Buka ufundze - YaboThisela/Bafundzisi.
Look and Learn:
The geotrail is not just about geology. It has a rich and fascinating history reaching from more than 40 000 years in the past and an array of interesting plants and animals, many of which are found only in the Barberton Greenstone Belt. The geotrail offers educators, from primary to tertiary level, a great opportunity to enrich their teaching of geography, biological sciences, history and social studies and provides a treasure chest of ideas for projects and theses.
A comprehensive, illustrated guidebook describing the key elements of the geotrail can be purchased at very reasonable cost from Barberton Community Tourism. This book, written by experts on the geology of the trail, gives a sound foundation to the trail and is a valuable teaching resource that provides a wealth of information to enable educators to develop a themed visit and self-discovery media that learners can use along the trail. There is also a free leaflet giving an overview of the trail.
Specialist local guides can be hired to give a live interpretation of the trail. Barberton Community Tourism can provide contact details.
Booking a visit to the trail is unnecessary. The trail follows a tarred road and is easily accessible to all vehicles.
There is a dry toilet at the 25.3km Lebombo Viewsite so please make use of facilities in Barberton before embarking on your trip. The key sites have laybys where you can park safely off the road. Several of these have basic picnic facilities. Please ensure that any waste material is deposited in the bins provided, or better still, into a garbage bag that you take away with you.
What to bring:
Bring writing instruments and paper/pads. The weather can be unpredictable, and in the mountains, it may sometimes quickly turn cold, wet and windy — be prepared by bringing at least a waterproof and windproof jacket. The sun can be harsh at altitude so we would recommend a hat and sunscreen.
Take great care along the road. There are many tight bends and the road can be busy at times with traffic that includes large, timber-hauling trucks. Please ensure that your group is aware of the potential danger. When driving, or standing near rock faces and outcrops, be aware that rocks may be unstable and rock falls frequent; expect rocks in the road. Do not allow anyone to wander away from the designated stopping points and resist the temptation to explore side roads; these traverse private property.
For photographs and informed comments and opinion on the geotrail, visit us on facebook. We look forward to hearing from you.
A well-illustrated guidebook to the geotrail, written by Tony Ferrar and Professor Christoph Heubeck, is available from the Barberton Community Tourism office in Barberton.
This link will take you to an extensive list of teaching resources, including lesson plans and classroom activities, that can easily be adapted and incorporated into the classroom. They will also help you to devise discovery media to be used on the geotrail. Obvious applications are in science and geography but teachers of other subjects will find much of interest amongst these resources. Topics include astronomy, earthquakes, erosion, maps, plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, volcanoes, water and weather.
Links to Blog Postings
For more in depth information about the trail, visit our blog:
- Birth of the Earth
- Time Travel
- Let There be Life
- Take a Deep Breath – Banded Iron Stone and The Great Oxygenation Event
- Treasure Chest – Minerals and Mining
- Rocks and Hard Places