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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Kamberg Nature Reserve.3

The Kamberg Nature Reserve is smaller than most of the other Drakensberg reserves, but it is surrounded on three sides by wilderness area.

Wildlife in the reserve include eland, oribi, (this antelope survival is seriously threatened), reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, blesbok, black wildebeest, grey rhebuck and duiker. Small mammals, such as the cape clawless otter, genet, dassie (rock hyrax), this small animal, about the size of a rabbit is said to be closely related to the elephant, and others may be spotted.

Accommodation  is available, 4 sleeper cottage @ R470 per night in season, ie., school hollidays and long weekends. Out of season the rate is reduced. The cottages are self catering, but serviced daily.

 Two of the cottages.

View over Kamber Nature Reserve from just below the cottages.

KZN reserves and parks have a Rhino Club membership, which for senior citizens like myself costs R300 per annum, US$50, which entitles the member to a 40% discount at all KZN reserves and parks, day trips are free.

Another piece of still water.

What happened to my fishing? Well after leaving the river I walked to elands dam, a bit of still water I showed in the previous blog. When I got there at about 2:30, the water looked as if it was boiling with fish rising and taking something just under the surface. These were big fish looked about 2lbs every time one turned just under the surface you could see them. They were also locked on to what ever was about to hatch.

In South Africa we don't experience the big insect hatches that can almost be timed to the minute, as happens in the US and some other countries. Here the hatches are sporadic and small. The one hatch which occurs in very large number during the summer evenings is the Tricorythidae mayflies. These can be so heavy that they look like clouds of steam coming off the water. Also known as the anglers curse because the are so small and hard to match.

The trout in elands dam might have been taking these mayfly nymphs which were just below the surface waiting to break through later. What ever it was, they weren't interested in my offerings, it was heartbreaking to see a big trout approach your fly and turn away at the last second. I did get three solid hook-ups but the fish managed to shake loose. I suspect that with my light 3 weight rod, 6x tippet, my hook didn't set properly when I tightened. Busy tying some small sub-surface emergers and will take my 5 weight with 4x tippet next time.

1 comment:

Kay L. Davies said...

I had to look up prices in Rand compared with prices in Canadian dollars, and the cottages seem very well-priced.
Then I had to look up "rock hyrax + elephant" and, sure enough, the giant hyrax is the ancestor of both.
Fascinating, Phil, and of course I love your fishing stories, and the fact that you had to go home to tie some smaller flies!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel