Wednesday Field Trips (half day)

Field Trip 01: Coastal Dunes  |  09 September

Facilitators:  Dr Adriaan Grobler & Prof Richard Cowling

Dr Adriaan Grobler is a postdoctoral fellow based in the African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience at Nelson Mandela University. His interests include the biogeography, ecology and evolution of the flora of the Greater Cape Floristic Region, with coastal dune landscapes being the focus of his research over the past two years.

Prof. Richard Cowling is a globally renowned vegetation ecologist and conservation scientist. During his 35-year career as a professional botanist, he and his colleagues have conducted ground-breaking research in community ecology, plant diversity and evolution, conservation science and palaeoecology.

Date: Wednesday 09 September 2020

Cost: South African Citizens:  R310 |  SA Developing Countries:  R360 | International:  R420
Price includes entrance to the Park and transfers between the Park and Hotel.  Identity document to be provided. Lunchpack to be provided by Club Mykonos for registered delegates.

Max Capacity: 60

Description: Coastal dunes are present everywhere except Antarctica, but are particularly well-developed in Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems (MCEs), including the Cape Floristic Region (CFR). In MCEs, coastal dunes comprise small, fragmented and dynamic features with nutritionally imbalanced, excessively drained and sandy soils. These characteristics, along with summer drought and salt-laden winds, pose many challenges for plant colonisation and persistence. MCE dune floras are therefore likely to be distinctive with a high proportion of endemic habitat specialists. Globally, these habitats are severely threatened by alien plants, infrastructure development, tourism demands and rising sea levels due to climate change. During our field trip, we will visit the dunes of the West Coast National Park near Langebaan — a near-pristine example of a Holocene coastal dune landscape in the CFR. Attendees will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with several plant species endemic to dunes along this stretch of coastline, as well as the various habitats associated with coastal dune landscapes (e.g. rocky coasts, sandy beaches, hummock dunes, mobile sand plumes, stabilised dunes and coastal wetlands) in the CFR. While out in the field, we will discuss the ecology and evolution of the flora associated with these landscapes, as well as challenges for conservation of coastal dunes. We encourage delegates from other MCEs to join, as we hope to highlight similarities and differences in the evolution and ecology of MCE coastal dunes, and to glean from each other ways in which to tackle conservation issues in these ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic global change.

Other requirements: Attendees must please bring enough water for the afternoon as well as sunblock, a hat and comfortable walking shoes.

Preliminary Itinerary:

13:00   Depart from Club Mykonos to West Coast National Park; registration at SANParks reception
13:30   Drive to Sixteen Mile Beach, short walks at various stops to investigate flora and discuss ecology of coastal dune habitats.
14:30   Drive to Tsaarbank picnic spot, short walk to investigate flora and discuss ecology of rocky coastal habitats.
15:30   Drive to Kraalbaai for short walk around lagoon and discussion of estuarine (salt marsh) habitats.
16:30   Drive to mobile dune plume near park exit (on R27 road), short walk to investigate flora and discuss ecology of this habitat.
17:00   Leave park and return to Club Mykonos.

Field Trip 02: !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre  |  09 September

Coordinated by Bianca Tango

Date: Wednesday, 09 September 2020

Cost: R480 inclusive of San Guided experience and Heritage centre. Lunchpack to be provided by Club Mykonos for registered delegates. Transfer to and from Mykonos excluded. Transfers can be booked during the registration process at a cost of R190

Max capacity: 130

Description: Visit !Khwa ttu an award winning San Heritage Centre, the only Heritage Centre in the world dedicated to the San. Meet the San guides to tell their story, in their own words.

Preliminary Itinerary:

13h00  Depart from Club Mykonos.  Drive on an open vehicle past herds of eland, zebra and springbok. Continue by foot through unspoilt fynbos to a replica village for a compelling insight into the traditional lifestyle and ancient survival skills of the San.

  • Walk with San guides through the fynbos gardens. The tour includes a memorable home brew indigenous tea ceremony and learning about unique healing qualities of indigenous plants. Story telling in one or more of the click-punctuated San languages, is an unforgettable part of the tour.
  • The guided tour in the new thee building Heritage Centre is a must see! The exhibition and guided experience engage body and senses as much as the mind. They demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the San, telling a fascinating story of the origins of modern man on the Southern African coastline.
  • A browse through our craft shop calls for unique San handcrafted gifts found nowhere else.
  • 17:00  Depart for Club Mykonos