Wind: 17.70 km/h
Knysna Tourism will be at World Travel Market (WTM) Africa from 18-20 April in the CTICC, sharing a stand with some of our local tourism products:
• Knysna Elephant Park
• Destination Garden Route
• Blackwaters River Lodge
• Peggy’s Township Tours
• Knysna River Club
• Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa
This exciting show was launched in 2014 to bring the benefits and opportunities of WTM’s global industry expertise to travel professionals in this region. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals are expected to attend Africa’s leading and only business to business (B2B) exhibition for inbound and outbound Africa travel and tourism markets.
If you are in Cape Town, pop in and see us at stand L14 on the ground floor near entrance 3.
"Knysna in an Oyster Shell"
Last week (11 - 12 April) Knysna hosted a group of local and national journalists and social media influencers who attended the official media launch of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival which was coordinated by Festival Manager Glendyrr Fick.
The group was treated to a taste of Knysna and an itinerary aptly named “Knysna in an Oyster Shell”, which included a township tour with Peggy’s Art and Tours, an historical walk with Knysna Hike and Bike, a sunset cruise on Featherbed Co’s Heads Explorer catamaran, a guided walk in the Protea Wilds Eco Reserve, a tour of Mitchell’s Brewery and lots of delicious meals at some of Knysna’s popular restaurants, such as ile de pain, Daniela’s at Leisure Isle Lodge, WHE+, 34 South, and Blackwaters River Lodge. The group was accommodated at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa.
Addressing the group at the official launch event at WHE+, Chairperson of Knysna Tourism, Elmay Bouwer said: “The aim of this media launch is to show the world how much there is to do in Knysna. The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is a wonderful time to be in Knysna, with plenty of events planned for the whole family, but it’s also an opportunity to explore the area and we hope we’ve given you a little taste of it. I hope you learned something new and experienced something different. And I hope we’ve whet your appetite for more!”
Bouwer explained that this year will be the 35th oyster festival and that the festival started in 1983 to attract people to Knysna during the quiet winter period. “Today the festival has grown to be one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape and is estimated to attract over 60 000 visitors to Knysna every year,” she said. “The importance of the festival to the economy of the area cannot be overestimated. An Event Impact Assessment done by the Knysna Municipality in 2016 shows that visitors to the region spent almost R110 m over the ten day period of the festival on accommodation, food & beverages, transport, leisure and retail activities. This resulted in the creation of 2,392 employment opportunities.
“For some businesses, the figures for the two weekends of the festival are on a par with their turnover at Christmas-time.
“Something that you may not know is that every official oyster festival event must have a charity component, and so the festival contributes millions to local charities, schools and NPOs every year. Last year the amount raised for charity topped R3,6 m.
“So the festival is vital for Knysna. And we are extremely grateful to everyone who contributes to making it such a success every year, from the major sponsors Pick n Pay and Momentum, and the event organisers Worldsport, the Knysna Municipality and, of course, the media. Thank you.”
During the two day visit, the group enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to post their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #VisitKnysna and #KOF2018 both of which trended on Twitter for a number of hours.
Rose Greyling Bilbrough
Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival
The 2018 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival takes place from 29 June – 8 July. Book your accommodation now! For more info about the festival, visit www.oysterfestival.co.za.
Congratulations to all the new Knysna Ambassadors who graduated this week at a ceremony hosted by Belvidere Manor.
The 20 ambassadors successfully completed the three-day Tourism Ambassador Course run by the Francois Ferreira Academy, sponsored by Skal International and coordinated by Knysna Tourism in March.
The course was aimed at staff employed in the tourism industry to enable them to assist with information about Knysna.
Knysna Tourism worked with Cheryl Britz, Chairperson of the Knysna Community Police Forum, to identify a parking attendant who would benefit from the course and we are delighted that Daniel Ryneveldt passed all the tests and was part of the group which graduated.
Knysna Tourism Chairperson Elmay Bouwer said, “It was a wonderful opportunity for all people who interface with tourists to learn the skills and be empowered to promote various aspects of Knysna to our visitors. As Chairperson of Knysna Tourism and a member of Skål, I’m very proud of this initiative and thankful for the role that Skål’s international members continue to play to assist with local tourism and skills training.”
