Guided nature walks, Struben mine & Junior Ranger programme

Here are links to pages describing our experiential walks in the Kloofendal Nature Reserve.

Art from Nature Children are taken into the Reserve to collect plant matter and then they make their own art.

Bats Annual bat evening courtesy of the Gauteng & Northern Regions Bat Interest Group

Birds All levels of skill and knowledge are accommodated by our bird walks

Bundu bash adventure Exploratory and rough adventure walk through the Reserve

Bush food Enjoy wild fruits, tea, coffee and jams from the Reserve.

Butterflies  Catch and study butterflies in the Reserve under he careful supervision of our guide.

Frogs  Learn about frogs and then go out into the Reserve at night to find them.

Geology  Learn about the dramatic past of earthquakes, molten rocks and how the gold came here.

Gold mine  How did the Struben mine change the history of South Africa?

Grasses-tree-flowers Specialised walks on each of grasses, trees and wild flowers

Junior Ranger Custodianship of all natural areas and of the Kloofendal Nature Reserve (not currently functioning)

Kids gold mine Explore different mine tunnels & pan for gold

Scorpions & spiders Find spiders and scorpions with our expert guides and learn to love and respect them.

See also:

Team building                An educational and team-building event for bigger groups (also called "Nature Treasure Hunt")

Star Gazing                    An annual start gazing evening held with the West Rand Astronomy Club


All walks start and end at the Friends of Kloofendal Environmental Education centre, generally cover no more than 2 kilometres and last about two hours.

Guided Nature Walks

Friends of Kloofendal have been arranging guided nature walks on a wide variety of topics since 2003.  Walks last two hours or a little longer and are led by guides who are either recognized experts in their fields or are FGASA qualified.

We ask for a donation of R50 per adult, R40 for a member of Friends of Kloofendal and R25 for a child up to 12 years old.  Money goes to paying the guide and admin costs.

Any "profit" supports our many projects.

Here are brief descriptions of some of our walks.

Grasses

A wide variety of grasses grow in Kloofendal. These look almost the same to most people, but after two hours of you can learn to appreciate different grasses. 

About your Guide:

Karin Spottiswoode

Karin knows the grasses of Kloofendal very well, having helped Sakkie van Aswegen with the Field Guide courses at Kloofendal for several years.

Arachnids, mostly Scorpions & spiders

Are you scared of scorpions and spiders?

Do you know that which scorpions in South Africa are not very dangerous?

Did you know that deaths attributed to spider bite in South Africa are caused by secondary infections and not the spider venom itself?

Did you know that scorpions glow light green under UV (Ultra-Violet) light?

Do you know how to find spiders at night?

About your Guides:

Jonathan Leeming

Jonathan is author of "Scorpions of Southern Africa" and takes scorpions walks in the morning or the evening. He also gives a talk on scorpions before some of the talks.

Astri Leroy

Astri is co-author, together with her husband John, of "Spiderwatch in Southern Africa".  She will find spiders lurking in every corner of Kloofendal.  Astri and her husband John are leading members of the Spider Club of Southern Africa.

Bird Ringing

Grant Egen our guide puts up nets early in the morning so that birds will have already been caught by the time participants of the Bird-ringing walk arrive. Grant will expertly remove the birds from the nets, causing them minimal stress, put each bird in a small bag, where the bird will be comfortable and relax. Then each bird in turn will be measured”: ID, ID number if he was ringed before, weight, length of wings, beak, state of moulting – all will be recorded, and if the bird has not been ringed before, he will be given a numbered ring around one leg.Grant will again give participants an opportunity to hold the bird and thus see these beautiful feathered friends from real close.

About your Guide:  

Grant Egen

Grant is a bird ringer authorised by the Animal Demography Unit (previous called the Animal Demography Unit) at UCT.  Grant submits all data from the ringing to the UDU.

Grant is also our Butterfly guide.

Trees

Trees have adapted in many ways to the harsh climate and poor soils of the Johannesburg ridges and valleys.  Winters are dry with frequent frost and natural veld fires.  The soils are mostly derived from quartzite rocks of the lower Witwatersrand sequence.  These are low in the chemical nutrients required by plants.  Large areas of the Reserve are forested due to streams, rock areas and to human interference with the natural fire regime, with fewer veld fires than naturally occur.

About your Guide:  

Karin Spottiswoode

Karin tells stories of the struggles against insects and the elements and traditional medicinal uses.  You may eat some of the edible fruits and learn about those that are poisonous.

 

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