All posts by Sodurba

Durban Walking Tours

Owner Alison Chadwick and qualified Tour Guide

At the age of 58 I have taken the leap and followed my heart and passion; from 1 April 2020 I will be a full-time tour guide – available 7 days a week to take you exploring in Durban!  After 10 years of working in the tax department of Moore Durban, this is a BIG change that I am so excited about!

The decision came from all the enquiries and bookings I have received for walking tours from Corporates, schools, teachers, photo clubs, friends, family and networking.  Long may this passion of mine continue and I thank you all for being part of this journey!

Walking Tours covering history, new developments, fauna and flora, art, architecture, conservation and protecting the environment. Contact me directly for any further enquiries or bookings.

Destiny island

20th August 2020

Destiny is our 2nd Public Art Piece, from the Welcoming of the Whales Festival. 

The piece is 3m long and was designed by Umcebo Design. 

Her armature was constructed by Fabricon Holdings with additional sponsorship from CMH Kempster Ford South, as our two anchor sponsors.

Educational initiatives and art projects, the creation of Destiny Island are to promote conservation as well as being an attraction along the Whale Heritage Route.

“We built the piece with the students at Eden College using a design by Mike McFadyean and are so pleased to see Sodurba and Fabricon installing it so beautifully. An example of effective creative waste management said Robin Opperman.” 

The piece is very important as it not only showcases public art and recycling, but it educates the public on the importance of whales in our ecosystem and global ecology.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and have placed a board acknowledging their assistance, at “her” island, Destiny Island, on the corner of Grays Inn and Marine Drive, Bluff. 

We would also like to mention a thank you to Toyota Boshoku South Africa for the beautiful landscaping that they completed and St. Margaret’s Church Bluff for adopting the spot, which they will maintain and look after Destiny island.

“Destiny Island is a very important part of our Whale Heritage Route which starts at the Maritime Museum and ends at the View Points which have been established along our KZN Whale Coast. 

Said Helga du Preez Chairlady of Sodurba CTO”

The Bluff multicultural History includes a French historical background

Soyez les bien-venus ! Welcome !
The beautiful Bluff’s multicultural history includes a French historical background:

The French Missionary Order of The Oblates of Mary Immaculate” from Aix-en-Provence & Marseilles, France, first camped on the Bluff when they arrived in the early 1852. The catholic parish church in Sarmony Rd is still run by these Fathers

The French Holy Family Sisters from Bordeaux. The Sisters were responsible for the development of St Francis Xavier mission school from 1878. This was the first school for Africans in Natal. The pupilswere not only taught the 3 Rs, but also how to raise vegetables and care for the garden. Unfortunately, the school had to close in the 1960s because of the Group Areas Act. A Convent school still functions on the original site, but it was taken over by the Dominican Sisters. 

The Bluff has ties with Réunion Island, a French Overseas Department, through the horse racing world

The Bluff shares a whaling history with French ports: Bordeaux, Nantes amongst others…. 

The Bluff is home to many Francophones: poor car guards from Francophone Africa, people associated with the “Alliance Française DBN”, retired teachers and tourist guides…..

Credit: Glenn Flanagan
 Alliance Française, PMB Project Leader: French Presence in KwaZulu-Natal: La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon

Looking Back at Welcoming of the Whales Festival

What would have been our 4th annual Welcoming of the Whales Festival & we are devastated that we couldn’t have it this year due to COVID-19 epidemic.
HOWEVER we have done a throwback to our last 3 years & thought we would share how much this festival means to Sodurba and the protection of our Humpback Whales past our Whale Heritage Site. Follow us for further updates.

sodurba essential services accommodation providers 2020

Working closely with our members on obtaining the correct protocols and procedures in order to operate during this COVID-19 pandemic. Support local and help us to keep tourism alive within the South.

See below a list of our members that are offering essential workers accommodation at present.

4 Shore Guesthouse28 & 30 Foreshore Drive, BluffLeoni Oliver/ Winston031 467 4425082 877 53164shoredurban@gmail.com 
African Peninsula Guesthouse599 Marine Dr, BluffHarry Etheridge0314671045082 468 5801harry@afpen.com
All Seasons B&B19 Sloane Road, Ocean ViewJJ Jordaan (janet)031 466 2923082 457 2705allseasonsbandb@telkomsa.net
Bluff Holiday Accommodation485 Bluff Rd, BluffDenise Rawthee031 467 1685083 320 1465denise@bluffaccommodation.co.za
Hamelin Guesthouse16 Olympic Avenue BluffKelly Bengston031 467 2521073 491 2245hamelinguesthouse@gmail.com
Jo-Thams Guesthouse130 Cluwer Crescent Agnes Vermaak/ Thamendrie073 195 9500082 924 7837jothamsplace@gmail.com
Oaklands Lodge341 Gray Park Rd, BluffJeannette Nicholson03146776580865245619enquiries@oaklandslodge.co.za 
Moon Hotel522 South Coast Rd ClairwoodRamoll Bugwandeen031 465 1711/2082 320 0374admin@moonhotel.co.za
Ocean Blue Guesthouse237 Dr Hoosen Haffejee Road, BluffHelga du Preez031 467 3623083 321 3792helga@oceanblueguesthouse.co.za
Olive Room B&B10 John Geekie Road GlenmoreJohan Labuschagne031 261 1418082 514 1984info@oliveroom.co.za
Pleasant Waters83 Moss Rd, Ocean View, Bluff 4052David Nielsen031 467 9461082 336 7433fulloutputcc@telkomsa.net 
The Bridgewing250 Dr Hoosen Haffajee Rd, BluffFanie van Rooyen/ Stephanus031 467 0493083 777 4606scvrooyen@telkomsa.net
Villa Le View Guest Lodge62 Dunville Rd, GrosvernorSuzette Niemand031 467 7299082 441 5398info@villaleview.co.za
List of Sodurba’s Essential Service Provider Accommodation Details

