ILTER: 1st Open Science Meeting Skukuza 2016

Arid Lands – Karoo

7-8 October 2016 (arrival 6 Oct, departure 9 Oct)

1001 kilometres of LTER across the Karoo

Join the staff of the SAEON Arid Lands Node on a Tour de Force of LTER sites between 34oS/22oE and 29oS/26oE, ranging from field experiments initiated 30-80 years ago, as well as a range of new and future topical studies. Your tour will start in the Little Karoo, linger a bit in the Succulent Karoo at the 30-year old Tierberg-LTER Karoo Research Centre and the Wolwekraal Nature Reserve, and touch on several new Square Kilometre Observatories (SKOs) in the Lower- and Upper-Karoo. Relax 1000 m below the 2500 m high Compassberg while learning about LTER up this altitudinal gradient. Learn the meaning of “80 years, still going… still changing…” at the world’s oldest continuous grazing trials at Grootfontein. Finally, after hearing about long-term monitoring of South Africa’s most significant river, the Orange, you will finish the tour in the amazing grasslands.


  • 3-6 Oct – preceding the current tour programme, ILTER delegates are invited to self-arrange attending the Arid Zone Ecological Forum Conference in Prince Albert (see


  •  6 Oct 14h30 – pre-arranged transport leaves George airport to Prince Albert with additional ILTER pre-conference tour delegates.  All delegates must be at George Airport no later than 14.30 hrs (2.30pm) on 6th of October


  • 6 Oct evening – ice-breaker and introduction of upcoming tour programme (Prince Albert)


  • 7 Oct a.m. – Tierberg LTER and Wolwekraal Nature Reserve (Prince Albert)


  • 7 Oct p.m. – SKOs (Beaufort West to Graaff Reinet)


  • 8 Oct sunrise – Compassberg (Nieu Bethesda)


  • 8 Oct a.m. – Grootfontein Grazing Trials (Middelburg EC)


  • 8 Oct p.m. – Orange River & grasslands (Bloemfontein)


  • 9 Oct a.m. – Departure from Bloemfontein (flight via Johannesburg to Skukuza)



 To bring along

Sunglasses, hat, closed shoes, sunscreen, warm jacket, binoculars, camera, personal items. Be prepared for a range of weather in an area that is mostly sunny and warm (>30oC), but can suddenly get cool (<10oC) and even rainy (hopefully!) during this time of year. There is no cell (mobile) phone reception over long stretches of the tour, except in some towns.

What does the tour include?



Road Transporation from George Airport on the 6th October until the departure on the 9th October at Bloemfontein Airport:

Domestic flights: * The domestic flight from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg on the 9th of October.

* Please bear in mind that domestic flights are subject to availability at the time of booking and the fare can only be confirmed once you have paid for the booking.  Please make allowances that the cost of the ticket may vary at the time of your booking and could result in a small surcharge should the fare quoted is not available.


6,7 & 8th of October 2016

Bookings have been made per person sharing to reduce costs,  in some cases Guests Houses have single rooms available at no additional cost,  in this case it will be on a first come first serve basis. However,  please expect to share a room with another delegate.  Single supplements may apply should you want a single room for the duration of the trip,  which may also be subject to availability at the time of booking.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included daily.  Starting with dinner on the 6th of October and finishing with breakfast on the 09th of October.

Meals assume no special dietary requirements – healthy appetite for lamb is expedient.

Booking and Cost:

Please email:  for booking and further information

Cost:  R6561.00 per person sharing

You will be able to add this field trip to your conference invoice when you register for the conference under: