Buccaneers, along with the rest of the Wild Coast backpackers, make for what must be the best backpacking experience in SA.
Wild Ocean is in an uplifting, giant screen cinema experience capturing one of nature's greatest migration spectacles. Plunge into an underwater feeding frenzy, amidst the dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets, seals and billions of fish. Filmed off the Wild Coast of South Africa, Wild Ocean is a timely documentary that celebrates the animals that now depend on us to survive and the efforts by the local people to protect this invaluable ecological resource. Hope is alive on the Wild Coast, where Africa meets the sea.
Wild Ocean has been Selected as 2009 Earthwatch Film of the Year
Wild Ocean 3D highlights one of nature’s greatest migration spectacles, plunging viewers into an underwater feeding frenzy, an epic struggle for survival where whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, gannets and billions of fish collide with the most voracious sea predator, mankind.
Filmed off the Wild Coast of South Africa and set to the rhythm of the local people, Wild Ocean 3D reveals the economic and cultural impact of the ocean while celebrating the communal efforts to protect our invaluable marine resources.
The film chronicles a massive annual feeding frenzy; billions of sardines travel up the Wild Coast and to the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. For the people living along the African shore, this migration has provided a food source for countless generations while farther out at sea ocean predators come from great distances to feast.
Bottlenose dolphins create superpods, thousands strong, to track down the huge shoals using sonar. Sharks sense blood in the water and join the hunt. Seals and common dolphins chase the fish from cooler currents up the coast into the warmer tropical waters. Diving birds, Cape Gannets, join the battle with aerial attacks from the sky.
All of these animals are drawn to the scene, enmeshed in one of the most incredible mass feeding melees in the natural world.
Unfortunately, such a richness of life is now rare in our seas. For centuries the ocean was considered a vast limitless resource. As fishing practices grew more industrialized and efficient throughout the 20th century, entire fish stocks around North America, Europe, and Asia began to collapse.
The fish, hauled onto boats by the ton, were an integral part of a complex marine ecosystem, a link in a great food chain on which many predators depend.
Eventually, entire fish species were decimated and the ocean predator populations went into a steep decline. Now a new threat, global climate change, threatens to further damage the fragile ocean ecology.
While Wild Ocean 3D explores the causes and effects of man’s impact, it is an inspirational film looking toward a bright future, taking audiences to a rare unspoiled marine wilderness to glimpse what the oceans of the world once looked like. The film champions the creation of marine reserves necessary to bring our oceans back to life. South Africa leads the way. It is a film about the people that come together to protect our world. Hope is alive on the Wild Coast, where Africa meets the sea.
WHAT has to be one of the most beautiful settings of any ultra-marathon this country has to offer, can be seen right here on the Wild Coast.
With the rise in popularity of extreme endurance sports, the Wild Coast Ultra over 270km which started yesterday is set to become one of the most popular extreme marathons on the running calendar. East London is growing in popularity with all forms of sports and is home to many extreme athletes.
Among them are Kate and Bill Godfrey (of Atlantic Rowing and the Trans 555km Sahara Run), Donovan Sims (multi-day adventure racer), John Woods (PE to East London surf-ski hero) and the list goes on.
The Wild Coast Ultra-marathon starts at beautiful Cremorne Estate on the eastern bank of the Mzimvubu River, winds its way through to Port St Johns, Ben Dekker’s Second Beach and Silaka Nature Reserve.
January 29, 2009 press statement by SWC. For immediate release.
Flood of Objections to Wild Coast Toll Road
An unprecedented flood of thousands of objections has poured in to the consultants tasked with writing the final Report on the Wild Coast Toll Road EIA, despite holiday season timing for public comment.
The submissions have come from individuals, communities, businesses,
environmental organisations and civil society groups, while in Durban, where road users are protesting extra toll booths, local government have joined the chorus.
Many of the comments have described the EIAR as ‘fatally flawed” in many ways, but particularly in its lack of compliance with required legal standards and adherence to public participation norms.
The deadline for public comments on the new N2 Wild Coast Toll road EIA is 22 January.
Please send your comments to:
NMA Effective Social Strategists (Pty) Ltd.
