Bushveld Mosaic: Veld Management- Pilanesberg (23-25 April 2022)

Report by Maeva Louis Dewas, photographs by Ronnie Henderson

For the Veld Management  weekend we were supposed to all meet at Borakalalo. Unfortunately, Peter told us we had to change the initial venue as Fish Eagle camp and surrounds were under water. We ended up driving to Pilanesberg on a beautiful Friday afternoon. 

Arriving at Potokwane camp, the atmosphere was rather quiet, with some students already on a game drive through this amazing reserve and others working on their Tree test that was going to take place later in the evening. 

On Saturday morning we all met up at the training centre eager to hear our new lecturer, Dr Graham Von Maltitz, environmental researcher with a tremendous level of expertise. 

We spent the whole morning learning about Veld Management: objectives of veld managers, tools for vegetation management and so on. After a lunch break at our camp we got back to the field for some practical work. We learnt a rather fun and easy way to estimate soil composition by getting our hands dirty. 

We then headed to an area where we tried to estimate the biomass of grasses using a metal frame (500mm x 500mm) named a quadrant. 

After an intense day of work, we gathered and relaxed around a warm fire, chatting and braaiing. 

On Sunday morning at 08h00, we were back at the training centre, ready to get deeper into the rather complex world of Veld Management. For our last practical, we went to observe examples of erosions and soil structure. 

To definitely enhance our weekend, we had a terrific encounter with a Southern African python (Python natalensis) lying on the grass, in a wetland area.

A warm thank you to the Bushveld Mosaic team, and Dr Graham Von Maltitz.