I recently visited the Moreleta Kloof Municipal Nature Reserve with a group of fellow Visual Culture Studies students. It is situated in the east of Pretoria, South Africa. Our lecturer and a guide accompanied us as we made our way through the nature reserve and ensured that we were being provided with information about the various things we were seeing. The Moreleta Kloof Municipal Nature Reserve is situated within a suburban area and, in a sense, demarcates an area that is reserved for natural wildlife. We became aware of the fact that the majority of the residents surrounding the nature reserve are not particularly aware of the environment existing within the bounds of the fences surrounding the reserve, and do not know that it is a place in which they can experience nature. The purpose of this blog post is to share my experience at the nature reserve, and hopefully encourage others to visit Moreleta’s nature reserve too.
The first thing we encountered as soon as we started the trail was the faecal matter of an antelope. We learnt how important faecal matter actually is in terms of acting as a fertiliser for flora. The loss of antelope due to hunting negatively affects the environment due to the fact that plants do not get the nutrients they usually would from animal faeces and die as a result. This in turn decreases the amount of carbon that is absorbed by plants.
From a distance, we were able to see impala. We were informed that impalas are distinguishable by the white M shape on their behinds. According to our guide, Renaldo, the M shape allows the impalas to identify their specific herds.
We then encountered an invasive species of flora that grew along the ground below trees. According to our guide, many alien species were brought in to the country when South Africa was colonised. Invasive species kill off our indigenous species by stealing the natural resources that the native species are reliant on.
After seeing the invasive species, we discovered an entire group of people who devote their weekends to trying to combat the problems resulting from the growth of invasive species. These people are hard working and truly care about the indigenous natural environment as every weekend they return to Moreleta’s nature reserve to face the same problem they did the weekend before.
I found this Protea tree, or what the Afrikaans refer to as the suikerbos, to be one of the most beautiful things we were lucky enough to see within the Moreleta Kloof Municipal Nature Reserve.
Along the trail that we were walking, we passed this water source. The water was extremely clean and we were able to see the surface beneath the water. This, our guide told us, was because the reeds surrounding the water act as a filter that cleans the water by trapping debris.
The purpose of this blog post was to share my experience at the Moreleta Kloof Municiple Nature Reserve, and to create an awareness of its existence and the environment it contains. It is a pity that we had to go to a nature reserve in order to experience the fauna and flora that we did due to the anthropocene taking over our world, but it was an informative and interesting experience.