Thursday, 18 February 2016

The amazing bio diverstity of the Klein Karoo

Did you know the Klein Karoo has 4500 species of plant that occur now where else on the planet?
It has 3 internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots and to aquire recognition for a biodiversity hotspot you need at least 1500 endemic species.
The hotspots are
1 Valley thicket - shrubs,trees and climbers. This is an important corridor for wildlife, its food and has a large population of invertebrates.
2. Succulent Karoo, pretty much what you see when driving around the Klein Karoo. The "fat" plants on the side of the road you see. There are over 6000 plant species spread into the Northern Cape and Namibia. Around half are endemic to South Africa
3. Fynbos - higher up the mountains these fine leafed shrubs and restio reeds are amongst the most threatened plant species in South Africa
source, sa venues

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The first car of "Die Hel" Gamkaskloof in the Swartberg Mountains

Image result for pics of first car in die helThe Valley know as Die Hel was first discovered in 1830. People that settled here were called klowers. The only contact with the outside world was via dangerous footpaths. The fastest way in or out the valley was by climbing a steep and dangerous 20km cliff path.  In 1958  4 men decided to visit the hel. They met a Mr Snyman and were invited to stay the week end. They realised that the people of the Hel had never seen a motor car and promised to bring one. The 4 men (Ben and Dirk Van Zyl, Izak Burger and Andries Van den Berg) four a 1938 Morris for R20 and 2 weeks later were on their way back to the valley. A message was sent a few days before reaching Seweweekspoort and a group of eight men and four donkeys met them to get the car down the mountain. So through ardous slopes,boulders river sand and thick bush the first car arrived in Die Hel. Within the next five years the famous Swartberg Pass began its construction which opened up Die Hel to the outside world
Image result for pics of first car in die hel

Image result for pics of first car in die hel