At the graduation ceremony on Monday 9 April, the participants each received a certificate and a Knysna Ambassador badge. The establishments they are employed by received stickers to say that they belong to the Tourism Ambassador Programme.
Thirteen local businesses sent their staff on the course including Belvidere Manor Hotel, Muse Restaurant, VXT Architecture Building Plans, Shell Garage, Pezula Golf Club, Stannard Guest Lodge, WESSA, 34 South, Tapas & Oysters, Drydock, Jonas Tours, the Featherbed Co and Knysna Tourism’s Sedgefield office.
Thandeka Diamond of the Francois Ferreira Academy, said that she has had excellent feedback from both the employers who sent their staff on the course and the ambassadors themselves. “Marcile Nel from Muse Restaurant, for example, told me that she has received better tips since she completed the course, because now she can talk to guests about Knysna and recommend places for them to go.
“We have created a WhatsApp group for the Tourism Ambassadors to communicate with and help each other, and it has been a great tool. They communicate and refer guests to each other. The training has really helped them a lot.”
Catch Shaza live at Blend Restaurant on Sunday, 15 April from 1pm - 4pm
For more information contact: 044 384 0493
Join Vinyl on Main every Wednesday for a night of fun & karaoke! Support or choose your favourite song to sing! Happy 2 hours from 8-10pm
Mr South Africa, Dr Habib Noorbhai, has released his very first book this month and will launch it in Sedgefield on 23 April 2018 at Pili Pili from 18:00.
FRIDAY NIGHT MARKET
Don't miss the Friday Night Market this Friday from 4pm - 8pm for some good local food, entertainment, stalls or just good company. Follow the scarecrows up Welbedach Lane.
For more info contact: 044 382 5316
WILD OATS MARKET
Don't miss the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market blending people from diverse backgrounds, uniting urban and rural in a mix, every Saturday from 07:30 - 12pm.
For more info contact: 044 883 1177
Join the rural and rustic, but vibey and vital Harkerville Market it's definitely all you could ever hope for in a typical South African Saturday Market. Saturdays 8am - 12pm.
For more info contact: 084 510 9939
THE HOME OF THE KNYSNA OYSTER: make sure you visit 34 South in the Knysna Waterfront to enjoy a fantastic oyster experience. For more information contact: 0443827331
Butterfly Blu Restaurant at Brenton Haven presents; Easter fun for the whole family including 3 course meal, jumping castle, egg hunt, face painting etc. Click here for more information
Experience the Rheenendal country-side at Totties Farm Kitchen with an unforgettable @ R195pp on Sunday & Live Music on Sat & Sun.
For more information call: 044 389 0092
Luscious Lavender Hair Experience, Tension Release Scalp Massage with Lavender Oil Hair Mask Wrap Duration: 45 min
For more information contact: +27 (0)44 302 5727/8
Join 34 South for lunches, business lunches, lunch breaks, light lunches. Everyday we have something different.
Mitchells Brew Pub presents Thurday Pint Night - Buy one get one free & from 6pm - 8pm get a free 340ml draft with any gourmet burger.
For more info contact: 044 382 4685
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
Please support Pieter Verhoef and the Knysna Basin Project by making a donation to the project, Cycling For Seahorses.
Pieter aims to raise R20,000 by cycling 360 km in less than 30 hours for the Knysna seahorse.
The aim is to complete the solo 360NE, the ultimate single-stage mountain bike race in South Africa which takes place from 20–22 April 2018, in order to raise funds for the Knysna Basin Project (www.knysnabasinproject.co.za), specifically for the conservation of the endangered Knysna seahorse.
The Knysna Basin Project is a Knysna based NGO with a vision - conservation and rehabilitation of the Knysna estuary through rigorous science. And through the active conservation of an iconic seahorse species, the entire system (from sea slugs to tourists) will benefit. As Pieter says, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
For more information go to https://www.givengain.com/ap/CyclingforSeahorses/
South African National Parks (SANParks) begins the review of its Garden Route National Park (GRNP) management plan next week. This is the first phase of the revision to develop the ‘desired state’ of the GRNP. The ‘Desired State’ sets out the strategic direction for the park and consists of a mission and high level objectives to help achieve the mission. These are informed by the stakeholders to join this exciting journey of co-creating the ‘Desired State’ or dream for the GRNP.
