Take a look at our previous newsletters on the links below.
Locals have an open invitation to explore the Garden Route National Park’s (GRNP) mystical forests, seascapes and wonderland from the 18th – 22 September 2017. This is part of the SA National Parks Week campaign where various activities are set to draw visitors to the GRNP.
A Spring Forest Walk (Diepwalle) will kickstart the week on the morning of the 16th September 2017 from 09:00am. There is a choice for guided walks in the Terblans trail or the Elephant trail. There are also planned daily excursions by the People & Conservation Officers (P&Cs) in each section of the Park- guided mine tours during the week (Goudveld), guided forest and fynbos excursions (Knysna), guided hikes and others.
The popular Sunset Serenade (sunset musical, Ebb & Flow Rest Camp) is planned for the 23rd in Wilderness straight after the 4X4 excursion with Honorary Rangers.
Tsitsikamma comes alive with Sporting activities and a traditional dance competition during the day (23rd September 2017, Storms River Village Sports Fields).
The Programme of events is attached.
SA National Parks Week was started in 2006 to allow free access to communities for the duration of the campaign week. ‘We make a special effort to ensure young people and the elderly have targeted programs. All South Africans are encouraged to visit and remember to bring along their ID books as proof.’
Please feel free to contact People & Conservation Officers in your area: Nondumiso Mgwenya (Knysna)- 044 302 5600, Nobulumko Gantsho- 044 302 5600.
September is Tourism Month which is celebrated annually to encourage South Africans to explore their own country. Knysna & Partners (K&P) will participate with a programme which includes five different walks in the greater Knysna area.
Chairperson Elmay Bouwer says that “Walk Knysna” will encourage locals to get to know the area better and possibly do or see something they may not have done before.
“We live in one of the premier tourist destinations in the country, but many of us have not been tourists in our own town before. Let’s walk Knysna together and see the beaches of Sedgefield, visit Judah Square, stroll into the forest, and learn about our historical buildings,” she said.
Bouwer said that #WalkKnysna and #WalkSedgefieldZA is in support of the #IDoTourism and #WeDoTourism campaigns launched by South African Tourism which are a call to action to all South Africans to play a role in tourism.
“SAT CEO Sisa Ntshona said during the launch of Tourism Month that we are in a tight economic environment and tourism is one of the sectors that can pull us out,” said Bouwer. “He has urged each province to find what is unique about their region and how it could contribute to tourism. So that is what we are doing in Knysna.”
The walks will vary in length from one to three hours. Booking is essential. Click here for all the information!
In addition, three festivals planned for September – the Knysna Timber Festival (29 September – 1 October), the Heritage Day Sedgefield Craft Beer Festival and the Annual DCT Heritage Day Event (24 September) - will give locals and visitors the opportunity to experience local cultural, Knysna’s timber heritage and the local craft beer industry.
Knysna will also be represented by K&P at the annual Gauteng Getaway Show 23-25 September. “We are doing everything possible to promote our town,” said Bouwer, “and I would like to urge the community of Knysna do the same. Let’s focus on spreading positive stories about Knysna on social media. Tourism is everyone’s business - I feel very strongly about this. The onus is on each one of us to speak well of Knysna even in a negative situation, otherwise we are doing damage to tourism and to our town.”
This Women’s Month, Knysna Tourism is focussing on some of the local women who have established or are involved in successful tourism businesses in the greater Knysna area.
“I particularly respect women who empower other women. I really enjoy seeing women encouraging, supporting and educating their peers. We need more of that.” - Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna & Partners
Meagan is a registered Forest Site Guide and has been running Forest Guided Tours since 2012 for school groups and visitors of all ages and preferred paces. She is also the official Dalene Matthee Guide as sited on the Dalene Matthee website and is passionate about this author’s work.
She is fascinated by the intricate life of the forest and loves to promote Sue Swain’s fascinating biomimicry work modelled on the forests.
Her passions are trees and bees and she also offers Conservation Beekeeping Tours/Experiences for school groups and the public and Beginners Courses for small groups of 12.
She is part of the NPO “Hope for the Honeybees” which will be opening a Conservation Beekeeping Information Centre in September. Part of the project is replanting burnt area with “bee trees” and “bee plants”, plants and trees with high nectar and pollen counts.
Meagan says she loves her office, which is one of the only growing forests in the world!
