A ‘magical’ experience for the Fynbos Ramblers

The Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area is a picture at the moment.

The Fynbos Ramblers are usually to be found looking at flowers somewhere in the mountains. However, in October, they visited the Conservation Area in the middle of the Kenilworth Racecourse.

The Ramblers have had four previous visits, the first being in 2001, when they approached Gold Circle, the owners of the track, for permission to walk in the area.

They were left on their own to explore, and were not too sure of what to particularly look out for.

By contrast, on this visit, they were heartily welcomed by Sabelo Memani and Ismail Wambi, who work in the conservation area. Mr Memani told them about this valuable piece of Cape Sand Plain Fynbos, with its many endangered plants and amphibians, and provided the history of developments in the conservation of the area.

The Ramblers then went on a two-hour walkabout with the two of them.

They were shown a tiny sedge (a grasslike flowering plant) that is critically endangered, as well as several other species. He also presented flowering plants, including Erica margaritacea that grows here and nowhere else.

At a small vlei, the group listened to frogs calling, one of which was the highly endangered micro frog (the smallest South African frog).

It was a magical experience for all 22 members of the Fynbos Ramblers present, and everyone complemented the guides on their knowledge and love of the work they do here.

Sabelo Memani and Ismail Wambi can be contacted at 021 700 1843 or at

Sheila Robinson is a member of the Fynbos Ramblers.