Welcoming of the Whales 2020 on the KZN Whale coast

“My first hump-back whale for the season seen off Bluff yesterday eve just as southerly buster arrived! Good to know they have a safer passage right now on their way from Antarctica to their breeding waters in the Mozambique channel – with less sea-traffic, no imminent seismic surveys and no shark nets in the water keep your eyes peeled and share your sighting with the following hashtags below. Said by Dr Jean Harris Executive Director of Wildlands”

Thank you to our KZN Whale Coast group for these amazing photos of our first Humpback Whales on our coastline.

#sodurba #kznwhalecoast #wildoceansa

Bluff, Durban achieves International Whale Heritage Site Status

Spearheaded by Helga du Preez and Melissa Lee, of Soul of South Durban (SODURBA) Community Tourism Association, the campaign to bid for Whale Heritage Site status for eThekwini has seen fruition.  Inspired by the World Whale Conference held in Durban in June 2017, du Preez, supported by WILDOCEANS’ Rachel Kramer, Matthew Cocks of WESSA and Bluff ward councillor JP Prinsloo worked assiduously with the Bluff Steering Committee to meet the criteria required by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) to apply for certification.

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Established by the WCA, Whale Heritage Sites are an initiative aimed at increasing the protection and conservation of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their habitats while also contributing to sustainable livelihoods, the arts, science and education.

image1Whale Heritage Site (WHS) status is granted to those places around the world where cetaceans are celebrated through art, education, research and cultural events; where sustainable practices and livelihoods are continually improved to ensure the health of cetacean habitats and the long-term economic health of human communities; and where respectful coexistence with cetaceans is supported through law, policy and cooperation. Whale Heritage Sites are high sea or coastal marine areas, and less often freshwater rivers and lakes, where cetaceans live, and the associated land areas. Whale Heritage Sites are identified against criteria that interweave natural and cultural elements and acknowledge critical places that, for reasons of physical and social geography, are sites where people can coexist with cetaceans in an authentic and respectful way. “Whale Heritage Sites are becoming the gold standard for responsible whale watching destinations worldwide,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau, honorary president of the World Cetacean Alliance, which runs the certification initiative.

Accreditation as a Whale Heritage Site brings regional, national, and global attention to the area and helps to promote sustainable tourism, marine conservation, and the whale-related cultural heritage of coastal communities.  Out of nine international applications only two where successfully, the Bluff in Durban (South Africa) and Hervey Bay in Australia.  The potential economic impact on the South Durban Basin and eThekwini as a whole is tremendous and will be embraced by all stakeholders who will benefit from the steering committee’s achievement. Only two such sites exist in the world and the Bluff is one of them. “This can be a strategic job creator and investment opportunity in our city and community. Given the difficult economic climate and high unemployment rate such an opportunity should be widely embraced. This is also a chance for us to keep building towards our vision of making the Bluff a Green Community,” said JP Prinsloo, ward councillor for the Bluff area.

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The Bluff offers an historic whaling station and many opportunities for whale and dolphin watching along the extensive coast.  This presents an opportunity for tourists to take a cultural and environmental journey from the cruel, irresponsible activities of commercial whaling to the respect these magnificent animals now deserve from conservation authorities around the world.

The future success of the Whale Heritage Site status will rely heavily on building partnerships and getting private investment. Another key success factor will be the response by the city of eThekwini and their drive towards supporting this fledgling industry. The combined efforts of SODURBA, WILDOCEANS (a programme of the WILDTRUST), WESSA Treasure Beach, the councillor and local municipal officials has proved successful. These successes include an annual Welcoming of the Whales Festival attended by more than 6000 people in 2019, a Whale Sports festival, establishing view sites, whale themed art installations along the whale heritage route and a 3m whale sculpture called Destiny.

Dylan Walker, CEO of the World Cetacean Alliance said, “We would like to thank The Bluff Steering Committee for the outstanding work undertaken that has culminated in this certification.  We view the Bluff as a wonderful example of how a small, but dedicated, group of people working tirelessly can develop responsible and sustainable tourism with associated benefits for local human and cetacean communities in an area that faces many other environmental and social challenges.”

A Must See!

WARD 66 councillor JP Prinsloo and his office together with Sodurba Tourism and WildOceans are currently working on a project to promote the KZN whale coast by developing and beautifying three main whale viewing points on the Bluff.

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Pictured is the talented artist who painted the beautiful mural on Airlie Road, Dianne Campbell, resident Johnny Swanepoel and Cllr JP Prinsloo

The viewpoints have been identified on Airlie and Netford Roads as well as Finnemore Place.