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West Coast NP: INFO

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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MarkWildDog
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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:05 pm

Hi Everyone.

Just to let you know the pin board will be up at Geelbek Info Centre within the next month. :dance:

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Unread post by leopardspotter » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:50 pm

My trip report from the West Coast National Park and the Postberg Section: http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9979
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arks
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ID help please

Unread post by arks » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:05 am

Can anyone help me with ID for these two buildings at WCNP? Both are near the Geelbek information centre and restaurant and can be seen from the pathway across the tidal flats in front of Geelbek.

1. img.missing


2. Image


Thanks!!
RSA 2016
4,5 April Melville
6-19 April KNP: Croc Bridge, Olifants, Shingwedzi, Pafuri Border
20-24 April Mapungubwe: Leokwe
25 April-28 May Darling
29 May-19 June Cape Town
* * *
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Jay
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Re: West Coast NP

Unread post by Jay » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:09 pm

hennes wrote:Plan going to the Park at the end of November. Any special advise? San Parks offers a House Boat as accommodation, anyone out there who can give some inside/recommendation? Does one has to have nautical experience?


No nautical experience needed, they(parks) even "ferry" you back and forth in a small boat. There are several options from luxurious to functional. I was on the luxurious one and it is one of the nicest "houses" I have stayed in!

There is a website for the boats, they are privately operated so you will have to PM for the details :wink:

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WestCoaster
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Unread post by WestCoaster » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:35 am

Hi arks.

First, I don't normally open posts whose subject doesn't point me to HRs or our Park. It was just luck (for you) that I did open it!

The first pic was taken from the corner of the lawn next to Geelbek behind the big palm tree and is today the home of the Geelbek Restauranteur, and her family. It is out of bounds, as it is leased by her so she can be near the restaurant.

The second was taken from the edge of the saltmarsh in the forbidden C Zone and pictures the Geelbek stables (well done, Larks - the eco-education centre can be seen behind and between the first gap from the left), fully restored now to accommodate school groups on the Parks' educational courses. On the left is the van Breda House, which is hired out in the same way as the cottages at Abrahamskraal and Schrywershoek. Please note that the area from which this pic was taken is too sensitive to allow human traffic and should be avoided. It is classed as a "no use area" in the PMP. I know there's a path there, but that path was made by folks who can't read!
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Unread post by Larks » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:59 pm

Well there you have it! :)

It seems that between Arks, Mark and Larks, we could do some rhyming in this thread! :lol:

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Unread post by WestCoaster » Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:06 am

Arks, the problem is that the southern saltmarsh has been proclaimed a no-go area for many reasons. See this PDF.
Note the C Zone on map on page 9. The protection priorities are listed on page 19. These include ground nesting birds protection, land reclamation, preservation of invertebrates in mudflats, wader protection, Black Harrier protection (see top of page 21). The whole C Zone saltmarsh is a "wilderness area" and may only be accessed via a boardwalk as you can see at the Geelbek birdhide a few hundred meters to the east. There is (as yet) no boardwalk at the site you mention.

Signs are placed low so as to not appear in people's photographs ("sign pollution"), as the van Breda house is a favourite photo taking place towards the lagoon.

It could be that the sign has recently "disappeared". I shall check it out this weekend!
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Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

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WCNP in November

Unread post by Sallee101 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:34 am

Hi all,
I know the flowers will be gone by November but is it worth a side day trip to visit then? Or should I save it for another visit in blooming season?
Sallee

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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:21 pm

Hi Salee, Yes definetly worthwhile - Just remember the best time to view all the Predators (Caracal, African Wild Cat, Bat Eared Fox, Cape Fox & Honey Badger) is early morning & late afternoon. Remember slow driving and careful scanning is the only way you will get rewarded with great sightings. There are lots of tortoises - They are adorable. The Geelbek restraunt is not bad, but I reccomend you book. There is also some bird hides - I think you will enjoy WCNP a lot :wink:

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arks
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Unread post by arks » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:51 pm

I second Mark's recommendation of WCNP, especially if you are interested in birds and enjoy wild, windswept landscapes. The rocky coast at Tsaarbank is wonderful and dramatic, too! Have a look at my WCNP trip report from my visits in April 2006.
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4,5 April Melville
6-19 April KNP: Croc Bridge, Olifants, Shingwedzi, Pafuri Border
20-24 April Mapungubwe: Leokwe
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29 May-19 June Cape Town
* * *
21 September-21 November Darling

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Some Did You Knows about WCNP

Unread post by MarkWildDog » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:18 pm

- Every year between 50,000 and 70,000 birds fly over 15,000kms from Northern Russia to spend the Summer feeding in the Lagoon.

