WEENEN GAME RESERVE – Club Outing
Date(s) - 23/08/2019 - 25/08/2019
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A HANDS ON WORKING WEEKEND, SO INLY THOSE SERIOUS ABOUT ASSISTING TO ATTEND PLEASE.
DATE: 23 TO 25 AUGUST 2019
VENUE: WEENEN GAME RESERVE
COST: FREE CAMPING ON ELECTRIFIED SITES
REQUIRED: BRING SPADES, BUSH KNIVES, CHAINSAWS, WINCHES, CHAINS, STRAPS, etc
Private message Kevin Govender and he will add you to the WhatsApp group if you are joining us.
Established in 1971, Weenen Game Reserve is 5 000 ha in extent. Undulating thornveld is interspersed with rocky outcrops and open grassland.
The reserve is home to many species of wild animals, both large and small. Both Black and White Rhino are present with giraffe, zebra any many different antelope species. Rarer animals such as the Aardwolf frequently forage in the campsite.
Weenen is also a birding paradise, 136 species of birds were recorded in the Honorary Officers 2018 birding weekend, including rare species such as the Green-winged Pytilia, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark and Black-throated Canary.
Originally the farm Onderwacht, the area was severely degraded by overgrazing, the ground was denuded of vegetation, resulting in widespread erosion. In 1948 the farm was expropriated by the Department of Agriculture and treated as an agricultural research farm. More than 50 stonepack erosion control walls built by the Dept of Agriculture scientists can still be seen in the reserve today and it is difficult to believe that this area was once virtually desert.
Weenen and the 4×4 Club
In the rocky and remote parts of the reserve are three historic farm roads that the current Officer in Charge would like to rehabilitate, both to provide recreational 4×4 drives for specialist 4×4 club outings and to provide vehicular access for ranger patrols.
One of the roads leads down into an extremely remote part of the reserve where there are disused cattle kraals. It is proposed that once the track is passable the cattle kraals be used as a safe bush camping area by HO’s and 4×4 club members who worked on the roads.
The weekend of 23 to 25 August
This will be the first of several weekends that will be necessary to complete the project. The OIC has proposed that the least degraded road is tackled first as this will probably be completed in one weekend and will give members a chance to get used to working in a game reserve.
The work will involve winching the odd fallen boulder/tree out of the way, packing dongas and cutting back vegetation with chain saws, loppers and secateurs. There is something there for all levels of fitness and age of club members to get involved in.
Free reserve entry and camping will be available in the Weenen campsite which has excellent ablution facilities. A Whatsapp group will be set up for those members working that weekend.
We will be working in the reserve surrounded by wild animals and all participants must appreciate that it is at their own risk and they will be required to sign an indemnity form. For safety reasons children under the age of 16 will not be allowed to be on foot in the reserve.
This is a rare opportunity for the 4×4 club members to be involved in the work of a Conservation Area. The effort that we put in here will not only benefit the reserve but also ourselves and other 4×4 clubs by providing another venue for organised club outings.