Owner of Up Close & Personal Tours Sedgefield, Pam is also President of Skal International Garden Route and Junior Vice President of Skal International South Africa.
Pam has been in the tourism industry for more than 30 years, marketing coach and self-drive businesses and working in Durban, Johannesburg and the Garden Route. During this time she had the opportunity to travel extensively in South Africa and internationally, where she attended many travel road shows and gained valuable experience in tourism.
Getting married to an airline pilot meant she was able to fly to many different countries.
As President of Skal Garden Route she has made friends with Skal members in over 300 countries worldwide. The support of these travel partners enabled her to open her Inbound tour operator business, and to pass on practical skills to students with a tertiary education wishing to make a career for themselves in tourism.
Pam’s passion is Young Skal and with the recently appointed Young Skal President she is working on a project with the Smutsville Community to open a tourism route in Smutsville called The Yellow Brick Road, which she hopes will bring tourism to the people.
Peggy matriculated from Knysna High School then studied at the South African College For Tourism (SACT) so that she could combine her passions for tourism and art in one unique business. Today she is an accredited tour guide and runs a highly successful business called Peggy's African Art and Tours.
Her knowledge of art and of the local area and her warm, bubbly personality endear her to the guests and many long lasting friendships have been developed!
Despite her success she has remained extremely humble and grounded and it is difficult to gether to talk about herself, so we are sharing a comment from a guest which says it all: “I met Peggy a few years ago at a tourism workshop in Waterfront Cape Town. There were a handful of exhibitors from Knysna and Peggy one of them. I fell in love with her paintings and just couldn't resist. Get down to Peggy’s African Art Knysna and get blown away by her love, passion and style running through from the soles of her feet and represented in her works of art.”
Social media network marketer, travel blogger and travel influencer, Rose is well known on social media as Travelbug Rose and just this week was voted one of South Africa’s top 5 travel tweeters by South Africa Travel Online.
With a background in marketing, a love for travel and a feel for the social media digital industry, Rose found herself in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa, the Garden Route, which she promptly fell in love with. She started developing her passion for the area and very soon had a growing network of people following her visual story telling on social media platforms. Today she has over 10,000 followers on Twitter.
“The sky is the limit and with my love for travel and my need to discover the rich cultures, history and food of the world, which will always be a part of me, I'll continue to tell my stories through the eyes of Travelbug Rose,” she explains.
“I believe that being passionate about what you do will always shine through eventually.”
Mother of two and grandmother of one, Elmary was born and bred in Nekkies, a township of Knysna. Family responsibilities forced her to leave school before she was able to write matric, and start working in local Knysna restaurants.
The experience gave her not just a love of food but also the realisation that being an employee was not something she wanted to do for the rest of her life. With plenty of ambition and self-motivation and the feeling that she was destined for greatness, Elmary determined to start her own business.
Knysna Tourism assisted her to do the necessary training courses and she became part of the Living Local and Green Chefs initiatives. Once she had qualified as a chef, she was able to open her own township restaurant, Lungi’s Cultural Cuisine, specialising in South African food from traditional African to Cape Malay dishes.
The success of her tourism businesses has enabled her to put her children through university.
We are very proud of Belinda Hobson, Sedgefield Tourism Manager, who was one of two women recently awarded “Over-Achiever of the Year” by Executive Mayor of Knysna, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies, for her dedication to Sedgefield.
More than 30 local women were nominated by the community as unsung heroines of Sedgefield. Belinda was chosen for her continuous involvement in various Sedgefield projects, including her fantastic work for the Knysna fire relief. Martie Rooi was awarded for her work with the First Aid Crew in Smutsville.
This year will see the Eden Kite Festival reach new heights in all sorts of ways! The family-fun, community-oriented event is now in its third year. From an informal start in 2015, to unexpected growth last year, 2017 is the year the festival really ‘comes to town’. As founder of the event Keith Mould puts it. “We are moving the festival to the Eden Lawns fields in Sedgefield. It’s a perfect venue – safe, easy access for everyone and lots of space for us to grow even more in the future”.
The festival is, as always, in aid of Masithandane, the regional Non-Profit Organisation well-loved for their work in the Eden District. Funds raised by the festival this year will support their Bursary Fund. A real need in Sedgefield is to assist families with, transport costs to school, school fees, uniforms and toiletries for teens. There is no public transport system or high school in the Sedgefield area.
