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​Get out and get active! Take a hike with BotSoc branches

Hippocrates once said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” We couldn’t agree more!

 

NOV 15, 2022 | Written by  BOTSOC NATIONAL. Photos By SANBI, BotSoc BRANCHES AND LOVEGREEN COMMUNICATIONS

Hiking holds many health benefits: it helps prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; it improves mental health; and it helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Hiking also offers a great way to explore nature and get to know your local vegetation.

BotSoc’s branches hold regular guided walks across the country. They’re informative, introduce you to more nature lovers – and they’re fun! So this Take a Hike day, we’re sharing some of the regular guided walks offered by our branches to get you outside and enjoying the summer weather.

Remember to also keep an eye on your local branch communications for ad hoc events and other walks to make sure you don’t miss out.

 

Photos: Kirstenbosch Branch

 

Hike WITH THE
Kirstenbosch BRANCH

 

The many botanical scientists and knowledgeable amateur botanists from our Kirstenbosch Branch often host garden and botanical walks, with experienced volunteer guides. The guided botanical walks are typically held monthly and are free to the branch’s multitude of nature-loving members. The walks are often themed, so be sure to check whether a bird walk or spring flower walk is coming up next.

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Photos: Kogelberg branch, Jenny Parsons

 

Hike WITH THE
KOGELBERG BRANCH

 

The Kogelberg Branch offers members and guests the chance to explore with guided excursions into various parts of the area. The monthly walks are also a chance for the branch to share information about the special features of the local environment. By enabling the public to see and discuss the flora and fauna of the area, they aim to help educate and spread awareness.

These walks are typically held on the third Saturday morning of every month. Although the walks are free, guests may be asked to pay entrance fees to the nature reserves or make a donation to Kogelberg Branch funds. Find out more here. In the past, there have been popular pilgrimages in the Harold Porter NBG to see the blooming Disas (Disa uniflora), which only flowers from late December to early February in the area. Make sure to add this one to your botanical bucket list!

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Photos: Bankenveld branch, Ken Jerrad

 

Hike WITH THE
BANKENVELD BRANCH

 

With more than 1 200 members, the Bankenveld Branch’s activities are always well-attended. While often not as strenuous as a big mountain hike, the branch offers guided walks from Bird Walks to Spider Walks or Frog Walks – to mention a few. These are always an exciting way to discover the creatures of the area up close. The more challenging Geological Walk showcases the history of the area in a unique way. Keep an eye on the BotSoc Bankenveld Roodepoort Branch Facebook page to stay up to date with upcoming walks.

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Left: Southern Overberg branch. Right: Ora Laubscher

 

Hike WITH THE
SOUTHERN OVERBERG BRANCH

 

The Southern Overberg Branch organises field trips and day outings to local nature reserves, which often include a nice walk. Past outings to De Mond Nature Reserve, the Agulhas National Park and private reserves have been popular for plant, bird and wildlife watching. The branch always shares upcoming events on its social media pages, and members and guests are welcome, so don’t miss the next one!

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Left: KZN Coastal branch. Right: Outing to the stunning Umtamvuna Nature Reserve on Sunday. Photo: Kathy Milford

 

Hike WITH THE
KZN Coastal BRANCH

 

The guided walks offered by our KZN Coastal Branch are designed to help you get to know the plants at a specific site and improve your plant ID skills, while spending time with fellow nature-lovers. These walks are hosted throughout the year and are open to everyone, though members pay a lower rate to take part, while some of the events are free of charge.  

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Photos: Lowveld branch

 

Hike WITH THE
LOWVELD BRANCH

 

The Lowveld Branch offers special educational tours at the Lowveld NBG, which features many spectacular sights. Some highlights include the scenery at Crocodile River gorge, a visit to the African Rain Forest, Cascade Falls’ potholes and Africa’s largest collection of rare cycads. Keep an eye on the communications from the branch for walking tours in the garden.

Find out more about the branch here.

 

Photo: Weskus branch, Con Meyer

 

Hike WITH THE
WESKUS BRANCH

 

The Weskus Branch hosted the Hantam Garden Spring Tours in Nieuwoudtville in 2022 with former garden curator Eugene Marinus. Nature lovers could join Eugene for a walk through the garden, to see the spring specials. This is one example of walking trips organised by this innovative branch. They’ll continue to communicate with branch members regarding similar events planned for 2023. Many of the branch’s walks focus on what’s flowering in the season. And the branch is looking at organising a Disa walk in the Groot Winterhoek when these gorgeous flowers show themselves. It’s best to keep an eye on their social media pages for more info. 

Find out more about the branch here.

Or, if a guided walk isn’t your scene, discover the beauty of nature for yourself…

If you’re looking for more freedom on your walk – and more of a physical challenge – consider a longer hiking trail. Some popular hikes are located in the Winelands Branch’s Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, or the Garden Route Branch’s Garden Route National Park, but there are many more to choose from.

As a BotSoc member, contact your local branch chair to see how you can connect up with all the branch’s walking activities this Take a Hike Day.

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