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Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
EDe Kock
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Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby EDe Kock » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:29 am

Soetanysberg

Soetanysberg or Soetanys Mountain, is one of Agulhas National Park’s most iconic spots of interest and an important botanical site which makes it an important node for fynbos conservation. It derives its name from the Anysboegoe, Agathosma cerefolium which grows abundantly on the mountain and its foothills.

Described as a steep coastal mountain, it reaches an elevation of 248.6m above sea level and is the highest point in the eastern section of the Park. This is also the guiding height for the limitation for use by aircraft of 2,500 feet (762m) above highest point over the current Agulhas National Park. The flight height is thus 1010.6m or 3315.5 feet. It is ± 16km NW of the Southernmost tip. The mountain consists of sandstone and quartzite of the Table Mountain Group. Soils derived from these rocks are acidic and highly infertile. Soetanysberg is part of the Hagelkraal land system with shallow well drained grey calcareous sands.

The Soetanysberg area as a botanical site is approximately 100km² and supports seven different fynbos types. Four of these - Limestone proteoid (restricted to limestone substrata), Elim asteraceous fynbos (unique to the Agulhas Plains), (Wet) Restioid fynbos (closely associated with vleis and drainage systems) and Neutral sand proteoid fynbos (confined to colluvial sand derived from limestone) are endangered in the Cape Floristic Region. Patches of the threatened Elim asteraceous fynbos grows in the Soetanysberg area. Together with, Heuningrug, Elim (24 x 28 km) and Soetanysberg, more than 60 Red Data Book plant species were identified, of which at least 15 are threatened.

Soetanysberg features one of the Strandveld’s most unique and secret cultural historical structures namely the stonewalls. These stonewalls were most probably packed between 1780 and 1820. It is about one metre high and very visible on the mountain. It was the borders between the different farms, but also was meant to keep the different Van Breda merino sheep flocks from each other. Most of the land belonged to the Zoetendals Vallei Van Breda family in the 19th century. It is not known who packed these walls. The eastern side of the mountain was cultivated extensively for fynbos planting in the seventies and eighties of the 20th century. The disturbance of the natural seedbed could clearly be seen after the big 2009 fire. The re-growth in these areas differs dramatically from the neighbouring natural veld and will take time, if ever, to recover.

Soetanysberg provides the most extraordinary views over the ocean to the south and the Agulhas Plains to the north.

Tiko
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby Tiko » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:53 pm

Drove out to Brandfontein last Saturday and saw the stonewalls.Is there a way that you can get closer to these walls and can get to the top of Soetanys Mountain?

EDe Kock
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby EDe Kock » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:44 pm

Good afternoon, re access to Soetanys Mountain and the stone walls.
It is possible to hike from Springfield Estate to the one wall; a circular hike of about three hours. It will have to be organized with the Van As family. There is a road up the mountain from where there is a very nice view of the oceans in the south and the Agulhas Plain to the north. This, however, must be organized from the Agulhas Park's Reception office for permits and guidance how to get there.
Emmerentia

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picnic
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby picnic » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:21 pm

:D :thumbs_up:

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lizef
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby lizef » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:52 am

Pics of the Soetanysberg stone walls after the big fire of 2009:
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lizef
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby lizef » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:07 am

Pictures from the view point on Soetanys Mountain, towards the sea (prior to the 2009 fire):
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picnic
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Re: Soetanys Mountain in Agulhas National Park

Unread postby picnic » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:21 am

:D Thanks Lizef, interesting pics. :thumbs_up:


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