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. [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 1997 No 45

PROFESSIONALISM THE KEY The new Tourism Act for the Western Cape Province now has all roleplayers fired with enthusiasm. Constitutions are being checked, the fine print of the Act and its procedures studied and business plans are being created. If these are not tabled funding will not be forthcoming. "But, there's nothing intimidating in the new legislation," John Robert, a consultant in the Ministry of Tourism has said "Professionalism is the key. Tourism must rid itself of its begging-bowl image. We must not wring our hands and wait for handouts. The economy of this country needs tourism, it is [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 1997 No 44

RARE FIND ON LEEUFONTEIN Walking down an old, dry river bed one morning, Jaco Conradie saw a strange white object protruding from the embankment. It was the back of a skull. Closer investigation revealed it belonged to a small skeleton this had been buried in a sitting position, facing east. Quite sure that he had discovered the grave of a /Xam San hunter-gatherer of the early Karoo. Jaco rushed home to share his excitement with his father Flippie. Recent heavy rains must have washed away the bank and exposed the grave," said Flippie "By the time we got back the [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 1997 No 43

REGIONAL TOURISM FORUM MEETS The Consultative Forum on Regional Tourism, established in East London late last year, has just held a follow-up meeting in Rustenburg. The aim was to streamline communications. ensure a cohesive approach to promotion and marketing of tourism throughout South Africa, develop effective co-operation strategies for all committees and assist regional tourism organisations gain a higher visibility coupled to a better image. Financing and functions of regional offices, critical issues and plans for future development of tourism throughout South Africa were also discussed. The meeting was attended by delegates from almost all district councils throughout the Republic [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 1997 No 42

MEIRINGSPOORT REPAIRS GET TOP PRIORITY The Central Karoo District Council and the Provincial Roads Department have launched an all-out effort to repair flood damage amounting to millions of rands to roads and passes during the festive season. Meiringspoort alone was flooded three times in a month. Its reconstruction has been given top priority, and complex work costing millions began on January 15. If everything goes according to schedule, this popular tourist route should be able to accommodate traffic by April, according to District Roads Engineer Juan Prodehl. During operations, care will be taken not to disturb the ecology. “By the [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 1996 No 41

DANCE OF DEATH SOLDIER HONOURED Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, the man who called for the 'Dance of Death" to be performed as the troopship SS Mendi as it sank in 1917, has been honoured in Beaufort West, where he once served as a preacher. A plaque detailing his bravery was handed over at a Remembrance Day Service by Mr Mani. Duimpies, of the Cape Corp to the Mayor of Beaufort West, Mr Michael de Villiers. It will be displayed in the museum. The plaque was made from brass of shell case, hammered out, engraved and mounted on a wooden panel made [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1996 No 40

NEW BROCHURE BRINGS KAROO TO LIFE A new brochure which brings the magic of the Great Karoo to life will soon be available. It reveals the enchantment of this vast area with its kaleidoscope of colour. It is for those who plan to visit and to remind those who know and love the Karoo of its delights. This information brochure details the Karoo's evolution from swamp to semi-desert. It has information on rocks, fossils, fauna and flora through the millenia to the present day, as well as backgrounds on towns, settlements and unusual places, such as Matjiesfontein, the passes and [...]