Executive Mayor of Knysna, Eleanore Bouw-Spies is a fan of both the festival and Masithandane. “The festival is a real asset in our calendar, and Masithandane has a significant impact in the community”. Bouw-Spies has tentatively agreed to formally open the event again this year.
More big news is that Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty is sponsoring the festival. Peter and Sheena Mare are principals and owners of the Knysna, Sedgefield, Stilbaai and Mossel Bay franchises. They believe that the combination of the family-oriented event and Masithandane’s visible service to the community is a natural fit for Sotheby’s. “We support a lot of local events”, Peter Mare told us: “With the kite festival we are promoting healthy, outdoor activity for the whole family and helping Masithandane to make a real difference in the lives of the local community.”
The 3rd Eden Kite Festival takes place on Sunday 22 October 2017 from 9:30 to 16:00 at Eden Lawns, N2, Sedgefield.
The Knysna Timber Initiative has invited exhibitors to book their stands early for this year’s Knysna Timber Festival, which will take place from 29 September to 1 October.
The event will go ahead at its traditional venue at Timber Village, which is currently being rebuilt after having been destroyed in the fires.
“We’re hoping that suppliers and businesses that use timber will come up with creative ideas to showcase the value of wood to us all - both as the Garden Route rebuilds, and in the economy in general,” said festival manager Picca de Bruin.
“With additional space available this year, we’ve got room for things like mock-ups - the partially-built wall of a timber-frame house, for example - which illustrate timber’s versatility.”
Ms. De Bruin said that the organisers are hoping that suppliers of heavy machinery - plantation equipment, tractors, mills, pole strippers, and so on - will take the opportunity to show their products to the market.
“This year’s Festival is going to be even more important than ever because it’ll be the first opportunity after the fires for everyone in the industry to meet up, and share creative new ways of restarting and re-growing the Garden Route’s timber economy.”
She said that space will be available in both indoor (well, in-marquee) and outdoor exhibitions and demonstrations areas for timber growers, timber merchants, timber buyers, wood millers, tool suppliers, furniture manufacturers, boat builders, architects, designers, decorators, builders, and hobbyists.
This year’s Festival will be presented with the help of Sanlam, and the programme will include talks, presentations, and films about wood and working with wood - with activities for children and adults alike, and with a happy entertainment area with live music, a beer tent, and a children’s play space.
“One of the highlights for many of us will be seeing Knysna’s new Wood-Mizer LT20B Diesel portable sawmill in operation for the first time,” said Ms de Bruin.
“Wood-Mizer’s international head office donated it to the Knysna Timber Initiative to help with the rebuilding of damaged houses, and, in the longer-term, for training operators in the use of band saw mills - and we’re currently building a shed to house it permanently at Timber Village.
“Woodoc Food for Wood will also be with us with its Woodoc Owl Box Project, since they’re keen to get more kids involved in the Festival - and in woodworking in general,” she said.
Please visit www.timberfestival.co.za for detailed information.
Knysna Newsletter: What's on - 18/08/2017
WHAT'S ON #KNYSNA & SEDGEFIELD
EVENTS & MARKETS
Copyright 2015 Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds, All rights reserved. You are receiving this e-mail on behalf of Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds
Our mailing address is: Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds 40 Main Street Knysna, Western Cape 6570 South Africa
Beer and Braai. Both are synonymous with being proudly South African, which is why the Sedgefield Lions Heritage Braai Festival is the perfect way to celebrate Heritage Day this year, promising to bring people and good cheer together! The event takes place on the Sunday, 24 September 2017 on the Sedgefield Village Green and, in exemplary Lions spirit, all proceeds from the event will be spent supporting local charities.
The main activity of the day will be centered around the much-advertised Braai and Potjie Competition for those serious braai-masters out there to show off their cooking clout. Each competing braaier will be issued a small plot to work on. They need to bring their own braai, potjie pot, wood and charcoal – whatever they need to produce the tastiest food they can. Contestants will be judged on presentation, and of course, the taste of the dish.
Judging will be done by several well known foodies, including; well known local hospitality business man, Ian Perryman, Cape Town Chef and co-author of The Real Meal Revolution Jonno Proudfoot; and the Vice- Principal of the Francois Ferreira Academy and Director of the Ginja food magazine, Denise Lindely.
Craft beer lovers will have the opportunity to sample the golden nectar from various Garden Route Craft Breweries which have been invited to participate in the event, including Sedgefield Craft Brewery and Mitchells Brewery. Both Route 62 Wines and Plett Wines have been invited to attend, so wine lovers will be rather spoilt for choice.
