Active Escapes - Hiking & Biking Adventures on the Wild Coast

Active Escapes offer unique mountain bike and guided hiking trail tours along the Wild Coast.popup For more information about cycling or hiking the Wild Coast, please see www.wildcoast.com/active-escapes or check their website. Contact: Sarah Drew (Active Escapes) Tel: 084 2407277 or 033 2344367 Email: sarah@active-escapes.co.za Website: www.active-escapes.co.za

MRP Highlights

  • Posted on: 19 November 2009
  • By: MRP

For the past 3 years DEAT SRPP (Social Responsibility, Policy & Projects) has funded the Mussel Rehabilitation Project (MRP) which has been implemented by Walter Sisulu University along the Wild Coast between Umtata Mouth and Hole in the Wall. Download the video: Mussel Harvest The initiative has, without a doubt, been one of the most successful and effective social responsibility projects in the Eastern Cape. It has not only proven that rehabilitation and controlled harvesting of mussel beds is sustainable, but has literally produced tons of protein rich mussels for the benefit of the local community, while also contributing employment, skills training, environmental awareness, resource monitoring, catch-data collation, and many other vital linkages and benefits. Operating since 2000 under the care and guidance of Zoology lecturer, Dr. Calvo-Ugarteburu (affectionately known by all as “Gugu”), the Mussel Rehabilitation & Food Production Project has been funded variously by Marine & Coastal Management (MCM), WWF, and DEAT SRPP.

Khululeka Retreat

Self catering lodge in Port St Johns area, offering rooms or whole lodge rental. Rates, facilities, property images, and location map included in website. Web: www.khululeka.co.za Email: stay@khululeka.co.za Mobile: +27 (0)72 1943644 Fax: +27 (0)86 6724096 Paradise. Right Here, Right Now. If you want to get off the beaten track to a place that is unique for its beauty and unspoilt surroundings, you will love Khululeka Retreat. Set in an Indigenous State Forest high on the hills with an awesome 180-degree view of the sea and estuary, Khululeka Retreat is just that. Peaceful, private and remote.

The Fisherman

by Trevor Gothan 14 October 2009 The Fisherman As a teenager we often spent the holidays on the Wild Coast, where my father loved fishing for steenbras off his favourite rocks. On one blustery day, I chose not to fish alongside him in the cold salt spray and rather joined a Xhosa fisherman at a more sheltered spot, some distance away. Both hoping for a few bream for lunch, we stared at our lines in fruitless expectation for the first hour. Thereafter, we engaged in a more interesting, but somewhat difficult conversation, for his mastery of English was about as limited as my abilities in isiXhosa. After some formalities about weather, bait and fish, our conversation turned to our lives. Zamuxolo pointed out his kraal on a green hill across the bay, and then asked where I was from and what I did. I enthusiastically explained that I was studying to be an engineer at Wits and finding it quite tough. "Why are you doing that?" he responded. "To get a good qualification and hopefully a well paying job," I replied. "What for?" he queried. This required some thought.

Experience the spectacular Wild Coast by air

Port Elizabeth – 2 October 2009 Sheltam Aviation (www.sheltamaviation.com), one of the country's leading air charter providers with offices in Port Elizabeth and Durban, has launched a dynamic new website, with a special focus on promoting tourism in the remote yet spectacular Wild Coast. The Wild Coast is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations, offering unspoilt natural beauty set in a tropical adventure paradise – and is best experienced from the air in a scenic low-level flight with Sheltam Aviation, from our Port Elizabeth or Durban branches, or from anywhere in South Africa.

Xhosa Dictionaries and Resources

 

NEW: Xhosa Live Dictionary  Best online Xhosa - English dictionary. Translates individual words from/to English or Xhosa.

Xhosa Translator For translating whole sentences. Doesn't work well with individual words.

English/Xhosa/English Dictionary Large database and easy to use search engine. No grammatical explanations, and some entries are inaccurate. Better suited for Xhosa speakers learning English, as many entries contain one English word with long Xhosa descriptions.