A National Park management plan encourages a shared vision of managing for both current and future generations. The objective of a management plan is to ensure the protection, conservation and management of the protected area concerned in a manner consistent with the objectives of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEM: PAA).
In line with the organisation’s mission of ‘connecting society’, SANParks invites all interested and affected stakeholders and organisations to join workshops to articulate the “Desired State” of the Garden Route National Park. A series of three workshops will be held across the Garden Route to engage with stakeholders from various sectors starting in Tsitsikamma next Monday, the 09th April 2018 then to Knysna on the 10th and Wilderness on the 11th April 2018. Workshops will start at 9h00 sharp, with participants requested to arrive from 8h30 to register and will end by 17h00.
There are additional focus group meetings planned during the 2018/2019 Financial Year to discuss specific components of the plan that will be produced as well as several, open, public meetings to provide feedback on the draft plan early in 2019. All members of the public, organizations, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to register on the SANParks website: https://www.sanparks.org/conservation/park_man/forms/reg_form.php
This will assist the project team to keep in touch with all the registered stakeholders regarding future meetings, announcements and feedback.
Boilerplate: The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is a mosaic of landscapes and seascapes, a haven for birds and animals. It is approximately 175 000 hectares including indigenous forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and the sea.
The Garden Route National Park consists of the previously proclaimed Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks; the Knysna Lakes Area; as well as the Indigenous Forest and fynbos areas previously managed by the Department of Forestry.
PiliPili Beach Bar in Sedgefield will host the launch of Mr South Africa's first book, Heart, on 23 April.
Known for his pioneering work as a sports science researcher, Dr Habib Noorbhai, 29, won the Mr South Africa title in 2016. Born in Johannesburg, he is now based in Cape Town.
The book looks at the roots of Noorbhai's life and how we all are provided with the same platform to evoke a sustainable and innovative difference in the lives of others but each one of us has a different path/journey.
Structured in three parts, Heart tackles the inferior vena cava (the root to his life) before delving into what he calls the superior vena cava (the meat of his career). The final instalment (the aorta) looks at the way forward for the current Mr South Africa and how one will find fulfilment from leading from the heart.
Noorbhai says that through his book he hopes to share his life journey prior to, and after Mr South Africa and hopefully inspire others to dream big.
“It showcases the important lessons that I have learnt, together with the fundamental experiences gained as well as the challenges and hardships that I have faced,” he explains.
Tickets prices for the launch event are R250 and includes a copy of the book (which normally retails at R280), the talk, snacks, finger food and a beverage. For more information contact Esther on 062 166 1831.
Martin Hatchuel studied horticulture in Johannesburg and Durban, and then used his knowledge to become a guide at Featherbed, and in the Knysna forests in the mid-80s. After about 10 years in tourism (working in attractions and as a driver-guide), he moved into PR and writing for the tourism industry. Last year after the fires, Featherbed Co asked him to come back as a horticulturist to help with the rehabilitation of the vegetation.
“The Featherbed I knew - as a young tour guide and during more than 33 years of association with the place - always revealed its secrets only slowly. But in the three months since late December, 2017 - when I returned as the reserve’s tame horticulturist to help with the rehabilitation of the vegetation - it’s sprung surprises on me on almost a daily basis.
Six months after the fire, the plant life looked a lot better than I expected. Although we’d had a hot summer, we’d also had some rain, so the indigenous pioneers were flourishing. The ground was covered with sedges, succulents, and even Keurboom seedlings - and I’d never seen a Keurboom (Virgilia oroboides) here before (but I shouldn’t’ve been surprised: the Keurboom is often the first tree to establish itself on disturbed ground here on the Garden Route).
Much of the land both on the Featherbed Nature Reserve and on our neighbours’ properties had been covered with invasive aliens - particularly Rooikrans (Acacia cyclops) - but the fire literally consumed almost all of them, but not their seeds - which germinated in their millions.
