Rose’s Round-up February 1999 No 65

BIG BLUE TRAIN BASH TO SALUTE Y2K The first exotic party to greet the new millennium is now being planned for the Great Karoo. The Blue Train Company intends bringing two train loads of VIPs to the Karoo where they will see 1999 out under the stars and watch the sun rise on the new millennium across the vast, unspoiled plains of the Great Karoo. One of the team members organising this event is Delwin Kriel, of David Barrett and Co. He and his colleagues have spent considerable time reconnoitering possible venues, and are now preparing proposals for each. [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 1999 No 64

NEW HOME FOR RHINO ORPHAN Early last year a lonely black rhino bull calf was spotted roaming at Addo Elephant National Park. Investigation soon revealed that its mother had been killed by an elephant. Game ranger Wayne Erlank and veterinary surgeon Piet Morkel captured the orphan and arranged its transfer to Karen Fedler's Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) in Pretoria.. The calf's sad and pinched face reminded Piet of Badger, a strange little dog once owned by one of his daughters. That's how the little rhino got its name. At ARC Karen managed to bottle feed the huge baby. Within short [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 1998 No 63

SIGN OF A BIG WELCOME The first road sign welcoming tourists to the Western Cape Province was recently unveiled in the Beaufort West area by a man born and bred in the Great Karoo. While standing on the Karoo plains near the curiously shaped koppies at Three Sisters, Mr Piet Meyer, Minister of Transport and Works, reminisced about his carefree childhood days at Noupoort. "The Karoo is a special place and makes an intriguing northern gateway to the Western Cape Province," he said. "This sign on the busy N1 will welcome tourists from neighbouring provinces, as well as our friends [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1998 No 62

BIGGER RHINO HERD The Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West is preparing to receive some pretty hefty permanent residents. The first Bicornis michaelis, an East African black rhino bull, has arrived and is being acclimatised in a bouma. Staff at the park are busy constructing fences and more boumas to accommodate a herd of 10 animals to be delivered from Addo National Park early next year. The newcomers are slightly smaller than the five Bicornis bicornis black rhino that the Karoo National Park sent to Addo earlier this year. "We are delighted by the swop. The bigger herd will mean [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 1998 No 61

LINKS ACROSS THE WORLD In 2002, Beaufort West in the Great Karoo will host a get-together of a society for towns called "Beaufort." This was revealed by Beaufort West Tourism Bureau marketing committee chairman Rob Pollitt at a recent annual general meeting. He said: "Some time ago, while overseas I attended a meeting of the Societe Beaufort, originally established in France. This exclusive society has only 14 members, all towns called Beaufort. Its members are in countries such as France, Ireland, Wales, North Carolina, in the United States, and Australia. The group meets every second year, each time in [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 1998 No 60

RETURN OF THE BIRDMAN Rob Davies, a researcher who spent five years in the Karoo studying the habits of black eagles, is back. This time he intends writing a book on the natural history of the Great Karoo. "At the end of 1989 and in 1990, I studied these magnificent raptors in the Beaufort West area and lived at the old airport. It was a wonderful time during which I was able to complete some beautiful eagle studies. I am now taking a more in- depth look at the Karoo, starting way back in the days when it was [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 1998 No 59

HOPE FOR THE HELL A group of ministers and VIPs recently visited Gamkaskloof, popularly known as The Hell, to discuss its preservation, restoration and tourism potential. Among them were Mr Mark Wiley, Minister of Public Safety and Environment Affairs, Mr Kobus Meiring, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Dr Kas Hamman, acting director, Cape Nature Conservation, Mr Carel du Preez, head, Department of Cultural and Environmental Affairs, and Ms Hannetjie du Preez, director, Cultural Affairs. They were accompanied by Ms Eureka Barnard of Cape Museum Services. They all agreed The Hell was an important cultural historic site and could become a major [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 1998 No 58

TOURISM MUSHROOMS, SAYS MINISTER Tourism in the Western Cape Province has mushroomed, yet there is still room for growth. This was said by Mr Hennie Bester, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, at meeting with the Central Karoo Regional Tourism Organisation in Beaufort West. He said tourism in the Western Cape Province represented between 8 and 10 percent of the province's gross regional product. This meant that virtually overnight tourism, as a revenue earner, had leapt up to equal agriculture, the oldest industry in the province. "The Western Cape is South Africa's number one destination, with 28% of international visitors [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 1998 No 57

TOP-LEVEL DISCUSSIONS Eight chairmen of Regional Tourism Organisations in the Western Cape recently met with Mr Hennie Bester, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, for discussions on problems facing the industry. Also present were Mr David Jack, chairman of Western Cape Tourism Board, and Mr Hennie Taljaard, head of the new Strategic Management Team. Core issues were legislation, establishment and accreditation of bureaus, funding, and workplace challenges. Ways of streamlining communications were also discussed. The minister said a Strategic Management Team, headed by Mr Hennie Taljaard, regional general manager of the Airports Company, had been appointed for three months with [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 1998 No 56

THE QUAGGA IS BACK IN THE KAROO On August 12, 1883, a quagga mare died at the Amsterdam zoo. Nobody then realised that this signalled the extinction of the species. Only later was it revealed that she had been the last of her kind on earth. This beautiful species of zebra-type animals was once abundant on the plains of the Karoo, but they were ruthlessly hunted as the settlers considered them competitors for grazing needed for sheep, goats and cattle. Early in the 1980s a project was started to recreate the species from portions of its genetic code present in [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 1998 No 55

