Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fishing Venues for October

Where and When


We would always suggest fishing at St. Lucia yet we do not always have the coolest competitions running. So we will suggest some other destinations for you to enjoy your October.


Dates and Places

6 October – Busgveldt Kurper Competition. Elisras at Mokolodam.
Contact Hendrik Human 082 8988450


12 – 13 October - Vaaldam All night Classic. At Steyns Vaaldam. Contact Fred 082 447 3910. Accommodation


13&14 October - Vaaldam. Sure Focus Redan Derby. Jim Fouche. Ronnie Groenewaldt. 083 785 6301.  Accommodation


20 October - Bronkospruit Carp Competition.  Tickets on Site. Vlooikopdam. Between Bronhorstspruit and Groblersdal.


26/27/28 October - Loskopdam Barbel Festival. Various Artists to entertain. Chris Botha 082 564 4912.

For Africa
P.J. Viviers

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SAW something special

Dear ALL


We ( Natasha and I ) and 18 passengers , were fortunate on Sunday morning at 08h00 to see something exceptionally special !


Crocodiles mating ! And able to photograph it !


I've been on the water for almost 10 years , and in 10 years this is now only the 2nd time that I've actually SEEN the crocs mating .


During the mating season , males attract females by bellowing , slapping their snouts in the water, blowing water out of their noses , and making a variety of noises .The larger males of a population tend to be more successful . Once a female has been attracted , the pair wabble and rub underside of their jaws together . Females lay eggs about 2 months after mating .


For the next 6 months we will be on our summer departure times for the Hippo/Croc Tours which is 10h00 , 12h00 , 14h00 and 16h00 and then adding an additional 08h00 tour if there is bigger demand !


It's actually beautiful on the water so early in the morning !


Accommodation in St Lucia was very fully booked over the long weekend , but if possible , try and keep in touch with us if you do have empty rooms , as if someone then walks into the office we know where to refer them to .


WHALE WATCHING was awesome this weekend ! Many trips , the weather was kind for most of the weekend and lots of happy customers !


There is only about 35days before The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park will be known as iSimangaliso Wetland Park  - this new name will come into effect as from 1 November 2007 .


Warm Regards

Riëtte Bennett

St.Lucia Tours & Charters t/a Advantage Cruiser CC


e-mail     :

+27 (0)35 – 5901259 (Tel)

+27 (0)35 – 5901053 (Fax)

Cell: 083 487 2762


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Monday, September 24, 2007

21 - 22 September 2007 Weekend Fishing Update

What a fabulous weekend. Weather lasted until Monday before it became rainy and over cast.
Deep Sea fishing was good and Mavrick, with Johan Combrink 0824182814, brought home some nice bottoms.
Bookings with Mavrick must be done trough Jo-A-Lise on 035 - 5901224.
A wide variety of species can be caught at the St. Lucia Estuary Mouth entrance.
Mouth Conditions:
Regular maintenance dredging must commence soonest to rid system of sediment built up that was carried into the system since May 2007.
It seems that major damage was done to the equipment with the previous High Seas over the weekend of 9 May 2007.
Since Demonia back in 1984, a task team was commisioned to assest the best way to manage the Estuary Mouth and system.
It was decided, after much deliberation, that a sediment trap will be dredged at the entrance of the mouth to control excesive sediment built up in
the mouth area of the Estuary. This seemed to fail the health of the system since a large sand bar built up around Honeymoonbend could be seen.
This could be also contributed to the fact that the prolonged drought has effected the hydrology of the system to such an extend that it could not flash the system natuaraly any longer. What ever the senario, human interferance has changed the fresh water supply to the system and the sediment built up due to soil erossion in the catchment areas of the five rivers feeding the system.
Projects fighting soil erosion could be great job creation opportunities for the country and will have a positive effect on the long term management of our water resources of South Africa. With soil erosion the run off of water is rapidly and the absence of vegetation is present to support the top soil. With soil management programmers a better water retension will have positive effect on ground water tables.
Story By:
For Africa
P.J. Viviers


Dedicated Research Vessel - Ellen Khuzwayo Launched

Dedicated Research Vessel - Ellen Khuzwayo Launched

20 September 2007

Media Statement

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2007: The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, today had the pleasure of launching South Africa's new dedicated research vessel, the Ellen Khuzwayo. This new vessel will be the flagship of the research vessels that the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism operate. The two other research vessels are the Africana and Algoa.

