Verloren Valei

About Verloren Valei and the Friends of Verloren Valei

Verloren Valei is a closed reserve north-east of Dullstroom. It is designated a wetland of international importance by the United Nations, and four rivers rise within its boundaries. It can only be visited by appointment (phone 013 254 8800) or on one of the field trips organised by the Friends of Verloren Valei.

The Friends of Verloren Valei is a non-profit organisation supporting the reserve management in preserving this pristine reserve. Annual membership costs R150 for individuals, R250 for families, R500 for clubs and corporates. Membership entitles you to a discount on field trips, participation in members-only events and working parties—and not forgetting the satisfaction of contributing to an important conservation project. We publish a newsletter quarterly to keep members and other interested parties up-to-date with the Reserve and educate them about the plants, insects and animals that frequent it.

To join, please mail the Secretary, James van den Heever.

Calendar of Events:

Visit our beautiful, closed reserve in the company of experts. For more information and to book places, contact [email protected]. The cost is R200 per person, R150 for Friends of Verloren Valei, and the price includes the entry fee to the Reserve.

20 October 2018:The geology of Verloren Valei and its interrelationship with the flora and fauna led by Trevor and Ann Pearton. The trip is expected to last from 0900 to approximately 1400, depending on field conditions.

If you are based in Johannesburg, please join for a pre-trip briefing and discussion at the Wanderers’ Golf Club, Rudd Road, Illovo on 18 October at 1830. It’s not necessary to attend the briefing, but it will provide more detailed background.   

1 December 2018:Susan Abel and Geoff Lockwood offer an opportunity to come to grips with the birds and wildflowers of Verloren Valei.

8 December 2018:Lepidopterists’ Society of SA leads a group to explore the butterflies of summer.

9-11 November:Escarpment Bird Club’s “Working the wetlands”, which will include Verloren Valei. Other wetlands will include Lakenvlei; Middelpunt; Houtenbek; and Draaikraal .Book at [email protected].

26 January 2019:Enjoy “A Botanical Ramble in Verloren Vallei with a Plant Enthusiast”. The plant enthusiast in question is John Burrows. John is the managing trustee of Buffelskloof Private Nature Reserve near Mashishing, and has authored several papers on botanical subjects, as well as books and chapters in books.

Friends of Verloren Valei Open Day: 10 November 2018: Open Day exclusively for Friends of Verloren Valei. Programme to be announced, but this will a rare opportunity to visit several inaccessible areas of the reserve and really get to grips with what makes this ecosystem such a critical one.

To be confirmed:A field introduction to the wetlands of Verloren Valei and wetland ecology, an orchid-focused field trip in late December.

Read more below– click on one of the toggle tabs to expand the information:

8 December 2018: Guided butterfly field trip to Verloren Valei Nature Reserve

Guided butterfly field trip to Verloren Valei Nature Reserve

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Warren’s Blue (L) and Clark’s Lost Widow (R), both Verloren Valei ‘specials’

Jeremy Dobson, President of the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa, along with fellow LepSoc members André Coetzer and Mark Williams, will be your guides on this trip in search of the summer butterflies of Verloren Valei, north-east of Dullstroom in Mpumalanga.

Verloren Valei is an internationally important wetland and the source of four rivers. It is also renowned for its abundant wild orchid population, and is home to several high-altitude butterfly species. Of special note are two species that have only been recorded on this reserve: Warren’s Blue and Clark’s Lost Widow/ Verloren Valei Bergweduwee.

Other possible sightings might include the Transvaal Copper, Tite’s Copper, Bush Scarlet, Lydenburg Opal, Common Meadow Blue, Henning’s Black-Eye, Basuto Skolly, Table Mountain Beauty, Blue Pansy, Gaudy Commodore and Restless Blue, to name just a few.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit this closedreserve, a pristine grassland environment of great beauty, in the company of experts.

Date:8 December (09h00 until approximately 14h00, depending on weather)

Price:R200 per person (covers entrance to the reserve); R150 for Friends of Verloren Valei and Members of LepSoc

Bookingis essential, and numbers are limited. Much of the day will be spent walking on uneven ground, so participants should be fairly fit and mobile—contact jamesh@tiscali.co.zato reserve your place.

A botanical ramble in Verloren Valei Nature Reserve: 26 January 2019

A botanical ramble in Verloren Valei Nature Reserve pastedGraphic.pngpastedGraphic_1.png Helichrysum monticola (L) and Nerine angustifolia (R), both may be spotted at Verloren Valei A great opportunity to spend a day walking on this beautiful, closed reserve just to the north-east of Dullstroom in Mpumalanga in the company of renowned botanist John Burrows. John is the managing trustee of Buffelskloof Private Nature Reserve near Mashishing (Lydenburg), and has authored several papers on botanical subjects, as well as books and chapters in books. He’s a knowledgeable plant enthusiast, and this is intended to be a relaxed day out looking at the some of the summer blooms in the pristine grasslands of this wonderful reserve. Verloren Valei is a wetland reserve of international importance (a Ramsar site). Four rivers rise in the Reserve, and it is famous as an orchid hotspot and for its wildflowers generally. In view of its hydrological importance and its biodiversity, it is a closed reserve, so this is a rare opportunity to explore it on foot. Date:26 January 2019 (09h00 until approximately 14h00, depending on weather) Price:R200 per person (covers entrance to the reserve); R150 for Friends of Verloren Valei Bookingis essential, and numbers are limited. Much of the day will be spent walking on uneven ground, so participants should be fairly fit and mobile—contact jamesh@tiscali.co.zato reserve your place. Bring along: Gerrit van Ede’s Flowers of Verloren Valei(R200—order from billmincher@yahoo.comor purchase at the Reserve office, or in the village at Dullstroom Reservations, Dullstroom Accommodation or the bookshop in the Heritage Centre (next door to Mrs Simpson’s) and/ or Elsa Pooley’s A Field Guide to Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region.

Visiting Verloren Valei Nature Reserve

Visiting Verloren Valei Nature Reserve

Verloren Valei Nature Reserve is situated north-east of Dullstroom. It is a small but very important wetland reserve, and is recognised as a wetland of international importance in terms of the United Nations’ Ramsar Convention. Four rivers rise in the Reserve, one of them being the Crocodile River, which flows through the village. It is also famous for its indigenous orchids and wildflowers as well as cranes.

Because of its extremely fragile ecology, the Reserve is closed, which means it can only be visited by prior appointment. A guide will be provided in such cases.

To book, please phone the Reserve on 013 254 8800.

Copies of Flowers of Verloren Valei: Field guide to the orchids and selected flowers of Verloren Valei Nature Reserve are obtainable at Dullstroom Accomodation for R200. Admission to the Reserve is R45 for adults and R25 for children under 12 and pensioners.

The Friends of Verloren Valei arrange a programme of field trips to the Reserve usually led by experts in a particular field. For more information on upcoming trips, please contact James on jamesh@tiscali.co.zafor details.

For more information on Verloren Valei, please visit https://wildorchids.co.za/html/projects/verloren-valei/intro-verloren-valei.