So we went high-tech and began pulling ‘em out by the roots, by hand!
For this, we’ve employed a team of local workers, as well as a team from Working on Fire (under the management of the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association), and a team from Working on Water (sent here by SANParks because of the high biodiversity value of the rare Knysna sand fynbos - an eco-zone of which only 1,600 ha remains).
Our alien’s team works in measured blocks of 30 x 30 metres, usually pulling all the Rooikrans in each block in less than an hour. On one occasion, though, they just didn’t seem to be making any headway. After two hours of pulling, they were still a long way from being done, so I marked out a test patch of 1 x 1 m, and pulled the blighters out myself, carefully putting them in a huge plastic bag. Then I counted.
I’d yanked out 217 of them.
When you multiply 217 by 900 square metres, this means that our 15-person team of super-green-heroes removed 195,300 seedlings in a little over three hours. And that was very satisfying - although not as satisfying as seeing the indigenous material they’d left behind.
This reserve is rocking!
When I’m not performing feats of long multiplication in the field, I spend time walking the reserve, and checking what’s happening with the regrowth. And what’s happening is that the indigenous plants are germinating at an incredible pace. And I’m happy to say that many of the burnt trees - like the Millwoods (Sideroxylon inerme), the Candlewoods (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus), the Coast Camphor bushes (Tarchonanthus litoralis), and the White Stinkwoods (Celtis africana) - are sprouting too! - some from their bases and some along branches that look like they should’ve died in the flames.
One exciting discovery that has nothing to do with plants - I’d been told that there was an early stone-age tool workshop on the reserve, but - although I looked, often - I never could find it in those early years.
Well, on my first post-fires walk up the firebreak, there it was - exposed now that the vegetation had been burnt away. I didn’t touch any of it, though: I simply marked the place, and sent the pin and some of the pics to an archaeologist who’s working in the area.
But probably my most goose-bumpy moment happened when I walked the foot path for the first time since the fires. I personally worked to build it with Samson Ngalo (who’s still employed at the reserve) and his team 36 years ago, and it’s always given me a bit of a thrill knowing that literally hundreds of thousands of other people have walked it and enjoyed it as much as I have.
It was eerie but also beautiful. The indigenous trees remain untouched in places, while in others, the black, charred branches stand stark against the fresh green of new undergrowth. I had to walk carefully, testing the ground ahead of me at times. Also had to do a bit of scrambling, a bit of deduction (that must have been that Milkwood! Oh yes, that would’ve been that clump of aloes!), and suddenly I found myself at “Rus ‘n Bietjie”- the glade where Samson and I had placed that old bench in the days before our very first visitors did the very first tour of Featherbed Nature Reserve. We’d had to carry it up by hand. There’s no vehicular access up there.
And there it was! Unbroken - and in need of nothing more than a lick of paint.
Of course I sat for a while (“How’re you doing, old buddy?”), but then I walked up the short path to the top of the cliff, and stood staring down at the waves, at the Caves, at Duiker Rock, and at Knysna itself in the distance.
So much emotion! I’d come home. But best of all - from the point of view of the vegetation - home was looking very healthy indeed. “
Footnote from Featherbed:
Martin has been asked to speak at the upcoming summit of the Southern Cape Landowner's Initiative, which forms part of the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative. According to their Manager, Cobus Meiring, they view Featherbed Nature Reserve as the premier rehabilitation project on the Garden Route because of the work being done with its own weed-pulling team, and the planting of trees, as well as the work being done by the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association (which manages the team from Working on Fire - whom Featherbed has contracted), and SANParks (which appointed the team from Working on Water).
We believe our project is also significant because of the presence of the Knysna Sands Fynbos in the Western Head Conservancy - and there are only 1,600 hectares of that vegetation community left in the world.
Vinyl is a classic mix of , Bar, Theater and Entertainment – what more do you want!
044 382 0386
081 544 4004
Portland Manor Country Estate nestles in the foothills of the majestic Outeniqua mountains, just 15 km from the holiday town of Knysna.