstone cliff adorns all the postcard of the park as it has a golden glow at sunrise and sunset; hence the name Golden Gate.
The back-and-forth route from the Glen Reenen Rest Camp is just 2.4 km and should take roughly an hour to complete. The majority of the hike is along a very gentle and clearly-marked path with exception of the final stretch before the cliff itself; here you’ll find a moderate rocky outcrop that has to be climbed carefully. Although there is a fixed chain to help you with this, it shouldn’t pose much of a challenge for anyone with the ability to clime a ladder or steep staircase.
A second route from the Golden Gate Hotel approaches Brandwag Buttress from the west and is a shorter route comprised mostly of man-made steps build along the mountain side. This handy short-cut should be reserved for anyone who only has enough time for a hurried scramble up the hill; because it lacks the views and sandstone overhangs of the main route.
Fieldtrip 3: Mushroom Trail
Mushroom trail @ 3.9 km can accommodate everyone (can be completed in 1h)
The walk to the Mushroom Rock starts at the Glen Reenen Rest Camp where you buy a day ticket which enables you to walk or take one of the two drives into the Golden Gate National Park.
The hike up to Mushroom Rock is a fairly steep 2 km walk. The route starts behind the Cathedral Peak Hotel to the oddly shaped landmark. It takes in two landmarks and offers lovely views of the Little Berg and Escarpment wall, especially at sunrise. Lovely bridges to cross and a cave to climb through. Beautiful scenery9