- The Lagoon hosts over 250 bird species, more than a quater of South Africa's total and is classified as a wetland of International importance.

- The biggest colony of Kelp gulls in South Africa can be found on Schaapen Island.

- The Lagoon is one of the world's most important wetland areas and represents almost 30% of South Africa's salt marshes.

- The Lagoon is one of the biggest oyster graveyards in the world.

- Schaapen Island was named after seafarers found a flock of sheep on the island. Khoi pastoralists put their livestock on the island to prevent them being caught by predators.

- The guano that was harvested on the islands was called 'white gold'.

- "Eve's footprints" were excavated near Kraalbay and have been dated at 117 000 years old.

- Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, lions, leopards and hyenas occured around the lagoon 300 years ago.

- In prehoristic times, the sea level was 140m above today's levels.

- It is the only National Park from which you can see another National Park. Do you know which one?

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arks
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Re: Some Did You Knows about WCNP

Unread post by arks » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:21 pm

MARK CHOWLES wrote:- It is the only National Park from which you can see another National Park. Do you know which one?

I would guess TMNP — but only on a VERY clear day 8)

Great stuff Mark 8)
RSA 2016
4,5 April Melville
6-19 April KNP: Croc Bridge, Olifants, Shingwedzi, Pafuri Border
20-24 April Mapungubwe: Leokwe
25 April-28 May Darling
29 May-19 June Cape Town
* * *
21 September-21 November Darling

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WestCoaster
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More Did-you-knows from the Park

Unread post by WestCoaster » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:23 am

- The WCNP is proud to host the largest breeding colony of threatened Black Harriers anywhere in the world.

- The WCNP is proud to acknowledge that we are the only RAMSAR site on the West Coast of any continent.

- It is postulated that in ancient times, the Berg River used to flow out to the sea through the Lagoon.

- The WCNP has the largest breeding colony of Cape Gannets (at 70,000 birds) in the world. These can be visited (with permission) on Malgas Island in the mouth of the Lagoon.

- The rare Dwarf Chameleon can be found in the West Coast National Park, as can the Spiny Agama and the Southern Adder - all endangered.

- The two underground lakes, the Elandsfontein and Langebaanweg Aquifers, which are connected, overflow and seep into the Lagoon near the shore east of Geelbek, causing a proliferation of bullrushes in a marine environment.

- Man's greed nearly spelled the end for the African Penguin (used to be known as the Jackass Penguin), after the white gold that Mark refers to was stripped off the islands and sent back to Holland in the 1700-1900's. These penguins now have no place to dig and hide their nests in.

- The colony of Kelp gulls Mark talks about is being threatened by rogue White Pelicans who have taken to strolling through the colony and eating every living chick they can get their considerable beaks around. The cormorants and gannets are also threatened in this way.

- The lagoon, with the upwelling phenomenon that most west coasters are familiar with, as well as the fresh water seep previously mentioned, produces the most nutrient-rich feeding grounds for waders and fish anywhere in Africa.

- Five years ago the Lagoon was seriously threatened by the invasion of the Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) which arrived in or under the iron ore carriers that visit the huge ore jetty on the end of the Saldanha / Sishen track. Local harvesting for the pot has seen an impressive decline in the numbers of these organisms, which can fasten themselves to the sandy bottom, unlike our local Black Mussels which need a rocky substrate to adhere to.

- Schaapen Eiland is today home to a colony of white rabbits, placed there by decendants of Jan van Riebeeck's days who kept them captive there in order to provide easy fresh meat during their visits from the Cape Colony. The rabbits have developed huge swollen livers, a function of their eating seaweed during lean summer times when there is no grass left to eat on the island.
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Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

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DuQues
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Re: More Did-you-knows from the Park

Unread post by DuQues » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:50 am

WestCoaster wrote:- The WCNP is proud to acknowledge that we are the only RAMSAR site on the West Coast of any continent.

For those not in the know:
The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 153 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1629 wetland sites, totaling 145.6 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance
.

http://www.ramsar.org/
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Jay
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West Coast NP, Geelbek and birdhide

Unread post by Jay » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:37 pm

I did a morning trip to the WCNP, went to Geelbek first for tea and cake and would just like to comment on the wonderful food served at the restaurant, friendly service, and the devinely clean cloakrooms 8)

also the newly "renovated" boardwalk to the birdhide is a vast improvement, doesn't even creak :wink:

another interesting thing was the amount of cyclists in the park, nice to see!

and saw the tiniest tortoise I've seen there, looked like a pebble on legs :lol:


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