The Sedgefield Lions Clubhouse will house a pop-up restaurant serving braai lunches and dinners made by the Lions themselves.
There are some fabulous prizes to be won, including a R10 000 cash first prize!!!
There will also be a craft market with prizes for best stalls, and a whole lot of fun to keep the kids entertained too.
The Lions are appealing to local companies (it is a perfect platform for a team building exercise), friends and families to enter the braai competition in support of the Lions as they raise funds for our community and serve to make a difference in the lives of others in need.
For more information or competition entry forms contact:
Jurgens van der Walt
An exclusive 4x4 “Forest Experience” route through the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park awaits adventure lovers during the National Heritage weekend in September, with three routes to choose from.
SANParks Honorary Rangers Wilderness Region and the SANParks staff of the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park have organised the 4x4 trail excursions which will, for the first time, have access to certain areas in the national park not normally open to the public. The routes feature indigenous forests, fynbos and stunning mountain vistas.
The event takes place on September 23 and 24
Access to the 4x4 Exhibition - to be held at the Wilderness Common, the starting area of the 4x4 excursion - is open to the public. Participation in the routes is strictly controlled and each route excursion is restricted in the number of vehicles which can participate. A trained Honorary Ranger guide will accompany the vehicles during the excursion.
There are three routes, one crossing the Voortrekker Pass, one going up to Windmeulnek and a third accessing the Goldfields region of the park. The routes, all graded between 1 and 3, will provide public access to roads that are under normal conditions closed to the public.
The routes will all depart from the Wilderness Common at staged intervals. The Common will also be the venue for a 4x4 Exhibition where leading manufacturers of 4x4 goods will exhibit their wares.
The plan by SANParks Honorary Rangers is to organise the 4x4 Forest Experience as an annual fund-raising event and an opportunity to showcase the magnificent natural features of the Garden Route National Park.
Knysna & Partners will be attending a number of trade and road shows over the next four months in Gauteng, the Netherlands, and the UK to promote the Knysna brand. Chairperson of Knysna & Partners, Elmay Bouwer, said that, “In light of the recent fires, it is particularly important for us to get the message out to the world that Knysna is open for business.”
Between September and November this year, Knysna will be represented at the Gauteng Getaway Show (23 – 25 September), the SAT Netherlands Roadshow (30 October – 3 November), World Travel Market London (6 – 8 November), which is the leading global event for the travel industry, and a UK Roadshow (13 – 16 November) to visit travel agents who will not be at WTM, in their own cities.
Bouwer said that Knysna & Partners aimed to show the world, including South Africa, that Knysna is still a top tourism destination and visitors can expect the full Knysna experience, despite the devastating fires in June.
“The international trade shows are a wonderful platform to interact with the tour operators in these countries who are bringing tourists to South Africa, to ensure that they include the Garden Route and Knysna in their itineraries,” she said.
“By attending the SAT Netherlands Roadshow, we are also building on and strengthening our relationship with South African Tourism.”
Bouwer said that the South African market was also very important to Knysna.
“According to the latest Stats SA statistical release, last year South African tourists spent R7,7 billion travelling in their own country,” she said. “We would like to increase our share of that market. The Getaway Show is ideal for reaching those who are planning a local holiday.
“We would like these shows to be a collaborative marketing effort with our members and if they come on board and support us with their participation we will be able to give one of our staff members, Keagon Borchards, the opportunity to attend WTM in London, as part of our commitment to upskilling our staff.”
This Women’s Day, Knysna Tourism is focussing on some of the local women who have established or are involved in successful tourism businesses in the greater Knysna area.
Says Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna & Partners: “I particularly respect women who empower other women. I really enjoy seeing women encouraging, supporting and educating their peers. We need more of that.
“It is important to me that women need to change their way of thinking from ‘I’m not ready to do that’, to ‘I want to do that and I will learn by doing it.’
“Thank you to all the women in Knysna who have a vision to empower women to do more, see more and be more.
“A huge round of applause to all the women playing a role in #KnysnaRises. I salute you. Have a blessed Women’s Day.”
Part one of our Women’s Month series, Women in Tourism, introduces Michelle Lencoe, Evelyn Pepler, Glendyrr Fick, Judy Dixon, Magdalene Moos and Elizabeth Vertue.
