Mountain Bike Race on January 15th 2011

Januar 9th, 2011

Contego Attakwas Extreme Mountain Bike 121km Challenge & Attakwas Mini 52km Mountain Bike Ride

It is that time of the year again; South Africa’s favourite Extreme MTB race is getting ready to host riders in this, the 2011 edition. The unbelievable growth and success of this event is due to the loyal support from you, the rider, and our committed and generous sponsors and finally a crew that has passion and drive one can only wish for. Once again, and for the third year running, the Attakwas Extreme has been voted SA’s top one-day mountain bike event.

Staying true to our pioneering spirit, and learning from the past 4 years, we have decided to only make small changes to our existing, already challenging extreme route. The changes to the very popular 2010 extreme race include a shortening of sections of the technical jeep track before the entry into the Attakwas kloof and a different approach to Bonniedale guest farm. This will shorten the route by 14 km. The Attakwas Mini, over 55 km that will start and finish in Great Brak river, will share the last 13 km of the Attakwas Extreme route. This shorter ride will consist of plenty of jeep track that takes riders onto the southern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains.

To enable the supporters and family of the riders from the Extreme race to be able to compete in the Attakwas mini, we have decided to start this shorter version only at 09:30, which gives them ample time to still watch the start of the Extreme race, and then travel to Great Brak river. Don’t underestimate the shorter version of the Atta ; the name still says „Attakwas“.

more infos:  http://www.dryland.co.za./events.php

Snow on Bonniedale

Juli 18th, 2010

Snow on Bonniedale 1 What a winter! Enjoy the impressions from snowy mountains in June taken by Danette… Snow on Bonniedale 1

Leopard Group Includes Mossel Bay Property in its Studies

März 8th, 2010

The Cape Leopard Trust has installed a camera trap on Mossel Bay’s Bonniedale Holiday Farm as part of its work to track and study the Province’s most important predator species.

“We’ve been running surveys in the Gamkaberg and the Swartberg since October 2007, and in the Cedarberg since 2004,” said the Trust’s founder, Quinton Martins.

“Throughout the mountain areas, the surveyed population is quite low, so the fact that there is only so much sustainable habitat is obviously of concern.”

Mr. Martins, who spent ten years in the safari industry before beginning his studies, is currently preparing his PhD thesis which aims “to provide a broad understanding of leopard populations in the Cape mountains, their home ranges, and their diet.
 
“The leopard is the apex species in the Western Cape,” he said. “Without it, the effects could be dire, and you can imagine the knock-on effects it would have on the ecosystem if they were wiped out.

“The need to preserve leopard and their habitat has an effect on managing human-wildlife interactions, and therefore, of course, on the tourism industry.

“The leopard is a charismatic species that has the ability to attract people’s attention. It only occurs in certain wilderness areas, and even though you barely ever see them, the mere fact that they exist – and that you might experience through seeing their spoor – adds to the attraction of an area.”

He said that the Cape Leopard Trust provided scholarships to a number of students, and that Rhodes University PhD candidate Gareth Mann was studying leopard movement and activity in the Gamkaberg and Swartberg areas.

“I’m trying to identify their core areas, and how they move between areas – and hopefully this information will eventually inform decisions regarding the establishment of movement corridors and priority areas for conservation,” said Mr. Mann.

Conservation Student Aneri Vlok said that the cameras had helped to positively identify seventeen individuals in the Gouritz area – a broad corridor of land surrounding the Gouritz River, which runs from the Swartberg Mountains and into the Indian Ocean just west of Mossel Bay.

“We have 15 stations in this region, with some on private land – like the one at Bonniedale – and some on state land that’s managed by CapeNature – like the ones on the adjacent Gamkaberg Nature Reserve and in the Gamkaskloof (Die Hel – which forms part of the Swartberg Nature Reserve),” she said.

The cameras are triggered when animals move across their infra-red beams, so, she said, “suddenly we have data on all kinds of species in this area.

“The discovery of bushpig was a surprise in one area, and in Matjiesvlei a farmer was surprised to learn that he had kudu on his land,” she said – although many other seldom seen animals – like aardvark, aardwolf, and honey badgers – have also been pictured by the cameras.

She said that the camera that had been installed on Bonniedale had been up for about 3 weeks, and that it would be serviced for the first time in another two to three weeks’ time.

Cape Nature’s Tom Barry is based at the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve – which lies just north of Bonniedale – and was instrumental in choosing the farm as the site for a camera.

“Nico Hesterman (Bonniedale’s owner) had mentioned that he’d seen brown hyena in the area, and we thought it might be a good idea to set up a camera there in combination with our study to try and see if we could get pictures of them and the leopard,” he said.

Brown hyena are generally thought to have last been seen in the area between a hundred and a hundred and fifty years ago, and, said Mr. Barry, “if we can pick up a breeding population in the area, it would be interesting to know about it.”

Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said that the Trust’s work was exciting for the town’s tourism industry because it highlighted the broad spectrum of attractions in the Mossel Bay, Garden Route, and Klein Karoo areas.

“Many people still associate Mossel Bay with beach holidays, and while our beaches rate amongst our most popular attractions, there is so much more to do in the Mossel Bay region – like exploring the mountains that are the home of the Cape leopard,” she said.

“Mossel Bay is presently running a campaign to attract South Africans during this year’s World Cup, and our experience is that local visitors are often much more adventurous when it comes to getting out onto the back roads and visiting places like Bonniedale.

“The Trust’s work therefore serves to highlight the rewards that you could enjoy in the wilderness areas surrounding Mossel Bay,” she said – while Mr. Martins stressed that leopards were definitely not a threat to people.

“As predators go, leopards are relatively small,” he said.

More information:
Cape Leopard Trust www.capeleopard.org.za
Bonniedale www.bonniedale.com
Mossel Bay www.visitmosselbay.co.za

Leopard News

Februar 17th, 2010

The CAPE LEOPARD TRUST in conjunction with Cape Nature put up camera traps on Bonniedale Farm.In the Cape, as quoted by Quinton Martins, leopards only really exist in true wilderness areas, characterized predominantly by the rugged inaccessible mountains where the ecosystem is still healthy.The leopard is the perfect umbrella species – you protect the leopard and everything that falls beneath it is indirectly conserved.   The project is not only about leopards, but is a broader conservation programme, using the apex predator, the leopard, to ensure the conservation of an entire ecosystem.PHOTOS TO FOLLOW.

News 2010

Februar 14th, 2010

Had a great Mountain Bike Challenge in January with 726 (!) riders.

Stay tuned for more news next time!

Spring Yoga Retreat on Bonniedale Farm: 4 – 6 September 2009

August 4th, 2009

 Come and immerse yourself in a weekend retreat in the mountains of Bonniedale Farm.

A yogic retreat to bring in the start of spring and give you a new perspective on the experience of yoga & meditation. Enjoy the fare from the organic garden and as much peace and solitude as your soul desires. For any queries or a copy of the registration form please contact:

Carol Bradbury

Mocean Yoga Classes & Retreats

Capestyle3(at)gmail.com    (please fill in the @ sign)

Ph: 044-6966972 or 0835668616 

BACK TO BASICS – NATURE PROVIDES – SOLAR POWER

Juni 28th, 2009

Come to Bonniedale – find your roots – connect to the earth and discover yourself again.   Inhale fresh unpolluted air, drink pure mountain water or Bonniedale Herbal teas and eat home cooked meals, fresh from our organic garden.   Unwind away from modern technology (no cellphone, internet or TV), connect with free range farm animals and walk in the natural fynbos.   Swim, cycle, horseride etc. when you feel like it and sleep like a baby, (no traffic noise or light pollution – 100% safe!) or indulge in the magnificent night sky.

Get away from the maddening crowds and let us look after you.

We can collect from George airport or Mossel Bay busstation and can also take you on a days outing to the little Karoo.

Talk to us!  – We are here to help you!

Recommended stay at least 3 days, ideally one week.

Mid-week Special!! – Except School and Public Holidays:-

PAY FOR TWO DAYS – STAY FOR THREE

PLEASE NOTE:-  50% non-refundable deposit required to secure ALL bookings.

Dec/Jan. Bookings to be paid in full by end October 2009.

STARGAZING ON BONNIEDALE HOLIDAY FARM

Juni 5th, 2009

A weekend in the clear mountain air of the Attaquaskloof with Kerri Mariot (member of the ASSA) takes place on Bonniedale Holiday Farm on 17 and 18 July.

Spend your days learning about the night’s skies or enjoying the various activities on offer at Bonniedale (yoga, horseriding, hiking etc).

Spend your evenings immersing yourself in the wonders of the heavens.

Cost:  R100 per person, R50 for children under 12 (excluding accommodation, food and extra activities).

Various accommodation options to suite all needs and budgets. 

Contact:  Bonniedale on 044-6953175 or

              Carol Bradbury on 044-6966972 or 0835668616

News from Bonniedale

April 27th, 2009

1. LEOPARD SIGHTING – a young female leopard was seen in the Kamma River camp.

2. a New ablution and four extra camping sites have been created in the new campsite.

3. We had our first good rain on the 18th of April. The draught is broken and the road is in fair condition. Day temperatures still high 30 degrees + and night temperatures 11 degrees +.

Mossel Bay does have the 2nd mildest climate in the world.

Welcome at Bonniedale´s BLOG

März 28th, 2009

Dear friends, we welcome you on the new Bonniedale BLOG! Visit us to get new infos direct from Bonniedale Farm. Danette and Nico will inform you about news from bonniedale, road quality, weather, events, etc.

Stay tuned!