Caulescens ‘Immersion’ Tour 2014. #2.
Connie and James Abel, Pretoria, +27-72-1162672,
The clivia activitythat we enjoy most is visiting clivias in their natural habitats of climate, topography and soils and seeingtheir association with other plants in the forest. A bonus is being in the midst of some of the most beautiful South African scenery and the ‘Immersion’ in the heading refers to the cream on top – being in the company of a large group of fellow enthusiasts for several days, enjoying the company of old friends and making new ones from around the world. We have arranged ten tours since the first in 1993,the last three being full bus toursin 2002 (25 enthusiasts), 2006 (43 - photo I Coates) and 2007 (44). We have enjoyed them all, and were delighted when this contribution resulted in a Clivia Society award.
The 2014tour to caulescens country on the Eastern Escarpment of the Northern Drakensberg will first visit sites with names that will resonate with any enthusiast –The Pinnacle, Gods Window, Wonder View (where in 2002 we saw a caulescens with a 2.2m stem) and Mariepskop. Although a bit early for peak caulescens flowering, there are always a few early in bloom. These sites are shown in the Google photo (T Pearton). Top right is the much drier lowveld, home to the Kruger National Park.
The tour will finish with a visit to Barberton and Bearded Man mountain, site of the only described natural hybrid Nimbicola. To whet appetites the first two photos are from Mariepskopshowing the sheer eastern escarpment faceand roadside clivias, and the third is from Gods Window (G Gers).
The next photo has Bearded Man on the skyline (T Pearton), reclining with face to the left. It also showsa typical escarpment scene of rolling grassland with sub-tropical forest (and clivias) on the southerly aspects. The SA/Swaziland boundary runs horizontally across the photo. The map shows the proposed 2014 tour route.
The tour is timed to fit in with the international conference, with a packed sixteen days ofthree clivia shows, the caulescens tour, the clivia conference, show, auction and KZNhabitat tours. A major flower show will be held in conjunction with the KZN clivia show. Other clivia shows precede and follow the three week period.
We will travel in a luxury bus, with local transport for the final 10 km at Bearded Man. The only mildly strenuous portion (all are optional) will be the uphill walk from the parking area to the rainforest at Gods Window.
Financial planning will be on a break-even basis and funds will be under the control of the Clivia Society. The cost per person including transport, accommodation and mealsfrom Tue lunch to Thu breakfast is estimated to be between R2500 and R1600, depending on the bus size and utilisation.
We request interested enthusiasts to e-mail us soonest, absolutely without commitment at this stage. Please indicate whether you are ‘probable’ or ‘possible’ participants. We will keep everyone informed with updates while firming up the numbers, and it will be ‘first come first served’. Final details will be circulated in May/ June with a request for commitment and payment.
Perhaps a few previous participants would like to e-mail their comments (con as well as pro) to us for the guidance of others.
Comments from participants on previous tours:
Sent: November 13, 2013 1:30 PMRe: [clivia] Re: Clivia Conference 2014 Caulescens Tour I am lucky to have been to a number of caulescens habitats on several occasions in both bright sunshine and pouring rain. If you can visit them with somebody else organising the transport and accommodation, what are you waiting for? A fantastic experience which you must do at least once. Ian from England
Sent: November 13, 2013 3:34 AM Re: [clivia] Re: Clivia Conference 2014
Enthusiast group.I went on this Cliviacaulescens tour in 2006. This tour was one of the best trips of my lifetime! I envy any of you who can go in 2014! I wish I had photos to post but I had camera issues in 2006. I recommend this tour unconditionally! Marilyn from SF Bay Area California
Tuesday. We will leave from a hotel in Pretoria east at 07.30 sharp. We are negotiating a special ratefor participants from afar to check in on Mon afternoon. There is security controlled parking for you and for local participants (not needing accommodation). Where applicable, reserve a room for late Thursday on our return.
About one hour after departure we will have a pit stop with takeaway food available – at your cost. Thereafter meals are included up to Thu breakfast.
At Graskop we will collect packed picnic lunches from the hotel and spend the afternoon visiting The Pinnacle, Gods Window and Wonder View.
We will spend the night at the Graskop Hotel, as we have on a number of occasions in the past. Three star wholesome DB&B value.
Wednesday. With breakfast from 06.30, we will leave at 07.30 for Mariepskop, taking packed picnic lunches and spending several hours on the mountain.
That afternoon we will drive to Barberton where it is back to boarding school !!! We will stay DB&B in the High School hostel as we did in 2007.
Thursday. With breakfast again from 06.30, we will leave at 07.30 for Bearded Man. Taking the bus half way up the mountain, at the forestry headquarters we will transfer to company transport (photo Ian Coates). Fun for most of us, in 2006 a few participants became carsick – let us know if you need an open vehicle. That afternoon we will return to Pretoria, stopping for takeaways (your cost) en route. Please note that in 2007 heavy rain prevented access to Bearded Man, but we simply changed to a drive through the Kruger Park, seeing substantial game including lion & rhino (photos G Gers).
Diet. Flexibility may be difficult but let us know of any dietary requirements and we will see what can be done.
Indemnity. This is a non-profit low cost tour, without margin for insurance. While we all will take maximum care, all participants must make their own provisions for travel insurance. You will be required to sign an indemnification of all society organisersagainst any loss or injury of any nature or severity. No signature = no seat on the bus.
Clothing. You are welcome to dress as you wish – as a guideline we will be wearing light shirts and short trousers with sandals for the full trip. We consider a hat (strong sunlight) essential and light waterproof top (high rainfall area) and a warm top (nights may be chilly) desirable.
Health. The Lowveld is a malaria area, but mosquitos are nocturnal and we will be skirting the fringes of that area during daytime only. We will take roll-on insect repellent only. Please ensure that you have all medication that you need.
Post tour itinerary. Terry and Haydn’s plan may be of interest. They arrive on Mon 8th, and we will find out about public transport from Jhb International to the hotel. On Fri 12tham they will rent a car for the rest of their tour, including Johanneburg, Pietermaritzburg and then down the coast to Cape Town. SA public transport is poor, and ‘own wheels’ are invaluable to have the flexibility of visiting points of interest and accepting off-the-cuff invitations to visit collections, etc. We are working on obtaining a rebate override for delegates and will keep you informed. Some advise that you contract with an international agency in your own country for delivery to the Pretoria hotel on the morning of the 12th. If finishing in Cape Town, check driving back to Jhb (1425 km) versus paying a transfer fee and flying back.
Contact persons at various clubs who will advise on their own areas, including accommodation, are:
Johannes burg: Glynn Middlewick-
Pietermaritzburg arrangements - Angie Smith,
Pietermaritzburg Travel Agency appointed for accommodation -Tracy of Sure-Adcocks Travel
East London -
Port Elizabeth - Charl Malan, or Gideon Botha -
George (Garden Route): Carrie Kruger,
Cape Town: Joy Woodward -