Ninth African Arachnid Colloquium, February 2008
Dear Delegates

Thank you very much to all of you who have submitted your abstracts. However, we are still waiting for a few and would appreciate if you can send them to Elizabeth Kassimatis (KassimatisE@arc.agric.za) as soon as possible.

International delegates

All international delegates who have not contacted Elizabeth Kassimatis for

  • transport from the airport to Pretoria,
  • accommodation in Pretoria,
  • travel from Pretoria to Lajuma and
  • Lajuma back to the airport

please do so.

South African delegates

There has been a request by John Roff (johnroff1@gmail.com; jr@hiltoncollege.com) from Hilton College in KwaZulu-Natal. He is returning to Gauteng on the 8th of Ferbruary, and enquired if anyone returning in that direction, and on that date, could assist hime with transport. If anyone else needs such assistance, or are prepared to offer assistance, please inform Stefan Foord (sfoord@univen.ac.za).


Stefan Foord has applied for a permit that will be valid for all the individuals that will collect with him in Lajuma.

Arrival at Lajuma on the 3rd of February

Lajuma staff will provide transport up the mountain on the hour every hour from 12h00 in the morning. There is a safe area where delegates can leave their vehicles.

Renting vehicles

Delegates renting vehicles can leave their vehicles at the renting agencies in Louis Trichardt/ Makhado. Staff from Lajuma will be able to pick them up in town. Anyone who wants to do this should please notify Stefan Foord (sfoord@univen.ac.za). The Lajuma staff can only afford one trip to town so we would like to coordinate this if more than one group of delegates opts for this alternative.


There have been enquiries about this. There will be a cash bar at Lajuma. So, unless you have something very specific in mind in terms of what you drink and eat, there will be sufficient beverages available on the mountain.

"Fogging" trip

Those staying behind for the fogging, please note that we've booked accommodation for you at the same rate, R250pp including meals, from the 8th until the 11th of February. According to our records, the following delegate will remain on Lajuma (until the 11th of February) for this demonstration:

  • Naiara


  • Alexandre


  • Ansie


  • Wouter


  • Arnaud


  • Rudy


  • Yvonne


  • Petro


  • Cristina


  • Sma


  • Domir

De Bakker

  • Elizabeth


  • Jean-Louis


Please let Stefan Foord (sfoord@univen.ac.za) know if you plan on staying for the fogging and your name is not on the list or your name is listed and you're not staying behind.

Photo competition

On the request of some, participants of this competition do not have to send pictures through by internet but can bring them in any electronic form (CD, DVD or Memory stick) to the conference.

Colloquium program

We will post the complete program on the web page shortly.

Accommodation arrangements

These will also be finalized shortly - we'll try and accommodate everyone's wishes.


Ninth African Arachnid Colloquium, February 2008

The 9th colloquium of the African Arachnology Society (AFRAS) will be hosted by the University of Venda and the ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute, and will be held at Lajuma Mountain Retreat (http://www.Lajuma.com), located 50 km outside Makhado/Louis Trichardt, from 3 to 8 February 2008.

The objective of AFRAS is to promote research on the African Arachnida (non-Acari). AFRAS provide a forum for the discussion of arachnid research in oral presentations, posters and workshops, as well as informal discussions.


The colloquium will be held at the Lajuma Mountain Retreat. The venue is situated on the highest point of the Soutpansberg (malaria free). The resort offers the following accommodation: Waterfall lodge, Forest chalet, Stone Cottage, Wilderness Camp, and camping in the Wilderness Camp.


  • Participants from abroad must book their flights to O.R. Tambo Airport (old Johannesburg International Airport) or Polokwane Airport.
  • Those arriving at O.R. Tambo Airport can take a shuttle to Pretoria where we can book accommodation if required (contact Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman).
  • For visitors from abroad we can help to organize transport (own cost) traveling as a group to Lajuma from Pretoria leaving the morning of the February the third.(ca. 400 km)
  • Local participants will be asked to make their own travel arrangements to Lajuma . (map will be provided closer to the event).  We’ll meet at the gate as the road from the gate to the retreat itself is a bit rough and appropriate transport will be arranged for this.
  • If arranged in time beforehand, delegates arriving by plane (via Polokwane Airport) or bus (Makhado/Louis Trichardt) may be transported from the terminals to the venue (own cost). Car hire and taxi’s are available at the airport.


  • The registration fee is set at R350. This will include teas, a welcoming function (Sunday evening) and copies of the program and abstracts (see attached registration form).
  • Extra - colloquium dinner: Thursday evening, 7 February, at R70 per person – also payable with registration fee.