The Minister announced that "the Ellen, as she is already affectionately known, is replacing the Sardinops after 50 years of loyal duty. The Ellen is named after the late Dr Ellen Khuzwayo, teacher, social worker, author and prominent figure in the struggle against apartheid.  We are pleased to honour Dr Ellen Khuzwayo in our ongoing commitment to commemorate the significant role of women in our country's history through the naming of our ships.

This replacement forms part of the department's strategy to upgrade the research fleet to provide us with the best possible scientific advice relating to our ocean environment and our marine resources. 

The Ellen is a purpose-built research ship designed to operate anywhere within the South African EEZ, up to 200 nautical miles offshore. The ship has a steaming range of 2,500 nautical miles and can remain at sea for 18-20 days.  She carries a crew of 13 and has accommodation for eight scientists. The systems on board allow the ship to operate anywhere in the SADC region."

The Ellen Khuzwayo will be deployed primarily on inshore research, which includes scientific research on marine living resources such as rock lobster, linefish, large pelagic fishes, seabirds, marine mammals, and sharks.  She will also be engaged in diving operations and monitoring and research of oceanographic conditions in our surrounding marine environment.  To support these operations, she is equipped with two fully-fitted laboratories one for fish sampling and another for oceanographic studies. She is further equipped with advanced acoustic equipment for fish surveys, state-of-the-art oceanographic equipment, and winches for deploying and retrieving the equipment and instruments.  These features, together with her excellent maneuverability and advanced stability, make her truly a world-class ocean research platform.

The Minister added that "with our combined fleet of four compliance and three fisheries research ships, South Africa has the most significant marine presence within the region, and on the African continent.  The Ellen Khuzwayo represents our continued commitment to making a strong contribution to marine research and compliance in the region."


The Ellen was specifically designed to operate in our regional waters, including the warmer tropics. She can freely range the 200 nautical mile zone and can have extended stays at sea for over two weeks.

The Minister further said "with the global community increasingly realizing the challenges of climate change, we will now be more prepared to monitor these changes in the oceans closer to our own shores, and to predict and reduce the impacts on our society."

The building of the three protection vessels and now the Ellen in Cape Town has made a significant contribution to the development of the local ship-building industry.  And even before she has sailed, the Ellen has broken records, in particular that of being one of  the heaviest loads ever transported by road / rail in South Africa as she made her way from Farocean to the Syncro-lift on 23 May 2007.


For Africa
P.J. Viviers


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fw: longweekend cancellation at SUNSET LODGE

Dear ALL


SUNSET LODGE has one empty unit for this long weekend !


Warm Regards

Riëtte Bennett

St.Lucia Tours & Charters t/a Advantage Cruiser CC


e-mail     :

+27 (0)35 – 5901259 (Tel)

+27 (0)35 – 5901053 (Fax)

Cell: 083 487 2762


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Black Rhino horns stolen


Black Rhino horns stolen

September 17, 2007;

MEDIA RELEASE No: 2007 - 10  

For immediate release
At about 06.00 on 4 September 2007 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff patrolling in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in the Ndondweni area of the Masinda section to the south of the R618 "Corridor Road" between Mtubatuba and Hlabisa, discovered the remains of an adult black rhino with both horns missing.
The rangers immediately alerted the Conservation Manager of Imfolozi who mobilised an investigation group which included the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Veterinarian.
In accordance with the established procedure for such incidents, the area was cordoned off and a thorough examination of the carcase and location conducted.
This included a post mortem examination to try to determine the cause of death.
The Veterinarian Dr Dave Cooper, estimated that the animal had died about two to three days previously and as the carcase had been extensively scavenged by hyenas and other animals was unfortunately not able to determine a cause of death.
There was no sign of bullet wounds and it is presumed that the animal might have died of natural causes and the horns removed some time after death.
A thorough forensic examination of certain tissue removed from the carcase is being conducted by the SAPS.
Dr Cooper noted that one of the horns had been removed by chopping with a cane knife and the other removed by a fine saw.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff are working closely with the the SAPS Organised Crime Unit to trace the missing horns and would like to remind the public that possession of any rhino parts without a relevant permit is an offense carrying with it severe penalties.
EKZNW further appeals to any member of the public who might have information regarding the missing rhino horns to contact the staff of Imfolozi on 035 550 8481.
 AJG/ Media Release No: 2007 - 10 


