Rivers Unite Us – Toyota – Part 1

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13th March 2014 explore4knowledge, International Day of Water Action 2014

#e4k_water #RiversUniteUS   After months of planning, meetings, discussions, phone calls and numerous changes in our planning for this weekend, the two explore4knowledge, Toyota Enviro Outreach double cab Hilux’s towing our Jugens XT140 trailer pulled into the Durbanville Total garages to full our tanks before we made our way to our starting point, Fairmont High school.


On arrival at Fairmont High School we met the rest of the weekend’s team and our convoy grew by a Toyota Hilux and a Land Cruiser Double Cab V8 pick up. So with our logistical team, film crew, photographer, writer for the Toyota Zone magazine and winner on the Pick n Pay #WaterWarriors Weekend Competition, all enjoying a cup of tea and finger snacks, the weekend’s events had officially started.


Even through the actual International Day of Action for Rivers was only on the 14th March we wasted no time in starting immediately with a talk to the grade 11 Life Sciences or in my time Biology students, discussing human impact on the environment and our fragile ecosystems.

From Fairmont, our route took us to Chester House Primary School where we delivered some International Rivers materials and then turned our Toyota 4×4 convoy North along the N7 towards Piketberg where we had a final stop at the Total garage before heading up over the Dasklip Pass outside of Porterville and over into Beaverlac Nature Reserve.

Why Beaverlac Nature Reserve? Well it is simple, not only is this one of the friendliest and most welcoming campsites you could ever visit, but their respect, passion and involvement in nature and conservation is evident. Beaverlac is a Natural Heritage Site and Nature Reserve that hosts some incredible rock art, and rock formations and is actively involved with a number of freshwater research and conservation projects.

For my purposes, from a research and education perspective, Beaverlac has two long-term SASS 5 and water quality sampling sites on the two main rivers found within the reserve, the Olifants and the Ratel River. In addition to this, the reserve is also actively contributing to the ongoing endemic fish population conservation along the course of the river. As evening drew near, the campsite set up and the fire crackling under the rising moon, the exlpore4knowledge, Toyota Enviro Outreach team had a sense of excitement for the adventures that would come the following day along the Noordhoeks River had to offer.