PICKLED OSTRICH EGGS - A WORLD FIRST The enormous ostrich egg, which makes an adequate omelette for about 12 people, has landed in a pickle for the first time since it appeared on menus. Much to the delight of the culinary world two Prince Albert entrepreneurs, Jason Lucas and Johan Serfontein, are now pickling and canning whole ostrich eggs. This unique product, which recently received a small business award, has also excited the international market and several orders have been received from abroad. Among these is a large order from Japan. Pickled ostrich eggs are now available at duty-free shops [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 1998 No 54

LONG WALK FOR DONKEY RIGHTS A little grey donkey will lead an historic 75km pilgrimage over the Swartberg Pass in April. The aim is to create an awareness of the plight of donkeys and to raise funds for an educational programme on their care. The walk, from Prince Albert to Oudtshoorn, will be undertaken by Esmeralda, a badly abused donkey rescued by Howard Derby in 1994. They will be accompanied on this epic journey by Rev Chris Briers, of Prince Albert, local artist, Lenore Snyman and a group of children. In an effort to ease the lot of beasts of [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 1998 No 53

EXCELLENT SEASON BOOSTS THE TRADE The past Festive Season, one of the best in the Great Karoo for some years, has set the pace for 1998. The busy time throughout the December/January holiday period, when virtually all accommodation venues were filled to capacity, has left behind a fresh enthusiasm for tourism. Most venues reported reaching capacity earlier and being fuller for longer. This was attributed to the timely launch of the N1 promotional campaign which created a great deal of co-operation between towns along the route. Early distribution of information sheets ensured that each Tourist Bureau, from Colesberg to [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 1997 No 52

OUTA LAPPIES STUNS ART WORLD Johannesburg has never seen anything like it. And at the centre of all the fuss was the Great Karoo's Outa Lappies with his unique art forms and philosophies. The crowds loved him. His colourful patchwork outfits, embroidered mottos, wicker lamps and "karretjies" were highlights at the opening night of the Africa Exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The exhibition runs until March. The work of this proud, dignified man with his razor-sharp mind, twinkling eyes and keen sense of humour, caught the eye of gallery director, Dr Elsa Miles, when she travelled through the Karoo. [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1997 No 51

CELEBRATIONS STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART Professor Chris Barnard came home to celebrate his 75th birthday in Beaufort West. To mark the occasion, the local Tourism Bureau organised a Heart Festival. A birthday banquet honoured the heart transplant pioneer's big day. It all began at 06h00 at the gates of the Karoo National Park, when Professor Barnard officially started a marathon, through the park. Only the second of its kind, the other is run through the Kruger Park. Then Lara, the latest addition to the Barnard clan, was christened in the lovely little Mission Church where her grandfather, the beloved Reverend [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 1997 No 50

TOURISM UNDER THE MICROSCOPE Fragmentation, lack of funds and inadequate support are threatening the growth of tourism. These problems were recently discussed at a Provincial Development Council Tourism Specialist Committee Meeting in Paarl. An urgent call was made for a meeting to be arranged with all other organisations with allied interests to eliminate duplication, implement sustainable growth and advance efficient, effective and streamlined communications. Cape Town International Airport Manager, Rennie Taljaard, says: "The Western Cape Province still holds the top tourism slot in South Africa. Airport arrivals reveal steady growth in both domestic and international market sectors, and this has [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 1997 No 49

NEW INFO STOP ON KAROO N1 A new tourist information "I" sign will soon appear on the Karoo N1. It will take its place in the modem world of travelling just south of Leeu Gamka at Rietfontein Farm Stall. And it just goes to show that the tiniest of villages can become partners in tourism. This newest Tourist Bureau in the Great Karoo represents a co-operative effort between the communities of the villages of Leeu Gamka, Merweville and. Prince Albert Road. The idea mushroomed as a result of the current special promotion of the Karoo N1 route. Hannes Botes's farm [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 1997 No 48

THE STORK VISITS AGAIN Another new baby has arrived at the Karoo National Park, but no one yet knows whether it's a boy or a girl. Ngara, the older of the two black rhino cows, has produced her second offspring. She chose the same place for confinement where she gave birth to Gamka in 1995. "It is a secluded, dense, bushy area and here she will stay with her calf until its feet have hardened sufficiently and it is strong enough to walk about on Karoo veld. We have not yet been able to determine the sex as Ngara is [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 1997 No 47

NEW TOURISM PARTNERSHIP Karoo towns along the N1 have joined forces and formed a new partnership in tourism. They have established the Karoo N1 Marketing Association and its aim is to promote all facilities along this busy route and ensure that information about where to stay and what to see or do, is easily accessible to tourists. Meetings will be held regularly to share information and discuss promotions. The Association's slogan is "Getting there is half the fun". It aims to encourage tourists to stop more frequently as regular rests have proved to play a major role in road safety. [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 1997 No 46

TOURISM - CALL FOR A RETHINK "The way in which we market South Africa desperately needs to be changed." The new chairman of Satour, Liz Wesby-Nunn, said at a recent National Tourism Conference in Stellenbosch that tourism was a holistic product and needed to be marketed more efficiently and effectively throughout the country. "We all have to be part of tourism and we have a social responsibility to change. Our economy depends on it. Satour aims to change the dynamics of tourism in South Africa. We have moved from eco-tourism and are concentrating on culture for the next three years. [...]