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Competition Dates

21 & 22 September 2007
Tiger Fish Bonanza
Jozini Dam
Sodwana Angling Club
083 625 8908 / 034 413 2256
22 - 26 September 2007
Gam 1000
Gamtoos Angling Club
041 360 2965
29 September 2007
Erf Plaas Karpdag
Grootdraai Dam
Erf Plaas
Boat and Shore
082 815 5108 / 082 720 6994
6 October 2007
Bosveld Kurper Competition
082 324 7265 / 084 515 7730
Please Advise the web master on fax 086 627 6887 on any angling competitions and entry forms you wish to have published on the Fishing Report Pages.
To advertise your Accommodation...
For Africa
P.J. Viviers

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fishing Report 15/09/2007

Current Conditions:

Rainy and over cast;

The St. Lucia Estuary and Lake System greatly benefits from these conditions. With the mouth recently close, fresh water is in high demand to equalize the salinity in the upper parts of the lake where evaporation is very high.

Fishing this weekend will be good, but only the hardy and persistent souls will endeavor on such outings. Most people will be reluctant to brave these adverse conditions. This creates great sight seeing opportunities for families and some quality time could be spend together.

Spring Holidays:

With the start of the school holidays around 21 September St. Lucia will be buzzing again with domestic tourist. St. Lucia as a town offer great opportunities for families to spend some time together on picnic, fishing, game viewing and sight seeing expeditions.

With the new loop roads opening more avenues to explore the Eastern shores and enjoy the splendors of the wetlands giving visitors greater freedom to traverse the area. This was achieved by upgrading some of the old logging roads with hard surface and now ordinary vehicles can now travel to secluded spots and beautiful view sights.

Spring Fishing:

High seas are expected around 26 September and this could lead to some spectacular views of the ocean and a natural breach of the Estuary mouth might be experienced once more this year. With a good rainfall such a breach should last well into the New Year.

These conditions could restrict fishing to the estuary and Grunter catches are expected to be good. Shad season closes from October to December. Anglers are reminded that bag limits are four per person and angling licenses are required.

Be Care full:

There are two new "sheriffs in town";

St. Lucia has its own resident traffic officer working the area and holiday makers are warned not to speed, drive with out a valid vehicle license or under the influence of alcohol. Do not drive with passengers on the tale gate or speed with quads in the streets of our quite village.

This warning extends to the marine side of things since Mr. Gerber, previously from the anti poaching unit, is now the new "boss" on the marine side. Be sure that fishing regulations will be enforced and perpetrators will be reckoned with. Please protect our heritage for our children to enjoy. Over fishing and pollution is a great threat to our environment.

For Africa
P.J. Viviers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fw: HUMPBACK WHALE WATCHING update and facts

Good Morning to everybody !


I decided ( ha ha , liewer laat as nooit ) to give a little bit of interesting information about the HUMPBACK WHALES that we spot this time of the year .


The weather at the moment a.w.e.s.o.m.e , and after the previous weeks' strong winds we seem to have excellent weather conditions at the moment , but as you 've all maybe noticed town is quite quiet at the moment . The sea temperature at the moment about 21 degrees , our night temperatures about 21 degrees and the day temperatures around 25-32 degrees ( yes , we've all felt the return of summer , especially at night the humidity is quite high and Eskom coining it again as we've started to switch the airconditioners back on ) .


About 25 SALMON fishes yesterday tried to get out of the Mouth area back into the ocean ,( they came in across the Mouth area with the high tide and when the tide turned low couldn't get back out to sea again ) , and with the Mouth so ''closed'' they were stuck on the sand and started dying  , we and our staff tried to pick up as many Salmon as possible and released them back into the ocean  , some were unfortunately dead already , but a lot were saved !…..anyway ….back to the WHALES ….


