Quiet Waters Conservation Scheme
The founding committee of Quiet Waters met for the first time on the 24th October 1985. It was at this meeting that the initial ideas of the development of Quiet Waters were born.
The project began in 1986, and it was officially opened in 1988. It consists of a Nature Reserve and Wilderness Area which covered an area of 8.1 km² in all. Quiet Waters aims to conserve indigenous fauna and flora and to further the educational pursuits of the College and to serve as a base for conservation education in other schools. It is also used for scientific research and provides recreational facilities for the College community and visitors.
Some useful and interesting facts about Quiet Waters Conservation Scheme
- The scheme was started over 20 years ago. Its 20th Anniversary was celebrated in October 2005.
- The conservancy, which lies in the attractive hilly country to the north of the College, consists of two parts:
- The western game-fenced Nature Reserve of approximately 320 hectares;
- The wilderness area of 490 hectares in the east.
- It has a very diverse range of fauna and flora. There are 12 recorded mammal species ranging from the giraffe to the minute Spiny Mouse! Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Banded Mongoose, Hyrax, Warthog, Klipspringer, Duiker, Impala, Kudu, Reedbuck, Bushbuck, Eland, Tsessebe, Zebra and Giraffe are often seen. The last four named have been introduced.
- Over 300 bird species have been identified.
- There are also over 100 different species of trees and to date 50 grass species have been recorded.
- Other recorded fauna are: 25 different snakes and 30 butterfly species.
- Research continues on other forms of animal and plant life.
- The game-fenced nature reserve has an impressive list of facilities, which are available to the Falcon community, which includes parents, and friends of the College and other educational institutions.
- These include: nature trails; picnic sites; a campsite with 4 well-equipped A-framed chalets; viewing points and hides and artificial game pans
- The new Mbonisa weir, which was recently officially opened, by Jimmy and Jenny Goddard has been stocked with bream and bass.
- Biology, geography and environmental management O and A level classes for fieldwork exercises extensively use the area.
- Junior and Senior Natural History Societies; the Angling Club and Junior Forms’ Adventure Courses also make regular use of the facilities.
- In the past schools such as Girls’ College, Carmel and Whitestone from Bulawayo, and Murray McDougal from Chiredzi, have utilised Quiet Waters for educational purposes. In the case of Carmel and Whitestone, ecology courses have been designed and run by Falcon staff, assisted by schoolboys.
- Extensive development plans for specific areas are in the pipeline.
There are 6 picnic sites, set in beautiful surroundings, which are available to parents who visit Quiet Waters. They all have a thatched shelter, toilet facilities, and braai sites with wood provided. (These are regularly used by the boys who camp there overnight at weekends – very popular with them)
The campsite has Chelicuti chalet, which has beds for four, and en suite shower, basin and toilet. There is also a braai site and a boiler to ensure hot water for showers and washing up.
There are also three other 4-bed chalets, each of which has its own ablution block and boiler. Each chalet has its own braai. Every chalet is equipped with beds and mattresses, chairs, bedside carpets, hurricane lamps and a trunk containing cutlery, plastic crockery, pots and pans and cooking utensils. All you have to bring is your bedding and food and drink and perhaps extra lighting!
Mrs Joan Bancroft is on hand to accept your campsite bookings during normal office hours at the College. Prices will be adjusted according to the exchange rate on the $US at the time of booking.
Mbondo chalet is yet to be complete it will be smarter and more intimate than Chelicuti. This camp site is within the Quiet Waters area not in the Wilderness area.
Quiet Waters newest chalet “Mnondo”
The chalet was built with funds very generously donated by FOB Mike Ross. It is an “A” frame with en suite facilities. For those of you that have stayed in Chelikuti, Mnondo offers more space. The furniture for Mnondo was very generously donated by Mark & Shirley Swannack.
There are a further four chalets which can be rented for overnight stays in the Wilderness area, each of which has its own ablution block and boiler, and its own braai area.
These facilities are all popular with staff, boys, parents and friends of the College, all you have to bring is your bedding and food and drink and perhaps extra lighting!
There is an interesting range of game, some notable sightings have been made, a leopard was resident in the picnic site areas at the base of Usandisa for several weeks, however it appears to have moved from here into the southern paddocks. Animals which can be seen regularly include: kudu, zebra, giraffe, reedbuck, bushbuck, steenbok, tsessebe, impala, klipspringer, bushpig and warthog and the two species of jackal, while there are many smaller mammals which are not so easily seen, such as four species of mongoose. The rich variety of fauna and flora regularly attract enthusiasts from many societies interested in the natural history of the area.
The educational value of Quiet Waters is enormous, since it is regularly used for practical work in the subjects of geography, environmental science, and biology. Project work is undertaken by members of the Natural History Society and assorted budding naturalists, while the area is used frequently by other educational institutions both for fieldwork and outings.
The New Mbonisa Weir
The Mbonisa Weir officially opened on the 12th May 2006 by the College’s honoured guests, Jimmy and Jenny Goddard – Jimmy Goddard is a FOB.
Some of the funds are being spent on re-aligning the Quiet Waters fence which will increase the size of the Conservation area by approximately 150 hectares. This will include a seasonal wetland area which is very rich in browse and grazing. This exercise was started a month ago and should be complete by the end of September. Visitors to the area will already notice significant changes.
Offer of the use of a Landrover by an overseas FOB
Ian Broderick (Oates 1977) who lives and works in England and who spends some of his leisure time in the wilds of Zimbabwe, has generously offered his hard-top Landrover for use on Quiet Waters when he and his wife are not using the vehicle. This gesture will go a long way to alleviating our transport difficulties and we are most grateful to him.