Webster's Online Dictionary A list of Xhosa words (and some random phrases) that have been translated from English. Not very extensive. And these resources:

Our Shoreline on SABC2

  • Posted on: 8 September 2009
  • By: JB
A spectacular glimpse of the Wild Coast. Available from http://www.impactvideo.co.za/prod_det.asp?ID=1520 Shoreline is a South African documentary series commissioned by SABC 2. It is a multidisciplinary showcase of all the unique and diverse features along our coastline – geology, paleontology, history, settlement patterns, marine biology, ecology etc. One of the main features of this series is that it is presented by a team of specialist presenters – archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw, historian Nomalanga Mkhize and marine biologist Eleanor Yeld. Anchor presenter Peter Butler and his dog Nujack guide our experts on the journey around the coast. Shoreline consists of 13 episodes and in each episode we visit a stretch of coastline to get a sense of its character and stories to help build a picture of our unique coastline. We reveal how natural wonders and historic events have shaped the lives of coastal communities.’

Scientists discover 18 new spider, snail and worm species in the Mkambathi Nature Reserve

Scientists in South Africa discover 18 new spider, snail and worm species From www.guardian.co.uk By David Smith in Johannesburg Tuesday 18 August 2009 Scientists surveying a nature reserve in South Africa have discovered 18 previously unrecorded species of invertebrates, including spiders, snails, millipedes, earthworms and centipedes. The trove of creatures was uncovered in eight days by researchers and volunteers working for the environmental charity Earthwatch at the Mkhambathi nature reserve on the spectacular Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. However, scientists warned that planned developments in the area could threaten the ecosystem and deny them the chance to identify further species. Jan Venter, an ecologist working for Eastern Cape Parks, which manages the reserve, said that the 29 square mile area had previously attracted only ad hoc surveys and butterfly collectors. "To get so many species in one survey shows the importance of the reserve. It's a very special area, conservation-wise. If we do another survey, we'll find just as many." The team suspects that another 18 species might be discovered.

Row brews as minister mulls go-ahead

From www.iol.co.za August 16 2009 at 06:51PM The dispute over community consent for Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project is hotting up as Minerals and Energy Minister Susan Shabangu considers granting the final go-ahead. The plans are to excavate 346 million tons of titanium and other heavy minerals along a 22m stretch of the Wild Coast below Port Edward. Mining it will generate R560-million yearly, with R42m to be spent on local salaries each year and R2,9-billion going to the government. But conservationists are protesting because the mineral area lies in a vast, unspoilt wilderness region that offers considerable ecotourism potential. This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Argus on August 16, 2009 Comment: Important to note that not just environmentalists, but hundreds of members of the community attended the protest march last year, including many elders, the headman, and other prominent community leaders. As if more proof was needed, even King Mpondomise and the Royal House are against the proposed strip mining.

100 years since SS Waratah disappeared off the Wild Coast

The Waratah 1908 - 29 July 1909 The SS Waratah, sometimes referred to as "Australia's Titanic", was a 500 foot steamer. In July 1909, the ship, en route from Durban to Cape Town, disappeared with 211 passengers and crew aboard. The disappearance of the ship remains one of the most baffling nautical mysteries of all time. To this day no trace of the ship has ever been found. According to Dispatch archives, the 10 000 ton ship passed along the Transkei coast on July 28, 1909 after stopping off in Durban the previous day. It was heading to London and would have stopped over in Cape Town before setting sail on the high seas. A Dispatch report from July 1971 said: “Two people had disembarked in Durban – one to find a job and the other after he dreamt that the ship would sink – and after being spotted by two other ships along the Transkei coast, the Waratah disappeared in what was to become ‘one of the most baffling nautical mysteries of all time’.”

History and folklore of Hole in the Wall

Photo (c) Neels BotmaHole-in-the-Wall is one of the most impressive landmarks along the entire South African coastine. Second only to Table Mountain, most likely, though only a fraction of the size. Standing at the mouth of the Mpako River, the cliff consists of dark-blue shales, mudstones and sandstones of the Ecca Group, dating back some 260 million years. These rocks were subsequently intruded by a dolerite sheet, and the ‘hole’ was created over millions of years by the buffeting waves, which eroded away the softer rocks underneath the dolerite to form an arch. The same process also eventually separated the cliff from the mainland.

