Walking the Umgeni

It was a sad fact. The Umgeni was going to be dammed. Again. The fourth big dam on its course from the Dargle to the sea. Many people love dams. I hate them. They ruin the valleys and change nature for ever. Dams wipe out species – many before we even discover them; they floodContinue reading “Walking the Umgeni”

Namibia Birding Trip

Geoffrey Kay, birding optometrist, put together a trip to Namibia in 1986. We landed in Windhoek, picked up a VW kombi and rigged it up with a nice big hebcooler in the back. Ice, beer, gin & tonic. Now we were ready for any emergency. West to Daan Viljoen game park where a lion’s roarContinue reading “Namibia Birding Trip”

Celestial Birding in Namibia

While we were birding in Namibia in 1986, a comet buzzed past us. Englishman Edmond Halley, in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets, used Newton’s new laws to calculate the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn on cometary orbits. He realised that a comet that had appeared in 1682 was probably the sameContinue reading “Celestial Birding in Namibia”

Just Before Inanda Dam

1990 saw the completion of Inanda Dam on the Umgeni River. As always, a dam profoundly changes the river and the valley. Yet another river tamed to serve our insatiable thirst. Drown a valley to water lawns. It also changed the Dusi Canoe Marathon, inundating the Day Two sandbanks and creating a 10km flatwater haulContinue reading “Just Before Inanda Dam”