Bien saw 3 HUMPBACK whales from as close as 50m's  on the 06h00  WHALE WATCHING trip on the 9th of September  , they were still swimming north which is a possible indication that it is mothers moving towards Mozambique and Madagaskar to calf .


So far for this season between Danie , Bien and Berno they have recorded a sighting of about 823 HUMPBACK WHALES , ( remember those are only the whales that they can actually count when doing a tour , many days there is whales going past and we don't have trips , OR the weather is bad and we can't get out to count the whales , so this obviously just what we saw , counted , collected skin samples from and photographed on trips actually done ) .




Scientific Name :     Megaptera novaeangliae

Maximum length :    52 feet

Weight :                 approx 40 ton

Tail (fluke ) width :   15 feet

Flipper length :        15 feet

Daily Ton :              1 ton

Calf's Daily diet :     100-600 liter of milk  -depending on the age  - calfs drinking from the mother for the first year and thereafter starting to feed




Whales , dolphins , and porpoises are all members of the Cetacean order of mammals . Two sub-orders of Cetacea exist today , baleen whales ( mysticetes ) and toothed whales (odontocetes ) . Humpbacks , like blues and grays , are baleen whales . Toothed whales include killer whales , dolphins and porpoises .



Further updates and information will be passed on the next e-mail




Warm Regards

Riëtte Bennett

St.Lucia Tours & Charters t/a Advantage Cruiser CC


e-mail     :

+27 (0)35 – 5901259 (Tel)

+27 (0)35 – 5901053 (Fax)

Cell: 083 487 2762


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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Launch of National Clean Up Week -

Go to Documents contents   Launch of National Clean Up Week - A Call t Wake Up and Clean South Africa

05 September 2007

Media Alert

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

WEDNESDAY, 05 SEPTEMBER 2007: The Deputy Minister Of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabudafhasi will launch the National Clean Up campaign on the 6th September 2007 in the Moruleng Local Municipality, Hoedspruit, Limpopo.

Celebrated under the theme "WAKE UP & CLEAN UP - working together for a clean & safer South Africa" the campaign is call to all South Africans to take care of the environment by cleaning up the areas they live in and by encouraging the public not to litter. The launch will be preceded by clean up activities within the municipality led by the Deputy Minister the MEC responsible for Environmental Affairs in the province, Collins Chabane as well mayors from the local and district municipalities.

The National Clean-Up campaign also coincides with the International Coastal Cleanup campaign which will see hundreds of beaches being cleaned along the South African coast from Monday 10 September to 15th September 2007. A full programme of the DEAT beach cleanups will be posted on the website.

All media is invited

Event Details
Venue: Moruleng Municipality
Date: 06 September 2007
Clean up event - Metz Taxi Rank - 09h00-12h00
Launch event - Enable Community Hall



Tortoise Killers Sentenced

Tortoise Killers Sentenced

August 10, 2007;

For immediate release      Tortoise sentence……….
A practicing Sangoma, Sindisiwe Mkhize (48) from Edendale with her four accused were sentenced by Pietermaritzburg Court yesterday. The five accused were sentenced to combinations of suspended imprisonment, community service and restrictions on future permits after spending months in prison awaiting trial.
This sentence came after SAPS member drove passed a house in Edendale and noticed a tortoise being hacked up by people in a garden. He immediately summoned the Organised Crime Detectives responsible for the of wildlife crimes. Further investigations revealed that the Tortoise was an endangered species of Seychelles which had been stolen from the Lion Park. The investigation drew from the expertise of a reptile expert, the SPCA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Several other endangered species such as Lion, Leopard, water Leguaan, with many other animal parts were found and confiscated in the house of the first accused.
The first accused, Mkhize was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment suspended for 5 years and 150 hours of community service and she was further prevented from obtaining any form of wildlife permit for a period of 6 months.
It was established that the four accused have also been involved in the theft and transportation of the Tortoise to Mkhize. These were Nhlanhla Ngcobo (31) who got 12 months suspended for 5 years and 100 hours of community service for the theft and the remaining three, Siyabonga Dlamini (23), Bongani Sibiya (33) and Sithembiso Gumede (32) each received a suspended sentence of 12 months suspended for 5years. The community service will be served with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the accused will be involved in a program of alien plant eradication.
KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Crime Working Group, Rod Potter welcomed the sentence and commented that the accused would now be able to contribute to the improvement of the environment. The lengthy imprisonment prior to the finalization of the case and the remorse shown by all of the accused, has enabled the court to hand down this appropriate sentence. Not only at punishing the unlawful actions but also providing them an opportunity to change their behaviour in the future. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife hope they will all learn the value of the wildlife.
MNZ// MEDIA RELEASE  News Release No. 8       8 August 2007

