NEW VIGOUR ON TOURISM TRAIL

Renewed vigour has been blown into the Central Karoo on-going tourism campaign. Meetings have been conducted in Beaufort: West, Lainsburg, Prince Albert and Murraysburg along guidelines from Lample Fick, the Western Cape Province Minister of Agriculture, Planning and Tourism. Each town has elected delegates to serve on a Regional Tourism Committee (RTC) and an inaugural meeting of this new body is scheduled for March. The RTC will elect. a member for each of the two provincial standing committees, which in turn will each nominate two members to serve on the four-man ministerial advisory board. Technicalities have delayed legislation, but Prince Albert, Laingsburg and Murraysburg have applied for interim accreditation. They are well on the way to establishing the required tourism bureaux.”There have been a few hitches in Beaufort West, but the Publicity Association committee is sorting these out.

OP DIE MAAT VAN ‘N WALS

Deesdae soek mense alhoemeer dikwels na inligting oor die Karoo. Lede van die Pienaar familie het onlangs Johanna Spann van Beaufort-Wes gekontak op soek na Die Beaufort- Wals. Sy het dit toe in die boek Hooyvlakte opgespoor. Die stuk is tussen 1909 en 1912 deur die blinde komponis Jacobus Johannes “Koot” Pienaar. gekomponeer. Hy is ook verantwoordelik vir ander komposisies, maar net Die Beaufort-Wals is ooit gepubliseer. Dit is deur Darter & Sons van Kaapstad uitgegee. Koot is in 1866 blind gebore en is aan Worcester Skool vir die Blindes opgelei om klaviere te herstel en te stem. Hy het dwarsoor die Karoo op klaviere gewerk en altyd Die Beaufort-Wals gespeel om hulle te toets. Die wals was baie gewild en is by feitlik alle-gesellighede in die Karoo gespeel. Koot Pienaar is in 1950 oorlede.

READERS TRACE LOST SYMPHONY

A film company failed to find it, but now Round-up readers have managed to trace the Symphony of the Karoo by Gideon Fagan after it had inexplicably vanished. The detective work was done by Marjory May Kruger, of Laingsburg, and Juliana Terblanche, of the SABC. Juliana has a reputation for being able to find just about any piece of music. Her tireless search revealed a symphony in four movements – Elevating Solitude, Fauna and Phantoms, Calamity and The Storm Begets a Dream Garden. It has a duration of 35 minutes and 23 seconds. the symphony was originally recorded in 1977 by the SABC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Anton Hartman. The information was conveyed to. the film company, which earned Round-Up and its readers high praise. During they search several people called suggesting that “The Sounds of Silence” would be an ideal tune for the Karoo to adopt.

ON THE WILD SIDE

A new company, Wildnet Africa, has been established to prepare a database on eco-tourism, farm holidays and hunting venues. The information will be made available on Internet, on CDs and on the mapping programmes of a variety of electronic directories used by clients searching for such facilities. It will be printed every quarter as a directory. The Central Karoo Tourism office has listed itself as a general contact point, and has arranged free basic listings for all holiday and hunting farms in the Karoo. Wildnet Africa will contact farm owners direct regarding other listings and enquiries received.

AUTO-TENT IS LOF TOEGESWAAI

Christo Swanepoel van Beaufort-Wes vervaardig nou ‘n Auto-Tent wet groot lof verdien het onder buitelugentoesiaste. Hierdie opwiptent, wat “soos ‘n boek oopmaak”, kan op enige motor, bakkie, 4 x 4, sleepwaentjie of bussie gemonteer word. Dit bevat ‘n 50mm oorgetrekte matras en slaapsakke kan maklik in die tent toegevou word. “Die basiese idea kom uit Australia,” se Christo. ” Hier is dit ook gewild, veral ander vrouens en kampeerders, omdat hulle bo grondvlak slaap en ongediertes, goggas en slange nie maklik in so an tent kan kom nie.”

HERITAGE LEGISLATION

The National Monuments Act is to be revised. This has been announced by the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr Ben Ngubane, who approved a Consultative Forum in Cape Town, where guidelines for new legislation were discussed. Topics covered the preservation of buildings, structures and locations, such as Matjifontein and The Hell, as well as moveable cultural objects, antiques, archaeological and palaeontological sites, rock art, war graves and historic sites. Suggested ways of closing the gap between provincial and national bodies were also tabled.

