THINGS TO DO AT OTTERS HAUNT dec2006

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					Friendly Rules
This is not a res ort but a gues t lodge with a famil y atmosphere. When you visit us you are entering the territory of the otter, the fish eagle, and the rippling river. We are part of the World H eritage Site of the Vredefort Dome. We keep human numbers down and we tr y to limit environmental impac t. For the sake of all visitors we obser ve c ertain standards of behaviour, s afety and respect for nature. NO SMOKING IN ANY BUILDING, NO CANDLES OR OPEN FLAMES IN THATCHED BUILDINGS! GROUPS No raucous parties and no karoake, sound s ystems , ghetto blasters - music is NOT allowed as this is a peac eful natural area. Discuss all party plans with us beforehand. Arrangements may need to be made for par king, firewood, extra catering and toilet facilities. A breakage deposit is required. If you are planning to have extra day visitors, inform us and pay the entr y fee per head. No overnighting without payment. Ther e is a li mit on visitor numbers. As k at Rec eption. PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS If you wish to bring dogs, please discuss with Karen i n advance. Regrettably, we refus e entr y to certain kinds of dogs due to incidents in the pas t. And we may require you to sign a form accepting responsibility and liability. Dogs must be on a l eas h in guest ar eas. Poop mus t be removed from lawns and common areas, please. Do not feed or encourage the monkeys! When wal king, carr y a stic k and l ook out for s nakes - they will avoid you. Also treat your slac ks and soc ks with Tick-Off. FIRES & FIR EWOOD Do not burn huge bonfire. Firewood is obtainable via Reception. Fire is a major hazar d all year round pleas e be careful and put out embers at night. No fires on the islands! Bring your own gas c ooker. SECURITY AND KEYS For your sec urity, loc k c ars, cabins, rooms. T he entr y gates are loc ked at night - you will be given a key. Loss of keys is R55. BREAKAGES For all parties , birthdays and c elebrations , a breakage deposit of [R1000+] (depending on size of group) is payable on arrival, to cover glasses, croc kery, fittings, furniture, linen, and all other ass ets. We c ount on you to report breakages and l osses. QUAD BIKING AND MOTORBIKES Sorry, no quad bi king or offroad motorbi king is allowed on our property. We intend to keep the venue quiet and s afe for all. But there are great quad bi king trac ks in the vicinity, outsi de the Dome World Heritage Site ( not per mitted there at all). TRIPS All boating is at your own ris k. Lifejac kets must be worn. Please look after c hildren on the water! Twoseater, stable and safe sit-on-top canoes are for hire, and we can arrange whitewater rafting for your group. Come to R eception. Rates on the website and on i nquiry. PICNICS & OUTDOORS There are pic nic sites – we will point them out! Braai away from acc ommodation, only on arrangement no c asual braais. Be careful on the ri ver and on wal ks! This is a wild environment and you may encounter snakes, slippery r oc ks, fallen trees. We have a s mall first ai d kit and there is always a doc tor on c all in Parys.

Summer 2006-7

Things to do in this area
As our guests, at Otters’ Haunt, the Full Moon Bush Cabins and iLekwe Cottage, we would like you to feel you have the run of the place. The bridge to the islands is above water at most times and you are welcome to cross to the island trails. The deck is always available for birdwatching, dawn visits, and sundowners - you can even arrange to sleep out there. Canoeing and rafting the river are arranged through Reception. There is a wireless-enabled Internet connection at the Heron’s Nest Conference Room. And we have a standing slide show all about what to do and see in the Vredefort Dome. Just ask!

Fishing
• Flyfishing – f rom the front lawn, cross the bridges and walk up or down the islands. Yellowfish are found in the whitewater or currents. Barbel and carp swim in the pools. All take flies. You may hire a boat to go further into the islands, and if necessary our guide can show you where to go. Catch and release please! Line f ishing – we are not very keen on line fishing but will permit it for residents. Please only linefish in designated spots – discuss with us. No camping on the islands and no fires. There are no bass in this section of the river. Note that water, wind and weather conditions have a dramatic effect on the “catchability” of the fish. If you can see them rising and you can’t catch them, it’s due to your technique. We offer skills clinics and guided flyfishing, call us. Do not get lost among the islands! Note your way and do not paddle past the powerlines at the end of the big Parys pool – unless you know where you are going! Ask at the office for best places to fish.