Current Conditions - Windy and dry

Wind Wind Wind....
How is it possible to experience early August in the beginning of Spring. One sure thing is the drought is still continuing. Be it Elninio or Global warming or both, this is the longest drought the Wetlands has experienced in many years.
With the mouth being opened since 09 March 2007 and the recent closure in early August we need rain urgently. All the Estuary Mouth maintenance was washed away by the tidal surge that where experienced on the Equinox. Since loads of equipment loss where suffered, the Authorities has not commenced with their systematic maintenance of the mouth.
Over the past 15 years a low human interference approached was maintained. This was minimised to a maintanace programme to keep the iMfolozi River from washing silt into the St. Lucia Estuary mouth. Whether the iMfolozi dumps it silt on the Tugela basin or right into The St. Lucia Estuary system the long term effect is still the same.
Due to soil erosion in the catchments areas of this power full river, and the decimation of the Wetlands system that acted as a sediment catchments area, the iMfolozi river carries many million tons of top soil and dump it in the vicinity of the St. Lucia Estuary mouth area. The tidal movement of the ocean and wind direction pushes the sediment into the low energy system of Lake St. Lucia, through the Estuary mouth.
Only flash floods from the five feeding rivers can clear this sediment from the Lake system. The last flash flood was in 1984. Since most of the feeding rivers are now used for Sugar cane irrigation much of the fresh water built up in the Lake system has been compromised. This has a very negative impact on the water flow out of the estuary mouth and this constitutes to the closure of the Estuary mouth naturally.
This lack of fresh water supply leads to another problem, the salt built up in the Lake System. No fresh water pushing the salt water from the top and the ever presence of evaporation lead to precious fresh water losses for the system and the salinity to raise. This built up has a negative impact on the environment, since most species are adapted to live in the Lake's saline conditions that ranges from close to and lower than sea water.
As the current situation stands with evaporation versus fresh water feed, the salinity could rise to three times that of sea water in a short period of time. God send, is the millions of pine trees that has been removed from The Eastern Shores. The impact would probably be much worse if it was not for these removals of precious water gobbling trees.
The system needs a well managed maintanace plan, a well manage water supply and loads of rain to stay the prestine world class Wetlands system it currently is.
For Africa
P.J. Viviers

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mouth Close Again

The dreaded deed is done. This time by mother nature. This had no impact on the people flocking to St. Lucia and the fishermen experienced great catches. Hordes of
anglers migrate to the beaches of Mphelane and casting their lines into the under utilized bay at the foot of the Majestic sand dune.
St. Luica has changed much over the past seven years since the beach ban act. Great effort went into the marketing of St. Lucia area as a wildlife destination. More vehicle trails has been open to the public on the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia with very little impact on the environment. Almost al the Pine trees has been removed and this will greatly improve the fresh water supply to the Lake System.
All in all the erea is gearing up to be a world class wild life destination affordable for people from all walks off life.
For Africa
P.J. Viviers


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ICE - In Case of Emergency

ICE campaign - "In Case of Emergency"

We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.

If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call.

Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency? Hence this " ICE" (In Case of Emergency) Campaign

The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name "ICE" ( In Case Of Emergency).

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a internationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital Staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as "ICE".

Please forward this. It won't take too many "forwards" before everybody will know about this. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. A great idea that will make a difference!

Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in our Mobile phone today!

Please forward to people you care for as well of post it on your notice boards for those without e-mail.

For Africa
P.J. Viviers