Sunday, May 20, 2007

Whale Watching season

The Boat Based Whale Watching season is starting within the next week !
The 1st Humpback Whales have been spotted off the coast .

This is the time of the year again when the whales migrate along this
coastline to breed and calf .

Please again like every other year just make sure your clientele goes with a
LEGAL BOAT - BASED - WHALE - WATCHING permit holder , in the event of ANY
accident no client will have any claim whatsoever if they were on a illegal
vessel .Even an unknowing client is entitled to be charged if they are on an
illegal vessel .

There is ONLY 9 LEGAL Boat Based Whale Watching Permit holders in South
Africa , of which ADVANTAGE CHARTER in St Lucia is currently the ONLY LEGAL
permit holder in KZN allowed to approach the Whales as close as 50m's .

You can go onto the web page www.cometcorp.org to see who the 9 LEGAL
operators are in South Africa , and to read the Marine Living Resources Act
on Boat Based Whale Watching .

Legislation will soon be gazetted as well to restrain anybody from
advertising Dolphin or Whale Watching if they don't mention which permit
holder they are advertising for .Dolphins are in fact toothed whales , and
the Whale Watching Permit will soon become a Cetacea permit , including
Dolphins , Whales and Seals .

All law enforcement authorities will be enforcing the law on any illegal
operator throughout the season , especially law enforcement officers from
Marine and Coastal Management . The same as the entire tourism industry
being concessioned and permitted on public transport , game vehicles ,shark
cage diving operators , diving concession operators , adventure activities
etc , - tour operators , lodge owners , booking agents should know to
always book their cleintele on LEGAL permit holders throughout the industry
.

Please feel free to ask for an operators permit at any time , and also proof
of their public liability insurances to cover yourself and your clientele .

Warm Zululand( iSimangaliso ) Regards
Riëtte Bennett
St Lucia Tours & Charters t/a Advantage Cruiser CC
web site: www.advantagetours.co.za
e-mail : advantage@zululink.co.za
+27 (0)35 - 5901259
+27 (0)35 - 5901053 (fax)
cell : 083 487 2762

THE 2007 iNCEMA HARVEST AT ST LUCIA AND UMLALAZ

EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE MEDIA RELEASE
MEDIA RELEASE No: 2007 - 06


THE 2007 iNCEMA HARVEST AT ST LUCIA AND UMLALAZ
For immediate releaseEndsEzemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority (WA) announce that the annual harvest of iNcema rushes (Junkus kraussii) will take place at St Lucia Estuary from 2 - 16 May 2007 with a collection ticket price of R5।00 per bundle - the same as last year
The severe drought has badly affected the iNcema stock at Umalazi Nature Reserve and no harvesting will take place there - there is a good stock of reeds (Phragmites australis) however, and these will be available for harvests
EKZNW and WA expect a huge demand for iNcema rushes during the short harvesting season in May at St Lucia, with stocks looking promising in spite of the drought of the past five years and recent heavy rains

Due to heavy utilisation and development in many areas where iNcema historically occurred, the rushes are now virtually commercially extinct outside KZN's protected areas
Although it is generally against Ezemvelo KZN policy to allow commercial exploitation in protected areas, controlled harvesting is allowed inside the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park and Umlalazi Nature Reserve as iNcema is so important to Zulu culture
The harvest is allowed in demarcated areas, leaving adequate unused areas, and the timing is such that the resource is at its best and the harvesting will have least impact on the plants and their environment।The annual harvest of this resource has been allowed around St. Lucia and Umlalazi for several decades
The rushes are used to make a wide variety of traditional Zulu artefacts but particularly the sleeping mats important in marriage and funeral ceremonies. Most products are still used for cultural occasions but an increasing proportion are now made for the tourist trade
Many people trek to St. Lucia from all over KZN for a few days to collect the raw materials that they will use for the year's craftwork, underlining the critical economic importance of iNcema to many rural communities.This year EKZNW and the WA are handing over an increased amount of the iNcema harvest administration in the St. Lucia Eastern Shores area to the Land Claimants Committee in a ground-breaking joint management initiative
The EKZNW and WA staff determined the area of harvest, the amount and timing of collection but the Claimants Committee will do the rest
They will sell tickets, monitor the harvest and also help with control and transport of the resource.In a further move towards wise management the authorities are implementing rotational harvesting on the western shores at St. Lucia so that the area traditionally harvested is given a rest.Meetings have been held with representatives of the local users to work out the details of the harvesting and it is hoped that the season will be a good one for the users as well as the managers.