MENSFEES IN APRIL

Murraysburg Mensfees, bekend as die Karoo Jol van die Jaar, word vanaf 19 tot 21 April gehou. Dit begin met ‘n “Steady Guns” jag kompetisie, dan is daar die Ou Mutual Halfmaraton en fietsrykompetisie en ‘n dansdinee met “Boots”. Daar sal ook ‘n straatfees, modeparade, skeerkompetisie, honde- en reddingsvertonings wees. Gerrit Badenhorst, die sterkste man in Suid-Afrika, kulkunstenaar, Chris Welch, en Francois Hayes gaan optree. Op Sondag sal ‘n opelug kerkdiens gehou word.

DESIGNER TOURS FOR COST CONSCIOUS GROUPS

Translux is reaching out to assist tour planners who need to keep a careful eye on budgets. They have created a Purse-string Tours Division to help church groups, old-age homes and community organisations plan budget tours throughout Southern Africa. Sales representative Julian Ouickelberge says: “We supply comfortable 44-seater touring coaches with on-board video facilities and drivers at reasonable cost. We also assist with route planning to ensure all tours are cost-effective.

OLYFFEES OP WERKERSDAG

Die Prins Albert Olyffees begin vanjaar op Werkersdag, 1 Mei. Dit duur tot 5 Mei om besoekers tyd te gee om te ontspan en die dorp en sy omgewing te verken. Baie buitelug aktiewiteite word beplan. Daar sal staptoere en uitstappies na die Hel en ander dele van die Swartberge, die goudvelde, fossielgebiede en boesmantekeninge wees, sowel as bergfiets-en fietsryroetes. Op Vryday en Saterdag sal die straatvermaak kabarets, braais, danse, en partytjies insluit. ‘n Kookkompetisie sal op olywe gesentreer wees. Gedurende die fees sal besoekers allerhande olyflekkernye soos brood, pizzas, en tapenade kan koop. Vanselfsprekend sal_witblits ook te koop aangebied word.

THE BOYS FROM BEAUFORT

The new Military Museum at the Castle in Cape Town is looking for information on units formed in Beaufort West between 1850 and the turn of the century. Mr Natie Greeff, curator of the Castle Museum, wrote recently to the Beaufort West Museum seeking information. He says preliminary research done by Major W B Smith, a man keen on delving into Cape military history, has found that three units were formed in Beaufort West. One was the Beaufort West Rifle Volunteers, a small unit of 22 men which served with Wavell’s Column in the Transkei during the Basutoland Rebellion. In 1894 it amalgamated with eight other units to form the Western Rifles of the Cape, and served in the Langberg Campaign of 1896 – 1897. Beaufort Royal Rifles was raised in 1858 with a strength of 38, and Dymes Beaufort West Rifles was accepted as a unit on March 30, 1881. The latter had 190 men and served in Basotuland with the Headquarters Column of the European Infantry. Sandra Smit, curator of Beaufort West Museum, seems to have discovered yet another unit, the Beaufort West Burghers. They’re mentioned in a report on the Basuto War in The Courier of December 4, 1880, together with the Beaufort West Volunteers and Beaufort West Corps.

LIGHT SHED ON KHAKIGAT

Many a researcher has already tried to established exactly why a cave near Seweweekspoort was called Khakigat. Margorie May Kruger, of the nearby holiday farm Paddasvlei, recently unravelled the mystery while discussing the cave with Mrs Susanna Elizabeth “Tickey” Nefdt, 90, whose family was among the first to farm in this area. Mrs Nefdt said the cave was used by British scouts to waylay Boer soldiers and so gain information on troop movements. At times the British were successful, but the Boers knew the mountains well and more often than not gave those waiting in the “Khakigat” the slip.

ONDEK DIE PRAG VAN DIE SWARTBERG

Nelmarie Swiegers het ‘n gastehuis op hulle plaas Witrivier langs die voet van die Swartberg geskep. Dit is 9km van die teerpad af en op ‘n pragtige bergroete. Sy bied twee kamers in haar huis aan vir gaste wat saam met ‘n plaasgesin wil bly. Vir die wat privaatheid soek is daar ‘n huisie naby waar mense selfversorgend kan wees of etes by die plaashuis geniet. Witrivier Iê in ‘n pragtige wereld van proteas en bergblomme. Daar is ‘n heerlike pad vir fietsry en heelwat areas wat geskik is vir ‘n piekniek hou. Nelmarie sal toeriste tot bo op die berg neem vir en opelug ontbyt as hulle die sonsopkoms wil geniet, of vir skemerkelkies as hulle sonsondergang meer aantreklik vind. “Ons wereld is so besonders, ons wil dit graag deel,” sê sy.