Canoeing & whitewater rafting
• Island trail: We made our name based on the fantastic Vaal River islands route – the Malachite Canoe Trail – that you can do with one of our guides. It takes between 1 and 3 hours depending on where you choose to go and how energetic you are. Guide at Reception. No big rapids, just f lat water and currents. Two-seater and single-seater sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and easy to paddle, are available for day hire. You must take a lifejacket and should paddle with drinking water, sunscreen, a hat and well covered arms and legs. On cold days, take a windbreaker. You will get wet! Wear old tackies or sandals rather than slipslopsWhitewater rafting & kayaking Full trip: Rafting and kayaking on the exciting 8km of Grade 23 rapids downstream from our front lawn can be arranged for your group. At lower levels, we use two-seater Croc inflatables or sit-on-tops; at higher water the big 6-8 seater rafts are used. 3-4 hours. Short outing: An easy Drift-n-Bounce whitewater trip from Parys down to Otters’ Haunt on Grade 1-2 rapids is a good preparation for the bigger stuff. 1 ½ hours.

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Cycling
• Road biking in this area is very good because of the quiet tarred roads, broad shoulder and great scenery. Find out about possible routes from Reception. The ride to Potchefstroom is very good, exactly 50km each way – if you’re f it! There are also shorter circular routes nearby. •

Vredefort Dome
Graeme Addison, owner of Otters’ Haunt, is a well known science writer and expert on the Vredefort Dome. Walk ‘n Talk excursions from 1 hour to 7 hours or even 2 days are av ailable. Y ou can also ask for a fireside chat if staying here. Slide show: A fascinating 1 ½ hour self-paced PowerPoint slide show is available at our Heron’s Nest conference room – just ask to have it set up. It covers all aspects of the Dome from planetary science to adventure. Quarry hike or bike ride. About 2 ½ km away is the Lion’s Head quarry with its deep, clear lake and great views. A specatacular cliff face shows evidence of the Vredefort blast. Collect the guidemap at Reception. • Dome drive: follow the river through the Bergland, stopping at scenic points, and ascend to the mountain heights where the full scale of the crater can be seen. Battlefield tours of the Dome are arranged on request, led by Graeme who has developed a unique set of route covering prehistory; Voortrekker/Matabele battles; the Anglo-Boer Wars; 1914 Rebellion and finally anti-apartheid Struggle.

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Ev ery kind of mountain biking, from very strenuous to easy, offroad and onroad, rugged hills and single tracks across the veld, is possible, from our doorstep. Ask at Reception for the trails brochure. We can guide you for a f ee or set you off on a route after a map briefing. Call ahead if you are a day visitor. Parys Town tour – a delightf ul 1 hour ride around this historic and picturesque town, taking in the history and sights such as the oldest farmhouse. Do it early and have breakfast in town. Easy. Arrange at Reception the day before. Etiquette: On all trails, please observe signs and close all gates. If climbing f ences, do not cause damage. Tell anyone who asks that you are from Otters’ Haunt. Stay on the designated route – you need our map because no routes are marked! A limited number of mountain bikes are on hire.

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Birdwatching
• Bird list: The Office has a bird list compiled by experts, which is also on the Internet at www.otters.co.za. Please log your new sightings with us. The area has a remarkable mix of veld and bush birds, waterfowl and forest birds. Several raptor species are regularly seen. Tours: We can arrange birdwatching outings further afield but need advance notice with info about your group size, experience and fitness.
Rates on inquir y or see the website www.otter s.co.z a 082 475 8786 056 8181814 info@otters.co.za Office opens 7am and closes 5pm.

Relaxing, eating out, culture, adventure
• Ask about restaurants in town, antique and art shops, township shebeens and tours of the district. The annual Potchefstroom Aardklop Arts Festival, each Spring, is the biggest cultural event of its kind in the country. Parys hosts horse shows and the annual Crater Cruise mountain bike race – the biggest in SA.

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All activities ar e undertaken at your own risk, and Otters’ Haunt, its ow ner/s, managers, agents , guides, empl oyees and other gues ts, acc ept no liability or responsibility for an accident, loss or injury, howsoever arising.


				
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