Look out for part two next week!
Michelle Lencoe is a qualified South African tour guide who operates as Li Themba Crafts and Tour. Her tour takes you through her home township of Smutsville in Sedgefield, highlighting the hidden gems of the neighbourhood and showcasing the artistic talent and cultural entrepreneurship of the community.
Michelle started her career in tourism at the Sedgefield Tourism Office and qualified as a tour guide in 2015. She is also a certified lifeguard and has helped to keep our beaches safe during the Christmas holidays.
Always an over achiever, Michelle has been selected to go on a SME speed market mentorship for representing Sedgefield at 2017 Tourism Indaba in Durban. As her mentor Charmaine Beukes explained when she did her presentation to win a place in the Durban Tourism Indaba, her passion for her home town Sedgefield was more than evident.
Her vision is to change the lives of those in her community for the better.
Evelyn first arrived in the Garden Route at 19 years old and, with a passion for the hospitality industry, started working in restaurants before she established her own B&B at the age of 23. She met and married Stephan, a yacht builder who was building a yacht in Plett, and in 1998 the couple launched the 50ft Outeniqua sailing yacht and started a yacht charter company, Spring Tide Charters in Knysna.
In 2012 she bought a small operation consisting of an old boat with two engines known as Ocean Odyssey Charters, the only permit holder for whale and dolphin watching in Knysna, which she has turned into a successful business.
Over the years Evelyn has been involved in many collaborative marketing initiatives and organisations including Plett accommodation association, Plettenberg Bay tourism, Active Garden Route, and Gartour. In 2014 she was elected chairperson of SABBWWA (South African Boat Based Whale Watching Association). She has also achieved Blue Flag status accreditation – under WESSA - for all Odyssey vessels for the last two years, and acquired SATSA (South African Tourism Services Association) accreditation for both Ocean Odyssey and Springtide Charters. She is a qualified nature site guide and whale-watching guide, and a member of SKAL Garden Route. She was recently elected to the newly formed Garden Route SATSA chapter.
She is mom to two boys aged 11 and 14, and describes herself as an energetic, outspoken, fearless, creative, inquisitive, driven person who is not easily intimidated.
Glendyrr Fick is a Tourism Development Consultant, with a passion for Community Tourism. She is a daughter from the Griqua, Khoi-San Tribe, and has strong ties with local communities in general.
She joined the Knysna Tourism team in 2001, managing Tourism Development Projects, and working with organisations like Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), South Cape Land Claims, Open Africa Route Development, and the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT).
Her projects include Knysna Living Local (marketing initiative for local community tourism initiatives), and the Mothers of Creation Rural Tourism Route which she established through her collaboration with South Cape Land Claims, Open Africa and FTTSA.
Glendyrr joined the IIPT in 2011, after meeting the president, Louis D’ Amore. She introduced him to several of her tourism initiatives, including the Green Chefs Garden Route programme which the IIPT endorsed and presented at the most recent World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Zambia/Zimbabwe.
In November 2017 Glendyrr spread her wings when she accepted the position of Manager of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.
Glendyrr holds a Bachelor in Development Studies from UNISA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management from the West Flanders Economic Institute (Belgium).
Her dream is to extend the Green Chefs Initiative across National Parks throughout the world, and to connect indigenous peoples as a result.
After retiring from teaching and moving down to Rondevlei in Sedgefield, Judy Dixon soon found that she could combine her knowledge and passion by becoming a tour guide. She took a FGASA level 1 course and what initially started as a fundraising venture for the various organisations in which she was involved, became the unique encounters with Nature that she now offers.
Most popular are the Moonlight Meanders and Starlight Strolls, but forest trails, canoeing on the rivers, birding and hiking up the mountains are also on offer. With a knowledge of botany, zoology, astronomy and geology, Judy finds the Garden Route the perfect place to take people on infotaining ventures. “It also keeps me fit and allows me to enjoy another interest, swimming. In between I find time to travel, indulge in photography, breed clivias, play bridge, read, do stained glass creations and socialise,” she says.
Magdalene Moos describes herself as a self-made woman, born and bred in Concordia, Knysna. When she finished school, she started studying for a teacher’s diploma at Khomasdal College of Education in Namibia but had to give up her studies due to financial constraints.
