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The aim of this Earthcache is to measure your height above the Olifants River using only your GPS receiver, then to compare this distance with the width of the river. The coordinates lead you to an overlook that is in the Residents Only section of the camp. If you are not a Resident, you may also complete the requirements and log this find by visiting the public overlook, located about 100m to the east at S 24 00.376' E 031 44.449'.
Both of these overlooks at the Olifants Restcamp give a stunning overlook of the Olifants River, and the plains of the Olifants Rugged Veld off to the south. The Olifants Rugged Veld ecosystem occurs on rhyolite and basalt bedrock, and is a transition between the woodlands of the south and the mopaneveld to the north. Round basalt boulders found throughout the area break up the plains and give rise to the name “Rugged Veld”. Soils tend to be stony and shallow, and are formed from clay. Common vegetation consists of mopane, knob-thorn, and bushwillow, though a few baobab trees can be seen in the distance.
Animals utilizing the river and seen from the overlook can include giraffe, elephant, and buffalo. If you travel the dirt roads to the river, be on the lookout for the klipspringer, which has evolved an interesting hoof adaptation in order to walk on the rocks.
The rhyoite and basalt of this area are from the Sabie River Basalt Formation, which formed about 180 million years ago during the Jurassic Period. The Sabie River Basalts are thought to be 4-5 km thick, and to have been erupted during a period of less than 0.5 million years.
At this site, you are near the edge of the slope leading down to the river, and the river is below at an elevation of approximately 150 meters above sea level.
To receive credit for this Earthcache, you must answer the following:
1) Determine the height at which you are above the river (if your GPS receiver doesn’t have an altimeter, you may have to use a topographic map).
2) Which do you think is greater, your height above the river, or the width of the river?
Please consider posting photos of yourself, or the local geology, when you log this EarthCache. Photos can be an additional rewarding part of your journey, but posting them is not a requirement for logging this EarthCache, and is strictly optional.
The above information was compiled from the following sources:
2004. T.R. Riley et al. U-Pb Zircon (SHRIMP) Ages for the Lebombo Rhyolites, South Africa: Refining the Duration of Karoo Volcanism. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 161.
2007. Hilton-Barber, B. and L.R. Berger. The Prime Origins Guide to Exploring Kruger, 2nd Edition.
2008. South African National Parks Visitors Guide: Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park Code of Conduct. Found online at: (visit link)
Olifants Wilderness Trail in Olifants Rugged Veld Area Kruger Game Reserve: (visit link)
Thanks to the SANParks, and Kruger National Park, for allowing placement of this EarthCache!
(No hints available.)