Zandvlei Trust

Source To Sea - exploring our Catchment with GIS

Group C

28 April 2009 Three sections of the trail completed.

This is an overview by Gavin Lawson of part of the trail by Group C.

The route and GPS points are indicated in yellow.




High School / Org.

Tim Le Mesurier  (Teacher) Bergvliet
Louis Boshoff      (Teacher) Zwaanswyk
Daniel Cudlipp Bergvliet
Stephen Moser Bergvliet
Alex Rebelo Bergvliet
Aldean Blythe Crestway
Logan Theron Crestway
Tiaan Douman Crestway
Chesney Allen Muizenberg
David Stuurman Muizenberg
Nathaneal Diedericks Muizenberg
Estiaan Gouws Zwaanswyk
Francois Oosthuizen Zwaanswyk
Thomas Fluks Zwaanswyk
Mark Arendse CoCT Zandvlei N Reserve
Romeo Paulse CoCT Zandvlei N Reserve
Ian McCallum Zandvlei Trust
Sharon McCallum Zandvlei Trust
Gavin Lawson Zandvlei Trust

Most of the participants met at Zwaanswyk High School at 08h00, received their briefing and instructions from Alice and George and set off in different directions in the taxi buses.

We stopped to look at the litter traps in the Sand River and the function and background was explained. There was a fair amount of litter trapped against the grid for all to see. A team of contractors arrived to do the weekly cleanup, while we were there.

photograph by Ally Ashwell

The litter we saw in the trap when we stopped           The litter trap on the Sand River being cleaned.
to have a look.

Some of what was removed.

At the Nature Reserve Mark Arendse (Environmental Education Manager) and Romeo Paulse (2009 Student) were introduced and they took the group on a guided tour of part of the Reserve. They stopped off at the Sand River and inspected the containers with results of the mini SASS tests. With charts they identified the creepy crawlies to establish the health of the river system and quality of the water. They saw a number of birds and were shown some of the useful plants for medicinal and other uses.

photograph by Ally Ashwell                                            photograph by Ally Ashwell

Checking the SASS test.                             Listening to some of the important facts.

photograph by Ally Ashwell                                                          photograph by Ally Ashwell

Sharon explaining some of the content of the tray.    Mark explaining some of the birds and animals to be 
                                                                            seen in the reserve.

Canoe fun
Then to the canoes which all were excited about. Safety instructions done, and they were off under the watchfull eye of Dr Ian McCallum the safety officer.  Paddling along the northern shore, then under the railway bridge into the confluence of the Westlake and Keysers Rivers. They went up the Keysers River for 500 meters and then they headed back into the main Zandvlei waterbody again. Paddling across a small bay to the Scout Base to meet up with Sharon McCallum, teacher Louis Boshoff and myself, as I caught up with the group.

photograph by Ally Ashwell                                                          photograph by Ally Ashwell

The wise teachers talking shop.                              Getting the feeling of the canoe for the first time.

"Here come the drunken sailors" trying to keep in a straight line
and crashing into the sides every which way.

Chesney Allen and David Stuurman                         Logan Theron and Tiaan Douman

Alex Reblo, Stephen Moser and  Daniel Cudlipp.      Mark Arendse, Aldean Blythe and  Nathaneal

Thomas Fluks and Estiaan Gouws.                        Tim Le Mesurier, Romeo Paulse and

"The Doc" following up.                                          It was a bun fight to see who could get through first.

Guess what?  2 of our intrepid sailors Chesney Allen and David Stuurman managed to overturn the very stable canoes - a first! They learnt something about being on the water and becoming over confident, getting soaked in the process. Fortunately it was not deep where they had the mishap.

Arriving at the Scout Base.


Railway bridge looking south towards     Looking west towards "Elephants Eye" cave where the fabled 
Lakeside station, with Muizenberg         source of the Princesskasteel River starts. Group A started their 
in the background.                               section of the trail up on the mountain which is part of the table
                                                          Mountain National Park. The waterbody to the right is the
                                                          Westlake River. Keysers River in the forefront, bottom right.

Railway bridge looking north towards the back of Table Mountain and Devils Peak. The confluence of the Westlake and Keysers rivers meet the main waterbody of Zandvlei at this bridge. The original single
track wooden bridge was built in the 1860's very soon after steam engine travel was invented.

Walk along shore of Zandvlei
The reference material included in the information pack had some old photos to compare what is to be seen around the vlei and slopes of Muizenberg today, compared to 80 - 100 years ago.
Various GPS points along the way were of insterest to explain for example - drainage systems into Zandvlei, a remaining natural corridor was pointed out as a link from the Muizenberg to the vlei across the roads, properties and railway line. The litter generated at the picnic site was discussed as a real polluting issue impacting on the water body.

It wasnt long before Alex Reblo found a snake,          Sharon explaining what happens to stormwater run
he knows his snakes and identified it as a                 off from the streets. The outlet pipes go directly into 
Common Slugeater. A valuable little snake to have     Zandvlei such as this one, and many others like it
in the garden to take care of slugs and snails.            around the shoreline.

Mark explaining how important "biodiversity corridors" are to link the mountain, the vlei and the coast line. Suburban development has impacted hugely on the natural environment in recent years. So all are encouraged to plant local indigenous plants in their gardens and on the pavements / sidewalks to help the birds, animals, insects to forage and assist the pollination and seed dispersion of the fynbos plant species.

We stopped at Thesens bridge to read the history of the benefactor who donated the bridge for the
community of Muizenberg.

Last stop was at the "rubble weir" and its purpose was explained. We all saw that the mouth of the estuary had been opened with the bulldozer. Heavy rains were forecast for the successive days, and we saw that the vlei water level was quite high.

photograph by Ally Ashwell                                                         photograph by Ally Ashwell

"The dead rat, that died of a heart attack because    The mouth opened.
he thought he was falling into polluted water".

Just starting to open the mouth at 09h00.                Finished by lunch time.

We went to the Muizenberg pavillion for lunch and the report back.

For more information contact;

Ally Ashwell     021 788 2431
                       082 720 7444


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