UNLESS

  • Posted on: 16 July 2009
  • By: JB

The Lorax was written and illustrated by Theodore (Dr. Seuss) Giesel in 1971 as a colorful childrens book, with a biting satirical message - for adults and children alike - about man's tendency to invade and destroy his natural environment. It is a pointed commentary on the expansion of the logging industry in the early 70s that is even more relevant today than it was 38 years ago when he created it.

Wild Coast Hiking (Guided hikes from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay)

The Best way to experience the beauty of the Wild Coast is to take the 5 day hiking trail run by Jimmy and Mbuyi. Please visit their site for more information, rates and details  at www.wildcoasthikes.com.

The Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail goes through some of the most beautiful hiking landscape in South Africa. The trail hugs a stretch of coastline along the former Transkei homeland, and is unspoilt and barely touched by development. You will walk along rolling grassy hills dotted with colourful huts, idyllic beaches, estuaries flanked by thick coastal forest and cliffs with stunning sea views. Hikers sleep in hikers’ huts and village accommodation. You will also learn a little bit of Xhosa Language and experience the Xhosa food. If you’re hiking at the right time of the year, you will most likely see dolphins and whales.

Reports of Wild Coast toll road approval “abuse public trust”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

By Hilary Venables

Radio reports that the controversial Wild Coast toll road has been approved are not only premature, but part of a deliberate campaign of disinformation by certain members of government, according to opponents of the scheme.

The SABC carried the claim in a succession of both English and Xhosa bulletins last Sunday, basing it on comments made by the Minister of Co-Operative Governance, Sicelo Shiceka. It’s the second time in a month that the national broadcaster has reported Shiceka as saying the toll road has been given the official go-ahead.

In fact, no decision has yet been made. A spokesperson for the Department of Water and the Environment, which has yet to consider the application, confirmed that they were still waiting for the report on the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Social worker John Clarke, a spokesperson for Sustain the Wild Coast and the Amadiba Crisis Committee, said certain politicians were deliberately spreading misinformation.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions?

2009/06/08

GOVERNMENT has approved plans for the construction of a toll route through the Wild Coast in the face of fierce opposition from environmentalists and the royal house of AmaMpondo.

The project, initially intended to take off some 10 years ago, has been stalled by objections from Pondoland communities whose homes the road will cut through, and from environmentalists who fear the ecological impact.

Environmentalists are also concerned a portion of the road between Lusikisiki and Port Edward will bisect the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE) sections of the proposed Wild Coast/Pondoland National Park.

The approval of the project, by Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka, was justified by the economic spin-offs in an area of severe poverty and disease.

Red Dunes of Xolobeni - the curse of the black dirt

  • Posted on: 3 June 2009
  • By: JB

Simon Max Bannister has compiled a brilliant photo essay of his hike around Mzamba and Xolobeni.

Do yourself a favor and follow this link: simontothemax.blogspot.com and see for yourself the unspoilt beauty of the threatened area.

Better yet, contact Benny Mbotho on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip, or longer hike.

Also do check the rest of Simon's Blog which features some of his fascinating "recycled" artwork.

How to create a web page on www.wildcoast.co.za

Instructions:

Step 1: Create your page by clicking on "Web Page" below the "Create Content" menu.

Step 2: Add a relevant subject/title for your page (E.g. your business name).

Step 3: Select your town or area from the drop down menu (E.g. Port St Johns). This step ensures that your page will appear on top of the relevant page. It's last come first served, so newest additions will always appear at the top of the page.

Step 4: Select the relevant categories from the Tourism entry box (E.g. Accommodation, Cottages, Self catered). You can select multiple categories by holding down the [Ctrl] key on your keyboard.

Step 5: Optionally enter additional (comma separated keyword tags. (E.g. surf, horse riding, adventure).

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