Natural Resources

1. Climate

Rainfall: 800mm (annual mean), in the form of mist, hail, snow and mostly Thunderstorms.
Temperature: 14 degrees(annual mean) Summer highs go up to 28/30 and Winter lows go down to -10/-15.
Winds: August and September are the most windy months when the warm, dry bergwinds from the north-west blow they can reach up to gale speeds. Bergwinds are usually followed by the south east winds that bring cool rainy conditions.
Sudden change in wind direction can bring on extreme drop in temperatures.
Always come prepared, with warm clothing!

2.Topography

Wild Berry is approximately 1400m above sea level, where the countryside is sloping up towards  the steeper mountains, which form the base of Giants Castle.

3. Geology

The rocks underneath our feet are shale and sandstone. In some areas larvae has pushed up through cracks and cooled slowly to form dolerite dykes.
the Drakensberg was formed by volcanic activity where the larvae flowed to the top and cooled down rapidly to form basalt. Red crumbling shale beds occur all along the Drakensberg range  these unstable layers are often the cause of large landslides often seen along the berg. There is also a yellow layer of Sandstone, mostly seen at  Giants Castle, known as cave sandstone or Clarens sandstone. the cave sandstone is where you would find the famous bushmen paintings -see the tale of the 3 caves-.

4. Soils

The soils are a mixture of red clay and sand, structure and drainage are good, but relatively leached and acidic.

5. Water resources

The Mooi river is born at Kamberg and the little Mooi joins it just outside the town Mooi River. From there the waters are swept away down the Mooi falls towards Tugela Ferry where it joins the Tugela River. The Mooi is soon to  be tamed by the new Mearns Dam where it rushes down from the mountains towards Rosetta.

The Bushmens River is born at Giants castle  but then winds away from us towards Estcourt. There it gets trapped in the wagondrift Dam.

6. Vegetation

Wildberry is situated amongst cultivated pastures and maize fields. But the natural vegetation in the area can be described as Highland sour-grassveld. This provides good grazing during the summer months but cultivated pastures are needed to feed livestock during the Winter months. Traditionally livestock used to be hearded down to the lower lying areas (where the grazing is better) during the winter months.

Many flowering forbs grow amongst the grass making  October/November a fantastic time for flower lovers to come to our area.

Amongst rocks and against steep hills where the fires can not get to them you will find some trees such as: Tree fuschia, wild sage, Ouhout, iron-wood, yellow-wood and various other species. As you go closer to the mountain, Protea bushes can be seen on the hills.

7. Living organisms

The surrounding grasslands allow for an abundance of  insects to thrive in this area. these make it possible for all sorts of amphibians (red toad, common river frog and painted reed frog), reptiles and small mammals such as: field mice, shrews, rats, bats, moles and Hares to be able to be present.

This area has a rich  birdlife-see bird list under activities-

The following mammals share the surrounding farms with us: Oribi, grey duiker, steenbuck, bushbuck, common reedbuck, bushpig, porcupine, cape clawless otter, Large grey mongoose, water mongoose, yellow mongoose, striped polecat, serval, caracal, black backed jackal… we will update the list as we see more.

Reptiles are rarely seen We have only seen the following snake species on the premises: Red lipped Herald, olive grass snake, night adder and on one occasion rinkahls. Our claim to fame is the large population of KZN midlands dwarf chameleon that lives in our garden! This funny little creature is endemic to this area, which means it will not be found anywhere else in the world but in the midlands of Natal.

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Your home away from home in the Midlands!