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Home > Trail tales > 2005 > Christmas camp

Rain, rain and more rain at the ...
Christmas camp at Munster, Kwazulu Natal

Check out the photos of the Christmas camp


Neil and Audrey Ransome, Sarah Proctor, Caroline White, Sue Emmett, Elsa and Usher Wloschowsky, Frances Raal, Jim Hutchison, Ferdie Aguiar, Elizabeth Ogilvie, Bruno Vogt, Ricky Richards, Robert Zuzowski, Milly and Alan Saffer, Chris and Marja Williams, Mary Candlin, Regine Matern, Jim Arnett, Norma and Andy Johnston, Malcolm Watson, Jock McLaren, John and Elizabeth Corrie, Gwyn Andrea and Jason Clarke, Hugh, Nicola and Jessica Jenkins, Frank Harding, Jennifer Edwards, Andrew Napier, Ray Krish, Peter Faugust and Roland Heap.


The campsite was situated at Munster, which is about 9 km from Port Edward on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal.  It was a busy campsite with lovely trees and the facilities were excellent.  The JHC were given a large area and, for the early arrivers, it was fun to see people arrive and set up their camps.


Neil organised the hikes and most people enjoyed the Oribi Gorge walk.  It is sad to note that there are very few oribi left in the area and they are not often seen.  The hikers were relieved that they did not stumble upon one of the many snake species found in the reserve.  Examples of these include; the African python, the black mamba and also the cobra.  Proteas can be seen growing in the open woodland areas.   Two hikes were organised in the Umthamvuna Nature Reserve, which is situated on the Mtavuna River.  This river forms the boarder between South Africa and the Transkei.  There are also many sandstone cliffs to be seen there.  The views from the top of the Mthamvuna Gorge were spectacular and the walks through the lush indigenous forests were really wonderful.  It was also an experience to walk along the river and enjoy the variety of its plant life.  The wild rubber fig tree, which can been seen in the reserve, is now protected by the Conservation Authorities.  We heard baboons barking and were informed that common reedbuck, blesbok, bushbuck, blue and grey duiker, serval and lynx also inhabit the area.


We also did a few walks along the beach and on one day we walked from Munster to Port Edward, enjoying a pizza and a few drinks at a restaurant called “The Bend”.  We were able to stop and swim in the sea on the way back.


Audrey organised the splendid cocktail party on Christmas Eve and it was a great opportunity to greet the many  campers who, by now, had  arrived.


Over Christmas we had a lot of rain but our spirits were not dampened and on Christmas morning we all gathered at the main tent and enjoyed a visit from Father and Mother Christmas!  The children on the camp sang some Christmas carols and Audrey said a prayer.  We were all given a small gift and enjoyed drinking champagne and eating the mince pies.


After one of the hikes, we all stopped at a coffee plantation called Beaver Creek.  Most of us had never seen a coffee plant before and we appreciated a short tour around the estate. Some of us were surprised to learn that coffee had been domesticated in Ethiopia and not South America, the continent from which most of the crop now comes.  We were also able to sample some of the coffee grown locally and the lunch we had there was first rate!


The campers really enjoyed walking down to the Glenmore Beach; and there were, in addition, also beautiful drives and places of interest to visit in the area.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil and Audrey Ransome for organising this camp which, I know, was certainly enjoyed by all.


Gwyn Clarke