Magdalene then become a community development worker. While she was doing upliftment work in her community she identified the need for early childhood development facilities in Concordia and in August 1996 she started a preschool there, where she worked for three years as a volunteer. Later that year, she opened her own preschool, Magdaleentjie, which she describes as a multi-purpose centre - over weekends it becomes a safe haven for women in need or victims of crime.
Magdalene is a single mom of two daughters, Alexis and Alexandre. She was the first female Provincial Chairperson of the Community Police Board, and is also Chairperson of Sinethemba, Deputy Chairperson of the Hospital Board, Chairperson of the SGB of Concordia High, a lay councillor of FAMSA, and a tour guide.
“My passion is to do good and leave a legacy of a fearless, selfless servant of the people,” she says. “My dream is to be an ambassador for my town and to share with others how privileged we are to live in an awesome town like Knysna.”
Elizabeth Vertue is Development and Marketing Co-ordinator/PRO for Emporium Knysna.
An avid foodie, wine lover and entertainer, Elizabeth is passionate about the hospitality industry in which she has been working for 25 years. She started her journey as a waitress at the age of 15, and after gaining some experience overseas, returned to South Africa to be part of the training team at Spur Head Office, helping to set up new restaurants and doing all the owner and staff training.
Elizabeth returned to Knysna to join the family business as part of the management team at what was then Peddlars on the Quay. It was floundering at the time, but a change of name, chef and philosophy, turned it into one of Knysna’s favourite eating spots, The Drydock Food Co.
She was also part of the team that opened Sirocco and Lush (now Tapas&Oysters) and, although not actively involved in the day-to-day running of restaurants anymore, does all the staff and management training as well as the appointment of senior staff for 34 South, Drydock, Tapas&Oysters, Sirocco and the Project Bar.
Elizabeth says she is passionate about training and watching people grow and reach their full potential, “one of the most satisfying aspects of my work. I believe the people in our businesses are key to our success. Some skills can be taught but passion, dedication and good people skills are essential ingredients to what we do.”
Knysna Newsletter: What's on - 04/08/2017
WHAT'S ON #KNYSNA & SEDGEFIELD
EVENTS & MARKETS
Copyright 2015 Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds, All rights reserved. You are receiving this e-mail on behalf of Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds
Our mailing address is: Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds 40 Main Street Knysna, Western Cape 6570 South Africa
The Knysna Timber Festival 2017 will go ahead as planned from 29 September to 1 October - and it'll take place as usual at its traditional venue at Timber Village, despite the fact that Timber Village was burned to the ground during the town's recent devastating fires.
The Knysna Timber Initiative - the organisers of the event - see this year's festival as an important milestone during which members of the industry can meet and help one another in restarting and re-growing the Garden Route's hard-hit timber economy. "Everyone was affected by the fires, and everyone's rebuilding with a strong spirit of community," said the initiative's chairperson, Morné Smith.
"The timber industry provides jobs and incomes for thousands of people in the region, and the festival is an opportunity to showcase the deep level of skills - and the high quality of the products - for which Knysna has become famous."
The exhibitors at this year's festival have been drawn from a broad spectrum of the timber economy - furniture manufacturers, timber growers, wood millers, timber buyers and members of the timber construction industry. Indoor and outdoor exhibitions and demonstration areas will provide spaces for conversations, talks, presentations, and films about wood and working with wood.
And with an entertainment area with live music, a beer tent, and children's play space, this year's Knysna Timber Festival will cater for the whole family.
About those owls
One of the most important aspects of the festival is that it's a platform for training and the transfer of skills. This year Woodoc Food for Wood will be sponsoring the training programme. Woodoc will also present their Woodoc Owl Box Project - which is particularly appropriate this year as people around the Garden Route do whatever they can for the birds, bees, and wild animals that were also severely affected by the fires.
Visit www.timberfestival.co.za for detailed information.
SANParks scientists and civil society research groups have cautioned against feeding wild animals. This comes after volunteer groups had dropped vegetables and seeds for animals to eat in the national park and surrounds. This week, authorities detailed reasons for discouraging the feeding of animals in burnt areas.
According to Garden Route National Park manager Paddy Gordon, the fire scar thus far illustrates an elongated line, which suggests animals could have moved to either side of the fire.
"Feeding wild animals may lead to an increase in animal conflict with one another. Once all the feeding programmes and volunteers withdraw relief effort, animals will keep coming to usual spots to collect food, which could lead to a conflict with other wild animals, domestic pets and also with humans," Gordon said.
