2003 Trips-summary



South Africa


South Africa
Trip Participants


Jono Hehrer

Trips and expeditions:
- A successful first decent of the upper Kiniara river in Transkei in
- Travels in Central America (Piers) and an attempt at Mt Aconcagua
(Gareth) and trekking in Patagonia
- Intro kayaking courses, rolling clinics, and weekend trips on the
Vaal -despite low water levels - organised by Tony, Jono, Graeme, and
- A large Orange River rafting trip (with about 44 people) on the Thunder alley section in March (Bridgeand Gavin).
- Superb hikes organised in the Frankenberg (Gavin) and the Sokororo
Kloof (Archie) over the Easter weekend
- The successful introduction of some ESSA members into the world of
adventure racing...under the capable guidance of Piers
- Several weeks in Iran (Jono and Marna - well, we think it was Marna
under all those clothes!)
- An attempt on Mt Lenin in Kyrgyzstan (David Frank)
- Horse riding on the Pondonaland coast (Jono)
- The Mt Mera expedition in Nepal (Jonathan Rosenthal), which saw all
11 of the group make it to high camp but not summit due to unseasonably
and impassably deep snow
- Other trekking in Nepal (Matt Bresler)
- A 6-week trip to the remote areas of Northern Mozambique by Rick
Grantham...we await the slide show with interest!
- Other weekend trips too numerous to mention but that included hiking,
climbing, kayaking, rafting, cycling, and general exploring.

Social events:
- 2003 has seen an incredible array of interesting monthly speakers,
with topics as diverse as photography, scorpions, 7 summits, cycling
across Canada, Lake Victoria circumnavigations, new diving records,
trips through
the East, Mexico, Aconcagua, Torres del Paine, and so on. Our speakers
continue to amaze us and we are grateful for their sharing.
- The 702 walk-the-talk event, used as a training day by the Mt Mara
team and others
- Kayaking rolling clinics with Canoe-polo organised by Marlise and
held at the wits pool - great fun!
- The formal dinner, held in a cave in the rain in
Swaziland...exceptional catering and great fun
- The annual dinner, held on Paul and Vanessa's farm in the
Magaliesberg, which was the biggest to date...special thanks to Chris,
Tracey, Teresa, Vanessa, and Elizabeth for the food and to Marlise for
the impossible task of parting ESSArites from their loot.
- The Clarens "bokpoort" weekend organised by Marlise, which included
4x4 stuff, Kayaking on the Ash river, and hiking in Golden Gate, and
some serious Drinking (Capital 'D' intentional!)
- Dinners at Tarquinos in Parkhurst, now regularly attended by at least
20 people...say no more
- and of course, the club really functions through friendships made as
evidences by rumours of rummy evenings, sporadic drinking, and general
The first foray into orienteering for many ESSA folk at the annual Wits Orienteering Race. There we go, more people likely to be getting lost in the woods... More


Makhabeng Sacred Places - May

Makhabeng is one of Limpopo Province and South Africa's hidden marvels. Incredible rock formations, ancient pre-history and a feeling of being somewhere very special are the ingredients for a weekend or longer of exhilarating exploration.


Tree identification - May



Sekororo Kloof canyoning - April



Hiking forgotten regions of the Drakensberg - April

Climb the Chain Ladder. Look for the path. Find it. Ignore it. Tread off right to explore a beautiful part of the Drakensberg that few people venture to. Experience bucolic valleys, rugged terrain and undisturbed mountain wetlands. A recipe for hiking bliss...More


Orange River rafting/kayaking 

One of the biggest groups ESSA has ever taken down a river. An organisational marathon, but well worth the effort for all... More


Spekboom River kayaking



Kayak School - March 

Our third fantastic kayak school with Hugh and Linda of Whitewater Training. Aching and stiff all the participants might have been but they all wanted to grab a place on the following week's Orange trip to hone their newly worked skills


Island Blue - February 

The temperature was in the late 30s and the sun was beating down particularly fiercely. There was no better time to visit the shady forests and blue pools of this wonderful place. Recent rains made even the normally dry surrounding mountains lush with life. Once again the magic worked its way into all of us.


Vaal River - January 

Slow, smelly, bumpy and full of hyacinth. Yuk. Still we managed a great time and three first time kayakers showed how easy it can be if you display natural talent. Nice one, Scot, Tim and Ellen for skating through it all


Kinira River - January 

A beautiful 4 day run through three gorges. The gathering terror on Lyn's face as each new day dawned spurred us to greater deeds. Good water and tons of rapids made it an awesome grade 3 trip. And it was a first descent to boot! Watch this space for a full trip report, maps and the infamous less than reliable gradient graph.



Wednesday, January 1, 2003 (All day)