The resort provides accommodation in a variety of self-catering facilities:

  • Waterfall lodge (Two chalets - each with a double and a single bed),
  • Forest chalet (double bed),
  • Stone Cottage (Two single beds in bedroom, third bed on stoep (Afrikaans for patio),
  • Wilderness Camp (six an-suite units (4-6 people/unit),
  • Camping in Wilderness camp: bring own tents.

All these facilities are available R250.00/person including meals. Accommodation in these facilities will be on a first come first serve basis, although seniority will also play an important role.
Camping (R200.00/person including meals) will be a last resort should there be too many delegates.

Bookings can be made through convener (sfoord@univen.ac.za) or otherwise Lajuma (leopard@lajuma.com).


  • Although all the units are equipped with a stove, fridge, kettle and cutlery and crockery ALL meals will be provided for guests and it is included in the price of accommodation (R250/person/day; camping R200/day). (please indicate any special requirements)
  • All teas are covered by the registration fee and Sunday, February the 3rd’s welcoming function

Catered meals:

  • Colloquium dinner: Thursday, 7 February, at R70 per person – payable with registration fee.

NOTE: There are no shops, we are in the bush, so delegates should bring their own refreshments (a cash bar will be available).


Presentations of research papers and/or posters are invited in the subject areas:

  • Systematics / Taxonomy;
  • Genetics / Karyology;
  • Biogeography;
  • Biodiversity;
  • Conservation;
  • Envenomation / Toxicology;
  • Behaviour;
  • Ecology;
  • Morphology;
  • Paleo-arthropology.

or any other related field of Arachnological interest.

  • SANSA (South African National Survey of Arachnida) workshop will be held on Thursday

Papers:  will be limited to 15 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for questions.
These time limits may be lengthened or shortened depending on the number of presentations.

Posters: In the poster session participants would be asked to give a short (5minutes) discussion of their poster. The organizers will erect a tent for the poster exhibition.

Any other displays of an Arachnological nature will also be welcome.


Sunday 3 February- Arrival, registration and welcoming function
Monday 4 February - Talks, posters
Tuesday 5 February - Talks, posters
Wednesday 6 February - Free day
Thursday 7 February - Talks, posters, SANSA workshop, AGM, Colloquium Dinner
Friday 8 February - Depart


During the colloquium there will be a free day for collecting or sightseeing (Wednesday 6 February). A special award will be handed out for the “catch of the day”


  • Sunday 3 February – welcome function
  •  Tuesday, 5 February, a photo competition will be held after dinner, where any photos of arachnids can be entered. Send jpeg images to sfoord@univen.ac.za for inclusion in the presentation.
  • Wednesday 6 February - award ceremony around fire – catch of the day
  • Thursday Colloquium Dinner – awards for best paper and poster in general; best student paper and poster.


Abstracts: Deadline for submission of abstracts will be 5 January 2005. Abstracts can be e-mailed to: sfoor@univen.ac.za or faxed to Fax: +27 866977473, or to Ansie: DippenaarA@acr.agric.za . Abstracts should be in MS Word .doc or .rtf format and should not exceed 400 words.

Please accompany the abstract with the following details:

  • Name of presenter
  • Contact details for confirmation of receipt
  • Preferred field of interest (see above)
  • Type of paper (oral or poster)
  • Title of paper
  • First author name, address and e-mail
  • Other authors names, address
  • Text


Colloquium updates will be made as they happen and will be posted on the official website http://soutpansberg.com/aac9
Please respond to this circular if you wish to register. The deadline for payment of registration and submission of abstracts are 5 January 2008.


Money can be deposited directly into the Lajuma Retreat account. If the deposit is made, please ensure that the deposit slip is faxed to +27 886977473 .

Account Holder: M.J. Gaigher
Bank: Absa Bank, Louis Trichardt
Account number: 9122767975
Branch Code: 334149


If you wish to collect specimens before / during / after the colloquium please fill in this part of the attached registration form so that collection permits can be arranged beforehand, as this could be a lengthy process.

First circular


The African Arachnological Society (AFRAS) invites you to attend the 9th African Arachnological Colloquium to be held at Lajuma in the Zoutpansberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

It is jointly organized by the University of Venda and the ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute.

DATE: 3-8 February 2008
VENUE: Lajuma in the Zoutpansberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa
ACCOMMODATION: at Lajuma (including 3 meals) R250.00/day; camping (including 3 meals) R200/day.

Interested people can contact: Dr Stefan Foord or Dr Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman (DippenaarA@arc.agric.za)


Also available: A First Synthesis of the Environmental, Biology and Cultural Assets of the Southpansberg. Berger K., Crafford J.E., Gaigher I., Gaigher M.J., Hahn N., and Macdonald I., (eds). Louis Trichardt, Leach Printers and Soutpansberg, Limpopo Biosphere Initiative.

The Organizing Committee

N. Hahn
Congress logo created by A.E. Versari