DINING ON THE TROT

During the summer season tourists love strolling through Beaufort West to enjoy the evening air. Local restauranteurs now plan to add a dash of interest to such walks by each serving one course of a Safari Dinner at a different venue along the route. “A special menu with dishes based on traditional Karoo fare will be developed,” explained Trevor Young. “We aim to include an element of fun. Also, to ensure that neither the route nor menu gets boring the Safari will start at different venues each time. We are currently developing the idea and discussing menus. We would like to hear from restaurants and hotels who’re interested in participating,” said Trevor.

UNFRIENDLY SIGN A WINNER

Murraysburg’s “unfriendly” farm sign has made it into print again. The sign, mounted on a cannon in the middle of a field, simply states: “Warning to Poachers – Survivors will be shot”. A picture of it appeared in Getaway Magazine and won a year’s subscription for photographer Leon Quenet, of Rondebosch.

BIG DEVELOPMENTS PLANNED

Major developments are on the cards for Beaufort West. A new R2,2m -development is planned for the Trust Bank Centre on the corner of Donkin and Union Streets. The entire complex and adjacent garage area will be revamped to provide more shops and outlets for top stores. The design of the building, which will feature a village-style facade, has been handled by Dennis Moss, the same company that was responsible for the Beaufort structure plan. “This firm has a great interest in the preservation of the historic and cultural atmosphere of the platteland,” said Charl van der Merwe, new chairman of Beaufort West Publicity Association. “Interest in the project is high, and there have. been many interesting applications for shops.”

NUWE RESTOURANT EN HOTEL BEPLAN

In ‘n verdere Beaufort-Wes ontwikkeling gaan daar op 1 Mei langs die BKB begin word met die bou van ‘n Formula 1 Hotel- en Saddles Restourantkompleks. Hierdie “budget-hotel” gaan oor 52 slaapkamers beskik, elk met drie beddens en sy eie badkamer. Daar bestaan al meer as 200 van hierdie sport hotelle regoor die wêreld en hulle is besonder gewild onder “backpackers” en jong mense. Beaufort-Wes se Formula I gaan een van die modernste ter wêreld wees en sal ook een van die ‘eerstes wees om die organisasie se nuwe kleurskema te kry. Die Saddles wat langs die CMR Dienssentrum gebou sal word sal ‘n Victoriaanse

Voorkoms hê en sal help om die dorp se historiese karakter te behou.

HOLLYWOOD IN THE VELD

Film-makers are continuing to show great interest in the Karoo and much material is being filmed here for international markets. A German team recently visited Badshoek in the Nuweveld Mountains for discussions with Colin and Evelyn de Villiers about using this venue for a film. TV crews, now working in the area, are filming general programme material. David Moore, of Mountain Movies, has returned to prepare a programme for the SABC at Three Sisters on Johan Hamman’s model train collection, as well as a second one on the fossils of the Karoo. He arrived to film these during one of the heaviest downpours in the Karoo in years, and had to drive along roads like rivers. “Even though it made our job more difficult, this was a rare experience that gave us some very unusual Karoo footage,” David said.

SKRIKLIG IN DIE NAG

‘n-Oorsese filmspan het onlangs mense behoorlik die skrik op die lyf gejaag toe hulle ‘n advertensie verfilm het in die Laingsburg distrik op Wilhelm Theron se plaas, Dwars in die Bos. Hulle moes ‘n buitelandse vuistasie naboots en ‘n eislike teerblad van oor die R40 000 Iê om hierdie hoekie van die Karoo soos Amerika te laat voorkom. ‘n Gedeelte moes in donkerte verfilm word en groot, sterk spreiligte was ingespan. Dit is toe juis hierdie eienaardige lig in die middle van ‘n donker Karoo-nag wat die bure hulle laat boeglam skrik het. Van hulle het sommer dadelik die polisie op Laingsburg geskakel.

GUIDE-FOR THE DISABLED

The National Accessibility Scheme’s Tourism Without Barriers project, designed to make travel easier for the handicapped, is to be taken a step further. Satour plans to print a comprehensive booklet listing all facilities for physically, visually or aurally disabled tourists. To ensure absolute usefulness all possible information is needed. Please contact Rose Willis if you have facilities for handicapped tourists.

NUWE TOERGIDS

Werk op die nuwe Weskaap Toergids is amper voltooi. Alles is op datum gebring en vanjaar sal die spasie wat aan die Karoo toegeken is groter wees. Die gids sal ook ‘n volledige lys van akkommodasieplekke bevat.