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Our very own Sodurba APP!

Tourism app to aid tourists in South Durban

1THE Bluff-based SODURBA community tourism organisation (CTO), is going high-tech with a newly developed app to allow visitors and even Durban locals to experience and stay informed about the heritage and tourism routes they can visit in the region.The team responsible for the creation of the app is excited about its launch. The app’s creation was powered by the committee of the Sodurba CTO, along with a local app designer and his colleagues. It focuses on the rich history of the area and the tourist gem that is Durban South.

READ: Tourism routes launch

“The app aims to give the visitor, whether local or overseas, holidaymaker or businessman, a really good insight to areas that Sodurba encompasses. It will highlight the area’s licensed accommodation establishments including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, backpackers and camping sites to restaurants and shopping malls. More importantly the app exposes the user to the forgotten treasures that the Durban South area houses, in the form of its tourism routes. One such tourism route is the whale watching route, explained Sodurba chairman, Helga du Preez.

In partnership with Durban Tourism, Sodurba held a first of its kind Arrival of the Whales Festival in June. The festival happened to coincide with the World Whale Conference which was held in Durban at the same time. Delegates from all over the world flocked to the conference and also attended the Arrival of the Whales Festival at Ansteys Beach.

“From this conference and the unbelievable interest shown by international delegates, Sodurba is now, along with other roleplayers, in the process of proclaiming the old whaling station a national heritage site for the benefit of future generations of Durban South. As progress is made, future plans for the old whaling station will be reported on, so locals should check the Sodurba app and their local newspaper,” added du Preez.

 

Businesses are invited to download the Sodurba app, which is still being fine tuned. Sodurba members are automatically listed on the app.

APP ADVERT-01The Sodurba CTO team is especially eager to hear from any organisation or local club which is planning to host activities over the festive season, so that these can be published and added to the app, so that visitors to Durban South are made aware of these events.

For more information on the app and Sodurba, contact Melissa Lee on 076-404-7800.

Source: Lauren Beukes

New South Durban route offers it all

header-2There is a new route Durban travellers can look forward to visiting.

Sodurba, consisting of three different routes in areas like the Bluff, Yellowwood Park, Clairwood and Wilson Wharf areas, showcases the south of Durban perfectly.

The first route explores the KZN Whale Coast. The route starts at The Whale History Museum at the Maritime Museum. Visitors can take a scroll through the museum to explore the boats and the history of the whales. That is followed by a boat cruise at Wilson’s Wharf, to WESSA Treasure Beach  and Brighton Beach. The next one is the Conservation Legacy Route that also goes to Wessa Treasure Beach, Bluff Nature Reserve, Bluff Eco Park, Wilderness Leadership School  and Stainbank Nature Reserve Castle and Art Gallery. The last route is Multicultural. It explores the different cultural institutions in these areas, including Clairwood Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple, Isipingo Gowshala and Mandir Temple, Isipingo Shree Siva Soobramoniar Temple and the Shri Sivan Soobramoniar Alayam.

Sodurba is a refreshing new tourist route away from the usual tourist spots in Durban like Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Durban beachfront.

The educational element is also important. Tourists are educated on numerous aspects of Durban life, it’s people and their culture.

We got treated to a mix of the activities on the route.

There are plans to launch more activities and routes as time progresses. Chairman of South Durban Tourism, Helga Du Preez, said additional tourist routes is perfect to boost tourism, create jobs and in turn have a positive economic growth in our city. During the tour, environmental educator Andre Steenkamp boasted about the accessible accommodation offered in the Durban South area. This was especially so for Marine Drive on the Bluff that is home to many b&bs and guest houses.

For further information, contact Sodurba Tourism on 031 467 0404.

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DURBAN SUNSATIONAL SUMMER

Durban is a natural paradise known for its gorgeous coastline of sun-kissed beaches and subtropical climate, situated on the eastern seaboard of Africa. The City is built around one of the busiest ports in Africa and our people are our pride. The city focuses on providing visitors with a unique set of experiences that go beyond the beach and into the realm of Durban’s diverse culture, urban lifestyle and scenic diversity. The City of Durban is an elegant, mature and ambitious city. It is a trendsetter in offering great lifestyle, speckled with adventure activities, blessed with natural beauty and is an astonishingly liveable city. Whether you here as a business delegate or a leisure traveler there is a warm African flavor that will capture your heart forever.

It’s no fluke the whales are here!

Durban – Humpback whales are back in KwaZulu-Natal waters, with whale song reverberating under the waves and massive tail flukes heralding the fourth World Whale Conference and Durban’s first Welcoming of the Whales Festival, set to take place in Durban later this month.

image-whale-diveRiette Bennett, the owner of Advantage Tours, which holds the permit for whale watching in Durban and St Lucia, confirmed whales have been spotted this week as the annual migration takes place from the southern oceans. “The first lone whale was spotted on May 18, followed by a lull for two weeks, and then the others started arriving.
File picture: Supplied “We have such beautiful humpback whales coming up our coastline. They come from the Antarctic up to the warm Mozambique waters to mate and breed. Those that are pregnant will go back to the Antarctic for the 12-month gestation period and come back next year to give birth.

