Foreshadowing Umbogavango

The above picture, which I took in the Umbogavango Conservation area, is a good illustration of the ‘Foreshadow’ theme, but also serves to lead into an interesting story regarding a place we visited last weekend.

Even a number of the locals living at Amanzimtoti on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast in South Africa are not aware that they have some remarkable conservation areas on their doorstep, with recreation facilities.  AECI (originally African Explosives and Chemical Industries) had virtually laid waste to a tract of land there but, as a ‘Remediation case study’ published by them states:

 ‘A remediation project at the Umbogintwini Industrial Complex (UIC) was initiated in 1995 to address the contamination of land and groundwater resources due to historical activities associated with the manufacture, storage and distribution of chemicals, agrochemicals and fertilizers.

‘In 2009, the project’s progress was recognised in the biodiversity category of the annual eThekwini Mayor’s Award for Excellence. The motivation for the award focused on best practice remediation, conservation and education work to address legacy issues. In particular, the Vumbuka Reserve, a 27 hectare area in the north-west portion of the UIC was highlighted. This area was previously used for the disposal of liquid and semi-solid wastes generated from manufacturing activities at the UIC from the mid-1950s until 1998 …





‘ … The Vumbuka Reserve has been transformed from a series of waste disposal dams into a conservation area with over 10 000 indigenous flora and increasingly diverse wildlife. When combined with the other already well established conservation areas at the UIC, namely Umbogavango and MambaValley, 77 hectares or 30% of the UIC’s developed land is now a green belt. Some fencing at Umbogavango has been removed, creating a link with Vumbuka and allowing the free movement of wildlife, including the Cape Clawless Otter, between the various green belt areas. Umbogavango is characterised by coastal forest, secondary grassland and a herbaceous wetland. Vervet monkeys abound and Banded and Water Mongoose, Blue Duiker, and Spotted Genet are also seen. Over 200 bird species have been identified.’

How one wishes more industries would take similar action to correct mistakes of the past. Here are some further pictures I took:

... and remember, Mamba Valley is right next door ...

… and remember, Mamba Valley is right next door …

You coming?

Is said to be an otter-ly charming spot.

010813 Fish Eagles Umbogavango 041

Fish eagles always look down on mere humans.

Scadoxus puniceus, or Paintbrush Lily.

Scadoxus puniceus, or Paintbrush Lily.

Another bridge.

Another bridge.

Going wild.

Going wild.

© Colonialist August 2013 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Birds, Challenge, Grandchildren, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Tokeloshe says:

    What a transformation and in such a short time!


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  3. Sonel says:

    Now that is what I call conservation Col. I wish every province here in South Africa could be so mindful. It’s beautiful there! Thanks for sharing this Col. 😀 *hugs*


  4. disperser says:

    Yep . . . wish more places would make the effort.


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  6. 68ghia says:

    Absolutely beautiful col!!
    Those paintbrush lillies – we call them seeroog blomme – not even half an idea why – they are quite beautiful nevertheless.


  7. colonialist says:

    With all the examples of wrecking environments, it is particularly nice to come across instances where the reverse has happened, isn’t it?


  8. Love the pics, Col. That before and after just shows what can be done 🙂


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  10. footsy2 says:

    Excellent. Years ago I worked on a project (Portland Cement) where they built a railway track somewhere close to that area. Every inch was scoured for a certain plant essential to the survival of a rare butterfly.


  11. bulldog says:

    I do agree with you Col… if the industries and for that matter everyone would only consider the damage they have done in the past and reverse the damage in such manners… this is wonderful to see … and well done to them… the general public do not realise just how much they can insist on this type restoration… since 1994 the laws have changed so much for the better, thanks to the new government and the laws they instigated… prior to 94 it was industry first and environment second, it’s good to see the reversal with now new industry having to conduct EIA’s etc and having to show plans and save money for restoration on completion of business….


  12. What a great project, and the outcome is splendid


    • colonialist says:

      They have really worked wonders, and an added bonus is that the stringency of the security to get into the area means that the rabble can’t be bothered, to the great benefit of that environment.


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  14. What a lovely place to spend a day. Love that bridge


  15. nrhatch says:

    Fantastic story and photos. Glad you didn’t bump into any Mambas!


  16. Yay, a good news story 🙂 and lovely photos – what a wonderful name ‘paintbrush lily’


  17. Arkenaten says:

    What a marvelous example. Just shows what can be done if folk really put their minds to it. Nice tale.


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