Report by Johan Viljoen.
After a long wait, the first exciting weekend of Bushveld Mosaic 2022 finally became a reality. The drive to Pilanesberg was very long, and time went by very slowly.
When we arrived at Potokwane, we pitched our tents and got organised for the weekend. We then met at the Education Centre at Manyane, where we received all the information for our first weekend. After Peter, Sue and Sunet shared all the essential information for the weekend with the twelve students, we returned to Potokwane, where we were welcomed with snacks and wine. We then started the fires. Everybody relaxed, and we had the opportunity to socialise.
We got off to a very early start on Saturday morning, and after a quick breakfast in camp, we made our way to the Education Centre for a 07:20 start. Louis van Zyl facilitated an interesting ice breaker with ‘Legoman’. Ulrich Oberprieler then shared his extensive knowledge of taxonomy and ecology. What an amazing man. Topics ranged from abiotic factors to decomposers, ecological niches to taxonomic systems, nomenclature rules and the importance of scientific (Latinised) names.
We left the Education Centre late on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed an exciting drive through the Park, taking advantage of the photographic opportunities that presented themselves.
Back at camp, we started the fire for a braai and socialised some more. Sue told us about her No 1 and No 2 chickens, reinforcing the meaning of ‘pecking order’ – a term we learned earlier in the day. Later that evening, everything started quieting down until we could only hear the rain falling on the tents.
Lectures continued on Sunday morning, after which we all cleaned up camp, packed up and returned home.
Thank you to all the people involved to make this dream come true!
Editor’s Note: Thank you for volunteering the report for the first weekend, Johan.