Further points he highlighted were as follows:
• Feeding habituates animals to humans.
• Spreading fodder over burnt areas might lead animals to eat both fodder and any new growth of plants or shoots. This might delay the growth of plants in those areas.
• As feeding animals can also have an influence on breeding patterns in some animal species, should the feeding suddenly stop, animals will be severely affected.
Gordon said SANParks staff are part of the "ground-truthing exercise" with other stakeholders to determine further assessment after the fire. Once this is completed, certain areas will be identified for rehabilitation but other areas will regrow. – Supplied
* Residents who spot injured animals as a result of the recent fires can contact the Knysna Animal Welfare Society on 044-384-1603 during office hours or, in case of an emergency after hours, phone 073-461-9825.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the SDGs.
"This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalize its immense potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
Accounting for 7% of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs and 10% of the world’s GDP, the tourism sector if well managed can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets.
The International Year will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:
(1) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
(2) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction;
(3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change;
(4) Cultural values, diversity and heritage; and
(5) Mutual understanding, peace and security.
UNWTO invites all partners to join the celebrations by sharing their activities and initiatives to advance sustainable tourism for development at www.tourism4development2017.org
UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino
UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme
South African Tourism Internal and Corporate Communications Manager, Mpho Mfenyana, and Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer were in Knysna last week at the invitation of the Benguela Collection who hosted a two-day launch of Benguela Cove wines at Lakeside Lodge and Spa in Sedgefield.
It was attended by a number of local tourism providers and tour operators who were treated to canapés and bubbly, cheese and wine pairings, a delicious three course lunch in the Benguela Brassiere and a cruise across the Swartvlei Lake on the boutique hotel’s pontoon boat.
Owner Penny Streeter said the aim was not just to showcase the lodge and wines but also to provide a platform for networking and collaborating on how to improve tourism and the tourism experience in the greater Knysna area.
“Many operators are not aware of what we offer guests visiting the area. Likewise, we need products and experiences to promote to our own guests. It is also very important to hear from other local properties and operators about the things that they are doing well and things that they are battling with. There is no need for everyone to make the same mistakes; we can all learn from each other.
“I think that the event was extremely successful and I certainly feel a lot more connected to the local operators and full of ideas for the forthcoming season.”
Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna & Partners tourism board said that it was wonderful to see local tourism products in the private sector showing off their experiences and offerings. “This is the way that we are going to get the message out to the world that Knysna and Sedgefield and the surrounding areas are still open for business after the fire,” she said. “We need to work together to ensure that we stay top of mind when tourists are planning a holiday, and once they are here, educate them about all the activities and experiences available so that they keep coming back,” she said.
Local Green Chef Melven Mene, winner of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival event, Flavours of Knysna, has used his prize money of R10,000 as part payment on a car. The second hand Toyota Corolla, will help Chef Mene expand his business, Usatsho Tshisanyama & Catering.
A delighted Mene said that he almost cried with happiness when he heard he had won the Best Dressed Oyster prize because it has been his dream to buy a vehicle. “It means that I won’t have to walk such long distances when I deliver my home cooked lunches to businesses throughout Knysna, from Main Road to Thesen Islands,” he explains.
“I couldn’t believe it because when they called 3rd prize I thought, well I didn’t win,” says Mene. “Then they called 2nd prize and I thought, I definitely didn’t win. Then they called 1st prize and they couldn’t pronounce the name of my business so I didn’t realise I was the winner. But then everyone around me started clapping and they gave me a mic and I didn’t have words. Now I can take my business to another level and start selling lunches in the industrial area.”
Mene’s winning oyster dressing was a Pineapple Vodka Salsa made with cucumber, chili, fresh dill and coriander, and topped with ‘caviar’. This fresh, simple style is reflected in his lunch menus which he says are based on the weather and are cooked with the freshest possible local produce. “My food is seasonal, so when it’s cold I make soups, lasagnes, curry and rice, and spaghetti bolognaise. On a hot day I will service sandwiches, quiches, pies and salads.
Presently Mene employs full time helper, Simthandile Mpayipheli, who he is teaching to cook. He has others on standby for functions and busier periods and says that with a vehicle he will be able to expand his business and employ more people. “The competition was a very good promotion for me and my outside catering business,” says Mene. “I have a lot of interest in my food now and have two weddings booked!”
You can contact Chef Mene for orders on 081 059 3683.