Let’s go hiking

 

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Hiking

 Dogs just love it up here!!! Are you in and around the neighborhood of Pretoria and would you like to go hiking?

Come hiking with Henry!

Especially in October the Jacaranda’s are showing the awesome purple colors of the trees lining the streets.

My favorite trail takes you over a large portion of the Magaliesberg with beautiful views of both sides of town, left and right, namely on the one side is the City Center, (see picture above) and on the other side is Wonderboom/Sinoville/Pretoria North/Onderstepoort. This trail is a walk of approximately 3 hours. The climbs and descends are generally quite gentle, suitable for average hikers like myself….

There are of course shorter hikes for the elderly and those who are not so fit.

What is required is good hiking shoes and good protection against the sun (+hat). Bring your own fruit, sandwiches and water that you may need along the way.

To make an appointment you can send an e-mail to:  henrypool7@gmail.com giving me your contact details and then I will contact you! Alternatively you can send an SMS to 0836297690.

Participation is of course for free to all members and donors of CCMSA and Heart for Children. Otherwise, we would ask you to just make any contribution to CCMSA and /or Heart for Children.

Dear visitors of the Magaliesberg Park.

Following the placement of my letter (scroll down further below if you have not read it) at strategic locations in the Magaliesberg Park, there have been ca. 30 people so far who have indicated their support for our idea to turn Magaliesberg into a city park. We have decided to keep in contact and promote ourselves as the Dog Owners Association of Pretoria.

I must admit that my main problem was the game that they (the Friends) brought in. It appears all dog owners agree with me, that dogs –  with or without leashes – and bucks, just do not go together. I know that in the 40 years that I have hiked up there, there has never been any big game. It was always just the occasional dassie and perhaps a few hasies. The proof: there is no natural running water anywhere? So, the antelopes were brought in illegally and would depend on getting water from the neighbouring houses.

Apparently the reason why they say the place is so special is mostly because of the flora and not so much the fauna. In that case, game is not a good idea either as they will just destroy all the special flowers – and is that not what we/ they wanted to protect? So really, the idea of bringing in wild animals into the Magaliesberg park is bad, bad, bad from whichever point of view you look at it….

As far as the entrance to the park on the south side is concerned (32nd avenue): It seems they (‘The Friends”) want to lock it and make everyone ‘buy’ a key. I have advised the TCC that there must be free access to the park for everyone, just like it is on the far western side. I also said that they must rather make an official TCC entrance at the school, one street further on, as there is much more parking space on that corner.

Myself, we live in the east, and would love an entrance to the park from the far eastern side….hopefully, one day….

The good news now (Jan. 2020) is that the TCC has removed all game from the Magaliesberg. Many thanks to the Tshwane City Council. I therefore propose that we as the Dog Owners Association of Pretoria suspend any further action provided the current status quo remains, i.e. no game in the Magaliesberg Park.

Original letter to the visitors of Magaliesberg Park

Dear visitor and dog owners,

I am sure you have all become aware of the signs erected by the “Friends of the Magalies” in our Magalies park warning dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash.

Their actions are coinciding with the appearance of some buck that were illegally released in the park by one or more of the so-called “Friends”. They are also petitioning the TshwaneCC to adhere to an idea proposed long ago by the PretoriaCC, namely that Magalies park must ultimately become a nature reserve.

Many of us, (i.e. mountain bikers, dog owners, runners, hikers, stappers, star gazers and other concerned Pretoria citizens) do not want Magalies park to become another “Nature Reserve”, where buck and other wild animals can roam freely. We need a park just for ourselves? You will re-call that with the introduction of buck and zebra in the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, it became impossible for some of us to visit that park as the zebra came after us for food (apparently some people fed them). During one of those incidents, exactly with my dog on a leash, my dog got hit by the back foot of the Zebra. And that was the end of me being able to visit the FGNR. Do we really want to repeat this very same error here in Magalies park?

We therefore want to petition our councilors to rather develop the Magalies as a city park where people can freely walk, hike, bike, run, ride horses and take our dogs for a run, etc. Because of its central location in the greater Tshwane area, it makes much more sense to develop the Magalies park as a park like they have in New York and other big cities. Some suggested improvements to the park are:

  1. Addition of some seating benches at viewpoints.
  2. Addition of a trim park.
  3. Separate bike and walking trails, clearly marked, for safety.
  4. Areas where dogs do not have to be on a leash (such as on top of the hills)
  5. Narrow paving of the school path so that older people will be also able to climb to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view of the City Centre.

To help us with this quest, we need to have an impressive list of local citizens who clearly do not want Magalies park to become yet another nature reserve, but rather want it to be developed as a city park with simple and free entry for all. Please e-mail me at henrypool7@gmail.com to have your name, address and contact number added to our petition. Alternatively, you can send an SMS to 0836297690.

In due time, I will publish our petition on the website www.breadonthewater.co.za on the hiking page.

Please place this letter back exactly where you found it? Many thanks!