Star-Gazing @ Wilgepoort


Star Gazing @ Wilgepoort –6 to 7 July:Please join us for an amazing afternoon and evening of discovering more about astronomy and our celestial bodies. (i.e. Star Gazing)

Expert members of the Astronomy Society of South Africa (ASSA) will be hosting thisevent for us and general programwill proceed as follows:

  • Try to arrive at Wilgepoort by 12ish on Saturday so you can put up your tent, etc before we start.
  • At 3pm or so we will have a brief introduction into Star Maps and their use.
  • Copies of maps will be handed out during the talk and in theevening we will be asked to find/identify bodies in the night sky. (Finally you will be able to confidently point out Mars).
  • We hope to have a physical model of our Solar system showing the movements of planets and moons around our sun. (Did youknow that the morning and evening star is not always the same star?)
  • We plan to have a telescope with special filters enabling us to look at the sun (hopefully there will be some solar flares). We might even be able toobserve cooler spots on the sun.
  • The evening we will star gaze using the telescopes supplied by ASSA.SPECIAL request-white light is no good for our night vision. Please be kind enough to ensure that there are red filters on any and all head or flash lights you use around the camp site. We will try to bring some red cellophane wrapping that we can cut and stick onto lights.

For this reason also we might be stopping cars from driving to the camping area from about 5pm. (Depending on where we setup the telescopes….but itis better if you arrive early anyway)If you have never been to Wilgepoort REMEMBER, or TAKE NOTE,that there are absolutely no “facilities”. There is only a long drop toilet so you will need to bring everything you will need to make your weekend comfortable. Luckily you can drive to the camping area so feel free to pack the kitchen sink.Remember to bring enough drinking water and some wood and charcoal for the braai. Also some rubbish bags to take your rubbish away in on Sunday.Chairs and tables are always a good idea. And Glühwein.The location is on the Wilgeriver and quite cold in the winter.The property offerslimited hiking,sport climbing, rafting/kayaking, fishing,cyclingand lots of trad climbing. Please bring your own gear.The wildlife is quite healthy and we have breeding Verreauxeagles on the cliff faces.So do bring the family and come spend the weekend and not just one evening.

For more info contact the meet leader IvanVan Zyl


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MCSA JHB Conservation Appeal

Conservation Appeal

Dear MCSA JHB members

At the AGM held on the 2 March, a definite majority of the 60 members attending, voted for the adoption of a Conservation Fund. The rationale behind this stems from our responsibility as land owners to maintain the “pristine” quality of our land. The money will fund the salaries of two full-time workers who will eradicate invasive alien vegetation, eg Lantana camara and others, on our properties. I think we are luckily at a point before the problem becomes impossible to reverse – before the indigenous vegetation is taken over and smothered. Intervention is required to ensure that this does not happen.

Below is a photo of one of the weed heaps near the fire break on Seremodi.

There are only about five Johannesburg members who routinely join the Magaliesberg section on their Conservation Meets. The whole group will often split up: some will take a fast trek/hike to the upper reaches of the river, others will work the lower course. Regulars will guide newbies in identifying the weeds correctly and show them the correct method of dealing with each type of plant. The groups usually try to meet up for lunch half way along the river course and spend time swimming and eating their picnic lunch. Some members join these Meets to exercise and hike, and others to relax at the water’s edge pulling out seedlings. For those who wish to become more involved, a list of dates for the Conservation Meets is given below for your reference.
April 14 Lower Tonquani
Utopia Crofton – climbers required to abseil. Helgaard
May 12
Dome 2
Crofton, cape gooseberry, bugweed Danie & Marise
Jun 22-23 Kiepersolkloof
Upper Tonq w/e Crofton Otti
Jul 14 Gullies N of Dome Crofton, lantana, Thomas & co training Otti & Christa
Aug 4 Grootkloof 2
Hamerkop Crofton & senna Theo
Aug 31 – 1 Sep Castle Gorge 2 w/e Crofton, bugweed, cherries Christa
Sep 28-29 Mhlabatini w/e
Crofton – climbers
Sand olive saw Corne
Oct 13 Dome 3 Various, with Thomas & co training Penny, Michael
Nov 9-10 Wilgepoort

It was uplifting for me at the AGM to note that our members do value and want to help with this cause, but perhaps due to our busy lives they also need to prioritise their weekend time. By offering you the services of workers you can continue to fight the weedy invaders AND project your new line…

In conclusion, you have a choice to join a Meet or make a donation to the Conservation Fund. Please Click on Link to a Google Form that will collect your details and choice.

Many Thanks for your support
Tam Scheidegger
MCSA JHB Conservation portfolio representative

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Tonquani/Kiepersol conservation



Weeding weekend at Kiepersol Kloof 22-23 June.
This weekend’s weeding will be a good way for people to get to know a part of the Magaliesberg not
often visited. Kiepersol Kloof is upstream from Junction Pool at Tonquani. It lies on the
Lude/Cooke land south of Tonquani but the
stream actually starts in Easter Kloof land further south. It is a beautiful area.

We will get permission to drive up [4wd only – volunteers please!!] and camp where the track ends
at the cars, on Boulder Kloof land [ONLY for conservation meets!] The weeding target will be crofton weed; it grows in the wetland there [serious threat to Tonquani
stream!] and higher upstream in a small narrow channel to its source.

We will meet at 8h30 on Saturday at the normal Calabash parking and leave the non-4wd cars there.
Please let me know which day you will be coming. Some will be going up on Sunday. We need to know
who is coming and when, please.

You would need water-sandals or old boots, gumboots, garden gloves, crofton cropper tools [I have
some extras for R50] or split-point garden tool and small fork.
Please contact me as soon as you can – 082 451 9582 or

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