Get the latest Friends of Hwange Trust newsletter here.
Borakalalo fence patrol bookings now open!
We are thrilled to announce that Borakalalo fence patrols are back and bookings can now be made by downloading the booking form from the web site, completing it and faxing it to 0866896158 or scan and E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Alternatively E-mail us and we will send you all the necessary documentation. The bookings calendar will be updated as bookings are received. Download the Borakalalo fence patrol booking form here.
Introduction - Anton and Elmarie de Marillac
We are Anton and Elmarie de Marillac the newly-appointed joint holders of the Conservation Portfolio of the Four Wheel Drive Club of SA and since our appointment we have suddenly found ourselves with a renewed zest for life.
Issues concerning conservation have always been very dear to our hearts. It always brings us closer to the life that Anton's late son Michael was so passionate about and makes us realise that we need to make time to get back to nature and assist in endeavours to protect this beautiful heritage. We love the bush, wildlife and plants and are very excited about our future involvement in FWDCSA Conservation.
We are currently in discussions to get the fence patrols back in operation at Borakalalo and Pilanesberg Game Reserves so as to afford our members the rewarding experience of being involved in the maintenance and monitoring of the fence lines, as well as the removal of snares and recording of vital information which would be of great assistance to the parks officials.
Conservation is about embracing all things wild and wonderful. We are constantly reminded of the diminishing natural habitats of our flora and fauna by the mushrooming office parks, residential complexes and road and rail networks. Fortunately we do have some stunning national parks, game reserves and botanical gardens where we can enjoy the protected beauty of our natural treasures.
We are introducing a series of articles under the section called "Focus on Conservation" which takes a closer look at interesting facts of wild animals and plants. Our Series 'kicks off' with the Plains Zebra. Have you ever wondered if a zebra is black with white stripes or vice versa? Are their patterns all the same? Why do they have stripes? Well read on for some of the answers!
Focus on Conservation
We are introducing a series of articles under the section called "Focus on Conservation" which takes a closer look at interesting facts about wild animals and plants. Our Series 'kicks off' with the Plains Zebra. Have you ever wondered if a zebra is black with white stripes or vice versa? Are their patterns all the same? Why do they have stripes?
Read Focus on Conservation articles here.
The conservation portfolio of the club creates opportunities for our members to participate in a number of events.
The main objective of these events is:
A major portion of our synergy with the environment is the conservation of nature. Our involvement is as many as it is varied and is participated by our members. Activities organised by The Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa provide both enjoyment by the participant and a means of adding a service of quality to both the environment and its community.
Fence patrols at Borakalalo Game Reserve are open to members every weekend. See Club Calendar for selecting weekend dates. Northwest Parks Board are appreciative of our participation in assisting with patrols. We encourage members to come forward and do fence patrols on a regular basis.
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is in the Bojanala Region of the North West Province, adjacent to Sun City. Set in the crater of a long extinct volcano, the Park ranks among the largest of the parks in South Africa (it is in fact the fourth largest park) and covers an area of 55 000 hectare. The beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam. Over time, wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape with rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets. Pilanesberg National Park accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa. Also home to the big five.
Borakalalo National Park
The name Borakalalo means "The place where people relax". This park, located approximately 60 km north of Brits, consists of 13,500 hectare of woodland and open bushland. The Moretele River which runs through the park is fringed with a beautiful stretch of riverine forest, and leads to the 800 hectare Klipvoor Dam, renowned for its fishing. An abundance of wildlife and more than 350 bird species can be viewed. The park is a very popular fishing spot and facilities include tent camps and self catering accommodation. The park contains over 35 species of mammals, white rhino and over 300 species of identified birds. Bird-viewing is exceptional in Borakalalo. Part of the park is zoned for wilderness trails, and there is also a wooded area suitable for self-guided walks. Those who prefer to drive have over 100 km of gravel roads for game viewing. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
For dates of the fence patrols, please see the club calendar.
Due to continued staff shortages we will be allotted one game scout each day, therefore please use two vehicles in tandem and patrol the southern half one day and the northern half the other day with the scout in the lead vehicle.
Regular fence patrols are conducted by our members at currently two of the North West Parks Board game reserves, namely, Pilanesberg National Park and Borakalalo National Park.
The border fence is patrolled in the company of an armed game scout with radio communication in the case of Pilanesberg where the "big five" are found, while at Borakalalo the game scout is not required to be armed.
At Pilanesberg two vehicles are employed, each patrolling its own hemisphere and each taking approximately five hours to complete the task. The same time is required of one vehicle at Borakalalo where the border is less extensive.
An early morning start is made at a leisurely pace enabling the study of both fence and bushveld. The fence is studied for breaches of its integrity caused by animal damage or poaching, and snares are searched for and removed. Damage is repaired on the spot, hence the necessity of an armed game scout at Pilanesberg, though close encounters have yet to be reported. The precise grid reference of the damage and its nature is recorded. Debris is recovered, bagged and removed.
The bushveld is studied for animal fatalities; the probable cause is established and recorded together with the grid reference. Additionally the bush is searched for sightings of interest such as raptors, scarce birds of prey, wild dogs, cheetah, the scarcer of the plains antelope, pythons and any of the big five.
Sightings are identified as to species, age sex, condition and quantity; this information is recorded together with the grid reference. Such information is of great value to the Parks Board in regard to game stock and their location/movements.
All alien plants are recorded, a sample taken and the grid reference taken.
What would you need to take with you for the Work Party weekends (other than your family, camping gear, food and refreshments)? A pair of pliers and some fencing wire may come in handy to repair holes in the fence and staunch pruning secateurs to clear the perimeter road of the sickle thorn branches which hang over or grow in the road. Please also take along a refuse bag for collection of litter seen along the way - letís help to keep the parks clean.
Note: No children under 16 are permitted to participate on fence patrols.
When patrolling in tandem it is recommended that each vehicle is equipped with a 29 MHz two-way radio. These are available for hire to club members at the preferential rate of R12.00 per day (minimum three-day period and R100.00 deposit). The radios are licensed for use in RSA. More details on the radios and the hire thereof may be found here.
Home| Club Events| Calendar| Open Day| Marketplace| Base 4 Clubhouse| Driver Training| Rescue Unit| Marshal Unit| Conservation| Diving| Trips & Safaris| Trip Reports| Club Committee| Associated Clubs| Toyota Desert Race| Photo Gallery| Insurance| Join Our Club| Links| Site Map| 4x4 Accessories| Radios| Jamboree| Club Constitution| Code of Conduct| A AWDCSA| Facebook | Contact Us