Saturday, September 26, 2009

WHALE UPDATES and interesting titbits


Dear All


Whale Watching has been spectacular this season, with the regular operational hazards in-between driving US crazy, but something we handle without you even knowing we went through those stresses.

We’ve been blessed with regular sightings of mother-calf pairs, extra Southern Right bonus visits overall Humpbacks behaving very well for memories that will last a lifetime!

Keep on sending those clientele – and t.h.a.n.x.x.x. for your continued support!

Remember whale watching STARTS beginning of JUNE and carries until 1st/2nd week in DECEMBER.


Don’t always let overcast conditions outside put your client off, don’t tell your clients we’re not operating due to what what what what, please leave the cancellations-due-to-rough-seas-decision for us to make, we will know when conditions are unsafe to operate and will then cancel.



So they don’t drown! The birth of a young whale or dolphin takes place underwater, of course, and can last a few hours. If it was born head first the calf would be unable to breathe until it was free from it’s mother and may drown.



Sometimes. A number of whales, including the southern right whale, use sheltered bays and other protected areas along the coast as nurseries where they can safely give birth to and care for their calves. Some of the favorite nurseries of the southern right whale include sheltered areas between False Bay and Algoa Bay in South Africa, in the Great Australian Bight and also off Warrnambool in Australia.



YES! In fact, they can even have triplets, but this is very rare and it is highly unlikely that all the calves will survive. Most whales and dolphins carry their unborn calf for about a year, and produce only one calf every two to three years. Female killer whales and pilot whales give birth to only four to six calves in a life-time, and stop breeding when they get older. This is rather unusual as most other whales breed throughout their adult life.



Some of you and your guests observed whales just behind the backline at Cape Vidal last week, the tail last week up in the air, and staying like that for a looooong time, just lying deadstill – we did have some request about WHAT this whale was doing - ???? – it’s called SAILING – at times whales position themselves head down in the water with their tail flukes being exposed above the surface. This could be a form of display using the tail as a sail, but it might also be a form of thermoregulation, allowing heat to dissipate through the tail.


Okeeeeeeeeee – enough for one day – I’ll give more interesting info next week –



035 5901259



TourNet KZN - Ezemvelo-KZN Wildlife - your chance to speak out


From: [] On Behalf Of Ula Groos
Sent: 22 September 2009 04:57 PM
To: TourNet KZN
Subject: TourNet KZN - Ezemvelo-KZN Wildlife - your chance to speak out


Hello Members of KZNTGA-e


Could you please forward to me – by latest 14th October 2009 - any comments / queries / complaints or suggestions related to Ezemvelo-KZN Wildlife to enable Ian Porter and Gladman Buthelezi to investigate and revert with the answer at the next Provincial Meeting that takes place on October 28th.


Looking forward to many replies.


Kind regards



Chairperson KZN Tourist Guides Association eThekwini



Friday, September 25, 2009

Living and Leaving St. Lucia #1 1976 - 1983

After looking back after living in St. Lucia for 37 years it was a sad day to dust once feet for the last time as a resident. Since the seventies St. Lucia estuary was the playground for this little trooper and the development of the little town was very strict controlled under the Provincial Government with their Head Offices based in Pietermaritzburg.

This arrangement had some advantages but many disadvantages. Since the Town was controlled from Pietermaritzburg the residents had very little say o the day to day management although may of them have contributed daily in the physical running and maintenance of the services that the small town needed. With the closing of Mozambique borders in the late 1960's and early 1970's it resulted in the diversion of many Domestic Tourist to flock to the beaches of the East Coast of South Africa for Holiday's

Since all development North of the iMfolozi River was closely controlled by Natal Parks Board(KZN Wildlife), since 1820's, much consideration was given to Nature Conservation and Protected areas. This resulted to a serious of Game Reserves proclaimed by the Royal English Crown of which St. Lucia Estuary, Lake and Islands was one of them. (27 April 1895). With the first Game Rangers appointed as custodians they founded The Natal Parks Board incorporating the management of these protected areas under one management authority.

Many treaties between local Zulu clans and the Governments of the day where negotiated to protect these areas. Since many Domestic Zulu Wars broke out the management of these treaties was adapted to suite the safety of the Colonialist and Farmers as well as the Hunters that moved through or conquered the area. Then Apartheid followed and the Political trend in the management of this treaties continued.

With commercial pressure mounting in the early 1970's the business sector wished more control over the local decision making in the daily management of the area. In the wake of the followed the control needed of land usage and the power trickled down from Provincial to Local Government. with very little thought given to the right full land owners. St. Lucia as a town was Proclaimed a township in 1822 with the town boundaries probably negotiated and traded by the British with the Locals.

Since the locals where subsistence farmers migrating with the seasons the deal probably where worked out around possible grazing, mosquitoes and conservation needs. For that reason town boundaries Game Park and Game Reserve boundaries where proclaimed. From with in this boundaries a well established flourishing business community where founded that grew from strength to strength. Adapting as the economy and Political powers shifted as the time went by.

Some of the domestic tourist that started the economy of St. Lucia was the Transvaal Holiday maker. (Leisure Fisherman and Sun Seeker). Other user groups was Group bonding weekends and Motor Bike Raleigh's. Any one that could bring money into the fairly poor and under developed area with in the constrains of Nature Conservation.

Natal Parks Board realized the need for Public education in Nature Conservation and many workshops, Movies and interpretation Centers where erected and small or now entry fees where charged. It is during this period that the love for Nature conservation where embedded by many South Africans. The main role players during this time was Dr. Ian Player, George Hughes, Nollie Zouloumas and many other BIG names that will be mentioned later. Some will be forgotten since the History of the area is very Jealously guarded by a few.

by Petrus Viviers
to be continued....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Room Availability at Parkers


We've had a late cancellation from an Indian family of 4 guests who were supposed to be arriving tomorrow.   


We now have 2 rooms available in the house for the public holiday weekend - one large en suite double and one slightly smaller en suite twin.  Both are available for B&B (but not self catering).  If anyone has couples wanting B&B accommodation, please could they phone us on 035 590 1576 or 082 679 0133.


Thank you very much for your help.




Jan Dunbar

Parkers Cottages

Isibaya, 55 Hornbill Street,

St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal,

South Africa.

Tel: +27 (0)35 590 1576


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who is the true Custodians of iSimangaliso Wetlands Park?

"Conservation authorities have exposed at least six more illegal tourist resorts being built in the heart of the country's first World Heritage Site - the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal." Sunday Times.

The fact of the matter is that World Heritage Status has

  1. Robed the Wetlands of its true custodians - KZN Wildlife since 27 April 1895
  2. This land belongs to the Thembe people..
  3. Do The Park Authority wish to develop this land in a way they reap the benefits?...
  4. Vali Moosa closed the beaches to 4x4 access because of World Heritage Status
  5. Cape Vidal will get a second gate and developed for exclusive tourist
Do we really need World Heritage status or do we need true True Custodians...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

When housing makes way for Bed and Breakfast

The remains of a residential house. This Family home was demolished to make way for a Bed and Breakfast establishment.

St Lucia ... The other side!

The other side of Eco Tourism. The sudden influx of World Tourisim into South Africa is pushing the services beyond maximum.