The Genadendal Trail after a burn

Only 5 walkers tackled the Genadendal Trail this morning.  On arrival there, we were shocked to find that the mountain was blackened by a recent fire, which, we were told occurred 2 months ago.  This was unfortunate, but did not deter us from our walk to Wonderklippe.  Luckily the weather was good and cool on the way up, although it warmed up considerably and there was no wind for our return.

The trail route taken
The trail route taken

The walk to Wonderklippe and back is 9 km and we climbed 600 metres.  The vegetation was obviously lacking, although there were odd patches of unburnt fynbos, with some nice examples of ericas to be seen, but they were few and far between.  It was interesting to see the effects of the fire, which must have been quite hot as evidenced by the burnt out boles of previously dead pine trees, with tunnels indicating where their roots had been.  Also of interest were the burnt out remnants of some of the ground proteas that abound in the area, notably Protea scabra, Protea decurrens and Protea cordata.  A few examples of the post burn occurring Mairia crenata were also in evidence.

There were few birds on the mountain, but we were thrilled to see a small party comprising Cape Rockjumper, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Familiar Chat and Cape Bunting at one location.  Other species seen were Red-Winged Starling, Neddicky, Cape White-Eye, Cape Robin-Chat and a Peregrine Falcon, as well as three African Fish Eagles on the road there.  We returned tired, but exhilarated by our outing.

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