“Those giving birth will travel back slowly, waiting for the calf to put on blubber. A calf will drink up to 400 litres a day and they need to build up their blubber to survive in the icy waters of the Antarctic,” said Bennett. She added that the southern right whale is only occasionally seen in KZN waters, with a 60 ton mother and calf spotted last year.

While whales across the southern ocean move north to warmer waters at this time of year – whether to Africa, Australia or America – for breeding purposes, the annual sardine run also brings a huge pod of whales travelling behind them.

Bennett said they were very excited about the World Whale Conference to be held in the city, and particularly about sharing information with other whale watching operations from around the world. “We can share what species we see, their migratory habits, the extraordinary markings and perhaps create a platform to share pictures and information,” she said, citing an example of a whale tail they photographed, which appeared to have a bite out of the tail. “Two years later, the exact same whale appeared in front of our vessel. We were over the moon,” she said.

slideshow-conservation

Dr Ken Findlay, the Research Chair in Oceans Economy at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and one of the guest speakers invited to the conference, said whale populations on the southern hemisphere were faring well, having recovered from “severe whaling pressure”.

The World Whale Conference (June 24-29) is being hosted by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) and the theme is “Towards Responsible Tourism for Cetaceans” which will focus on sharing evidence and discussing strategies to ensure the protection of cetaceans.
Cetaceans are aquatic mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Part of the conference will also include a Whale Heritage Sites Summit, which will discuss and explore opportunities for the development of new sites in Africa and worldwide.

The Welcoming of the Whales Festival will be held on June 24 and 25, with WCA supporting Sodurba Community Tourism Organisation (Durban South Tourism) hosting the first whale celebration event at Anstey’s Beach on the Bluff. Activities will include educational, art and cultural events to celebrate the arrival of the whales.

Written by Tanya Waterworth – Independent on Saturday

Building a whale from ocean waste is truly inspirational!

Recently Umcebo Design shared Durban school children’s unique reflections on their
Creations for Cetaceans project: building whales to go on display during the WCA’s
upcoming World Whale Conference.

C4CHumpback1“We decorated a beautiful wire whale with bottle tops to hang up at the Conference. This will hopefully change stubborn minds about throwing bottle caps away into the deep blue sea”. This inspirational quote from primary school student, Sam Walker shows his enthusiasm for the unique community project about whales in Durban. With the other pupils of Manor Gardens Primary School, Sam is building a whale from waste materials like those polluting the ocean.

“Me and my class were lucky to be a part of two wonderful projects. There was a whale covered in mesh and we had to cable tie blue, black and white plastic bottle tops on it. This represented all the whales that have been killed from plastic bottle tops. Umcebo made the thing that had been killing the whales into something beautiful”. Mia Chappe
Creations for Cetacean.

 

Robin Opperman from Umcebo Design has been commissioned by the WCA to undertake
this whale project for the upcoming World Whale Conference. It did not take Robin much
to convince WCA about the huge potential to involve both the local community, the
participants of the World Whale Conference and, hopefully, a huge audience around the
world. The project forms a part of “Creations for Cetaceans” and is the WCA’s latest
initiative in celebrating cetaceans through art. School children build whales from recycled (waste) materials like the plastics and wire netting that end up killing marine life in our oceans. Whilst participating, they learn more about the impact we have on our oceans and what they can do to recycle more. The finished whales will be exhibited at both the Welcoming of the Whales festival, co-hosted by Sodurba, and the World Whale
Conference from the 24th of June.

More sponsors wanted!

Woolworths – Have sponsored one of the whale sculptures Building these whales is all about helping education and creating more awareness of the need to protect whales. Not only that, is a fun activity to do!

Robin says: “The teachers and I see a tremendous dedication of the school kids in
creating something unique while raising awareness among adults, hopefully also outside
of South Africa. You could say that here in Durban the young are educating the old”.
Woolworths has already sponsored one whale, could you do the same?

This Creations for Cetaceans project can be really successful if the WCA and Umcebo
Design find more generous sponsors who each would adopt one of the five whales. If you
are interested in helping this incredible project by sponsoring a whale, please contact
WCA at admin@worldcetaceanalliance.org

Whale Festival comes to Bluff

image-whale-diveDURBANITES are in for a whale of a time this weekend at the maiden Welcoming of the Whales festival on the Bluff.

With a variety of activities for both young and old on offer, the day promises to be fun and educational.

Held in conjunction with the World Whale Conference being hosted in Durban, the Welcoming of the Whales festival is part of the tourism drive of the South Durban community tourism organisation, Sodurba.

Sodurba is marketing the South Durban Basin as the Whale Coast with an emphasis on education, history and entertainment to entice tourists to visit the area.

The day kicks off at 9am at Ansteys Beach on Saturday, 24 June.

Among many other items of entertainment will be sand sculpturing, dancing, demonstrations by the Sharks Board and an arts and craft market.

A rocky shore educational walk will be hosted by the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA). Registration for this walk is at 8am at Ansteys.

The cost for the walk is R35 per person.

Telescopes and binoculars will be on hand along with whale identification information to allow festival-goers the chance to spot a passing cetacean.

The Bluff Boardriders will be showcasing their skills in a contest starting at 6am on the day.

For further information, contact Sodurba Tourism on 031 467 0404


Journalist: Erin Hanekom

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