Fax: 086 601 0381
A number of requests were received from people who wished to send in comments against the N2 toll road proposal and in support of SWC (Sustaining the Wild Coast - www.swc.org.za) principles. Val Payn compiled the following (below) for general use. Please feel free to adapt or adjust it however you see fit. You can delete anything you don't personally agree with, or feel free to add any of your own comments that you feel it does not cover, or are more suitable for your own circumstances. You're also welcome to 'personalize' the wording in whatever way you like. However, if you would like to send it exactly as it is, then it is recommended that you include a 'provisio' along the lines of:-
Some of you might be aware of reports about possible illegal fishing vessel activity along the Wild Coast over the last few years. As the authorities seem to happily take the stance that 'if we don't see it then it ain't happening' Val Payn from SWC (www.swc.org.za) thought it might be useful if members of the public could help to become 'eyes and ears' to try and gauge the extent of the problem.
If you are down at the Wild Coast and happen to see/hear what might be 'suspicious fishing vessel activity' within the Pondoland Protected Marine Zone then please make a note of the time and place, and any other details that you can, and if possible try and get some photos or any other 'eye witness' evidence.
You can pass this onto email@example.com or
PO Box 44, Harding, 4680.
Please include your contact details.
Please pass this onto anyone else who might visit the Wild Coast.
Open letter to the Press (Author unknown)
The N2 ‘Wild Coast’ Toll Rd EIA appears to have resurrected a widespread and extremely short-sighted myth which is common in economic circles. This myth is that ecological losses are justified if they result in economic gains.
The N2 Toll Road EIA points out that the proposed highway will result in substantial damage to the environment, particularly the extension through the ‘Greenfields’ section which traverses the Pondoland Centre of Plant Endemism. It defends these negative environmental impacts by claiming that economic benefits will outweigh ecological losses. This myth has been widely perpetuated by a number of local media reports concerning the N2 project.
Dear friends of the Wild Coast.
Don Guy has generously made a documentary film that draws on all the 50/50 reports on the Wild Coast dune mining saga over the past five years. It will be entered in the 2009 Durban WildTalk film festival in April, and will be made available as a DVD to SWC (www.swc.org.za) for educational purposes.
The DVD cannot be sold as the SABC retains copyright, but SWC will need to cover costs of copying and distribution. It would be helpful to get some idea of the demand for the film so please let them know if you would be interested in having a copy of the DVD, and how they might go about covering the costs.
Please send an email to John G I Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating your interest and how many copies you think you could distribute.
The book is available directly from the author (email@example.com) for R150.00 plus R20 packaging and postage.
It's also available at BookWorld, Cascades, Pietermaritzburg, The Outspan Inn, Port St Johns, and Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town.
The following review is from The Witness
Clive Dennison has had a love affair with his “Garden of Eden” — or the Wild Coast — for as long as he can remember. It was where he decided biochemistry was his passion in life; where he was able to bond with his father through fishing; where he could be naughty and climb up a forbidden lighthouse; and where he spent time with the people he loved the most. The Wild Coast was for Dennison, like for many South Africans living in the fast lane, an escape; a place to feel free and adventurous.
Dennison has captured the “brief” history of this tumultuous area in his book, A Brief History of the Wild Coast, which gives a better understanding of who has occupied the shores of the Wild Coast and what impact this has had on the area as a whole. The book is easy to read and has a fresh style about it. It is as if Dennison is sitting next to you on a Wild Coast beach, embarking upon another tale about Captain Turner, or Dr Drewe or perhaps even his favourite character, millionaire medicine man Khotso Sethuntsa.
From the "who do they think they're fooling" department:
Daily Dispatch 2008/11/18
By ANDREW STONE
THE economic spin-offs of a proposed N2 toll road through the ecologically sensitive Wild Coast outweighed potential damage to the environment and loss of wildlife diversity.
This is according to a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) r eleased last week for public comment.
The report, with a 69-page executive summary, was undertaken for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
The release is the latest step in the proposed construction of the motorway from Buffalo City through Transkei to Isipingo south of Durban, cutting out 85km of the existing N2 route. It will be interspersed with seven main toll plazas.
But the proposed motorway has environmentalists in a froth, who said together with planned mining of sensitive coastal dunes in the same area it could have a “disastrous” impact.
Their horses are sound and well schooled; so whether you are an experienced rider or absolute beginner, you will enjoy the spectacular beaches, fabulous mountain views and peaceful forests.
Come and enjoy some time on the Wild Coast and help our kids with computer literacy, eco-schools (environment) projects, sport and other extra-curricular activities.
The program addresses the needs of two increasingly important developmental areas of the Eastern Cape in South Africa: Education and the Environment.
The focal area of VA32° south is the Transkei Wild Coast.
Under the apartheid government from the1950’s – 1994, the Transkei and other Bantustan "homelands" remained deliberately underdeveloped regions from which the dominant white economic sector could draw on a consistent labor pool who were largely denied access to equal opportunities within society, and were therefore unable to challenge the monopoly at an academic and economic level.
The region today remains for the most part an undeveloped, rural enclave within South Africa. Access to effective education, resources and equal opportunities are leading challenges facing the communities of the Wild Coast.
YOU CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Posted on November 10th, 2008 (http://www.swc.org.za/wild-coast-toll-road-eia-public-participation-flaw...)
Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) calls upon the government of South Africa to reject out of hand the latest attempt to gain support for the ill-conceived Wild Coast Toll Road.
Over three and a half years ago the previous EIA was turned down by the Minister of Environment Affairs because of “inappropriate links” between environmental consultants Bohlweki and the consortium of construction companies proposing the unsolicited bid for a high speed link between Durban and East London.
The new scoping report and EIA for the N2 ‘ Wild Coast’ Toll road has been completed and is available for download from the websites www.nra.co.za or www.ccaenvironmental.co.za or by contacting Theo Hansford. Tel 011 447 6037 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Draft EIR will be made available for an eight-week comment period from Monday 10 November 2008 to Friday 9 January 2009 in order to provide I&APs an opportunity to comment on any aspect of the EIA to date.
Public open days to present the contents of the report will be held by the consultants, in KZN and Wild Coast region, at the following venues :- (IAPs are invited between any of the following times)...
Hike along the pristine stretch of coastline from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, and stay along the way in traditional Xhosa huts.
Contact: Jimmy Selani, the Tour Guide from Mtumbane (PSJ) on 082 507 2256 (+27 international dialing code), or check their website for more info: www.wildcoasthikes.com.
Jimmy was voted South African Tourism's 'Best Emerging Guide of the Year 2004'. Charismatic and fluent in English, he's a fount of information on the area and its people - the perfect chaperone.
UPDATE: There is now an official website: www.wildcoasthikes.com
A walk on the wild side
By Fiona McIntosh (http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/article.php?page_id=2031)
Trekking between local settlements along the wave-bashed Wild Coast, Fiona McIntosh finds deserted beaches, shipwrecks and a very warm welcome.
Anyone for a beer?" inquired Jimmy, holding up a plastic carton. Even in the dim light of the mud hut the milky brew looked vile.
We were treated to a glimpse of the royal brothers as they overnighted at the Hole in the Wall hotel yesterday. They are currently on a charity motorcycle ride from Port Edward to Port Elizabeth (good colonial names those, hehe), along with about 120 other riders.
I was warned to ask permission before taking any photos; so I approached their table hesitantly but was politely and diplomatically declined. Ah well. Not that I'm much of a royalist anyway, but I certainly wouldn't want to impose.
Later we went to Coffee Bay and bumped into a good friend at the Ocean View Hotel, who was busy showing a table of British paparazzi some photos of William as he was refueling at the petrol station. She also got the back of Harry, as he had seen her camera, and he gave her a cheeky grin as he quickly turned his back and slipped his helmet on. Several people have offered her real money for the photos.
The weather today is fine and clear, but there's a roaring North Westerly blowing. Their destination is unknown, but is believed to be Mazeppa Bay according to the sagoodnews website: http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/general/princes_william_and_harry_to_ride_th...
Since the site also maintained that they would be overnighting at Coffee Bay and not Hole in the Wall, it's anyone's guess where they will actually end up.
The almost entirely off-road motorcycle ride will raise money for UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Sentebale, founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Lesotho's Prince Seeiso, for projects in South Africa and Lesotho.
By Judi Davis
South Coast Herald
17 October 2008
Conservationists believe an eco-tourism partnership between the South Coast and the Wild Coast could sound the death knell for dune mining.
Sustaining the Wild Coast anti-dune mining campaigners have described the postponement of the Xolobeni mining license as a "stay of execution".
"However, to ensure that the Xolobeni death sentence is permanently abolished we have to ensure sustainable development for the Wild Coast." said a spokesperson for the organisation, John Clarke.
He was referring to the about-turn the minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, has made regarding the Xolobeni mining project.
Earlier this year the minister gave Transworld Energy and Minerals, the SA subsidiary of Australian company, Mineral Resource Commodities (ASX:MRC), the go-ahead to mine a section of the dunes in the Xolobeni area of the Wild Coast.
Step into the magic world of rural Africa and experience the traditions of the amaMpondo people in the sub-tropical hills of the Transkei. Witness African shamanism as it is still lived today. Trance-dance into the night to the beat of Ancestral drums.