Thanks to the N3 Toll Concession who are funding the walk, and to the Midlands Conservancies Forum who believe that monitoring the tributaries of the uMngeni is important and submitted the funding proposal, we have planned our next adventure along the Lion’s River.
We leave on Sunday 22 September for the Elands River which after approximately 13 kilometres from its source changes its name and becomes the Lions River. No, not the Elands River that is in the Boston area, a different Elands River whose source is literally on the other side of uMngeni Vlei. Anyone have any ideas about why this river has two names? It’s strange how these two rivers have their birthplace so close to each other, yet a couple of ridges and valleys between them form the watershed. One starts in a massive wetland, the other a small trickle plunging down a mountain side, until they join just upstream of Midmar Dam. In the photo below, uMngeni Vlei is in the foreground, and the Elands/Lions source is on the far side of the long flat ridge seen in the top right of the photo
This is a short walk compared to last year – only seven days and somewhere between 80 to 90 kilometres. This time, we will be roughing it – camping besides the river each night most nights. – to really connect to the river.
Along the river, there are five areas of small farms and settlements – the area around Hawklee House, Lidgetton Valley, Lidgetton Village, Caversham Mill and Lions River, which lie in between areas comprising large farms, so it will be an interesting mix that we walk through.
We have heard tales of almost unknown waterfalls, historical and archaeological sites, wild mountains and hellish wetlands and swamps. Sorry – not many photos yet, you will have to wait till we get walking. We will post a blog for you again each night to let you know of our adventures.
There will be some old faces and some new faces in the team this year. We will really miss Wendy, our support team’s Mother Goose who can’t join us due to other commitments, however John will be returning as support crew
and the new second member of the support crew is my son Breandan
Both John and Breandan are experienced outdoorsmen and wilderness campers, so we will be in good hands. We will also miss Mike Farley
and Pandora Long who also, due to other commitments wont be able to join us.
As for the walking team:
and Preven and Pens will be joining me on the walking team.
We welcome our fourth team member, Sandile Masondo, who last year climbed Kilimajaro in support of Rhino Conservation and earlier this year walked 2, 500 kilometres through KZN to raise awareness about the loss of the Zulu culture and language. During this walk, he was horrified at the number of leaking pipes and spewing sewers that he witnessed, hence his connection with DUCT. Welcome Sandile, Bayete!