AJG/ Media Release No: 2007 - 06 26 April 207

Monday, May 14, 2007

Re: Simangaliso.Co.Za

For Africa secures the domain names www.simangaliso.co.za and
व्व्व.isimangaliso.co.za
For Trade enquiries please contact Petrus Viviers on 0835847473

Environment & Tourism
Press Release:

New Name for SA's first World Heritage Site

South Africa's first World Heritage Site, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park,
has a new name that better reflects its unique identity and sense of place.
After an extensive consultation process, the name has been approved by the
National Cabinet and was gazetted on Friday 11th May 2007 in terms of the
World Heritage Convention Act and will be effective from the 1st of November
2007.
Minister Van Schalkwyk said "We are delighted to have a new name that will
take the Park into the future. The new name is iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
This will be integrated with the launch later this year of our new branding
linked to specific marketing, advertising and public relations activities."
The Minister initiated public discussion at Indaba 2005 to find a new name.
This was followed by advertisements in the local, provincial and national
media requesting proposed names for the Wetland Park and advertised public
meetings which were held at Mtubatuba, Mbazwana and Durban. 10 000 briefing
documents were widely circulated amongst the tourism trade, local
communities, Park user groups and members of the public. There was also wide
coverage on radio and in newspapers. In addition, a series of
pre-consultation meetings were held with land claimants, traditional
councils and local municipalities. Input was also requested from historians
and linguists. Over 60 proposed names were received.
The proposed names were considered by the Board of the Greater St Lucia
Wetland Park Authority. In accordance with the World Heritage Convention Act
the matter was then referred to the Minister who, after consultation with
the KZN MEC for Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs, and MEC
for Agriculture and Environment, referred it to National Cabinet for final
decision.
The Minister said "We believed the 220 000 hectare Wetland Park had outgrown
the name of St Lucia, linked to the town and lake of the same name. The
consolidated boundaries of the park now include a third of the length of the
KwaZulu-Natal coastline, and destinations such as Kosi Bay, Lake Sibaya,
Sodwana Bay, uMkhuze Game Reserve, False Bay, Fannies Island, Charters Creek
Lake St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Mapelane. In addition, internationally, the
island of St Lucia in the Caribbean, with its own newly–listed World
Heritage Site, has a very strong market presence, which dilutes the brand
value of our St Lucia Wetland Park.
"In the broad consultations throughout the past two years it was clear that
there was overwhelming support to change the name. It was widely accepted
that the description of Wetland Park be retained and be linked with a
descriptive indigenous word. The word iSimangaliso has rich historical
context. Ujeqe was King Shaka's insila (aide who keeps all the King's
secrets and gets buried with the King when the King dies). He fled after
uShaka's death to avoid the customary burial with his master. He wandered
into Thongaland, present-day Maputaland, and came back, saying: I saw
wonders and miracles in the flat land and lakes of Thonga. From that follows
an isiZulu saying that if you have seen miracles, you have seen what uJeqe
saw: Ubone isimanga esabonwa uJeqe kwelama Thonga." Ujeqe might just have
been one of the first tourists to visit what is now the iSimangaliso Wetland
Park."
Media Enquiries:
Blessing Manale
Chief Director: Communications
083 677 1630
or
Riaan Aucamp
Ministry: DEAT
083 778 9923
or
Pontso Pakkies
Media Officer
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority
0837603667
wetlandmedia@ mweb.co.za

Friday, May 04, 2007

BOATING ON St Lucia Estuary

BOATING ON Inland Waters:

There are new rules for piloting power craft on inland waters including estuaries.>From the 1st of April 2007 all people piloting a vessel must be in possession of an Inland Waters Skippers Ticket. They must be a member of a registered boating or yacht club. The vessel must be registered with the club and the club`s safety officer will check all the safety equipment on the boat before registering it. This equipment includes the following which must all be clearly marked with the club number.- SABS life jacket for each person on board.- 1 handheld Smoke Maker.- If the boat has only one motor then there must also be a pair of oars.- 1 water tight capsize bottle.- An anchor with 3 metres of chain and 50 metres of rope.- The vessel must have 30% bouyancy.- The boat trailer must be clearly marked with the owner`s name, cellphone number and boat name.

Article by: Rhino Club

Thursday, May 03, 2007

April 2007 Feed Back

April 2007 Feed Back

Since the mouth opened and Harlekyn breached the gap, many boats have followed in his wake. This last weekend of April up to 27 boats launched a day, putting St. Lucia ski boat club in the top for popular launch venues. St. Lucia Ski Boat Club as upgraded and is once again a radio controlled launch site. The Safety officer on duty is Ian and skippers can contact him on 073 393 5710 for more information regarding safety and regulations.

Before launching, it is advised, that skippers familiarize themselves with prevailing conditions. Friendly local skippers are a good source of information and remember conditions changes daily according to tides.

Launching fees are R35.00 and this includes the washing facilities for boats and the use of fish cleaning facilities for the launch day. Club facilities are also open to people using the launching facilities of the club. The club is also the official Jet Ski launch site.

The Club consists of bar facilities, restaurant, kiddies play era and a swimming pool. The games room and pool tables are for club members only. Renier and his well-trained staff serve an excellent spread and Jabu and his team will quench your thirst.

Weekend Catches:
Ski Boats:
King and Queen Mackerel and full quota bottoms where caught all weekend long।

Estuary Boats:
Some Grunters, breams and small perch

Surf:
Shad and Grunter. Quantities – Bag limits where reached.

Please focus on this spot for updates on the annual St. Lucia Snoek Derby.
Venue: St. Lucia Ski Boat क्लब
Date: 23/24 June 2007

Happy angling to all.