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 at South African airports, at selected suppliers at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and at other specialist delicatessens. The success of the project has prompted Jason and Johan to establish a small plant at Lushof, home of the Lucas family, widely known throughout South Africa as thatchers. Jasons’s wife, Maryka, runs guest house at Lushof.


Mnr Michael Fuller, 39, sal op I April diens aanvaar as Hoofuitvoerende Beampte van die Wes-Kaap Toerisme Raad. Hy was voorheen Direkteur van Finansies en Beheer van die Olimpiese Bodkomitee, en ‘n streeksdirekteur van Ernest & Yoiung. Tydens sy tydperk by die Olimpiese Bod was hy verantwoordelik vir die ontwikkeling van die akkommodasietema en het nou saamgewerk met plaaslike en nasionale toerismerolspelers. Hy het ook ‘n aanbieding oor die impak van makro-sportgeleenthede op toerisme by die Wêreld Ekonomiese Forum in Harare gemaak. Mnr Fuller is ‘n gekwalifiseerde geouditeerde rekenmeester en het ‘n meestersgraad in besigheidsadministrasie van die Universiteit van Kaapstad.


The first South African Open Air National Karate Championships to be held in the platteland recently took place in Prince Albert and filled guest houses to capacity. There were over 800 participants and 340 supporters. It was a fun-filled weekend with contestants and their families taking time to explore the Swartberg, the town and the Great Karoo.


The so-called Big Five, the elephant, leopard, lion, rhino and buffalo, are considered highlights of any visit to South Africa. But few realise the country also has the Mini Five: the elephant shrew, leopard moth, ant lion, rhino beetle and buffalo weaver.


On a visit to her great-grandfather’s grave in Prince Albert 15 years ago, Tessa Collins fell in love with village. Now she and mother Sheila are the proud owners of a guest house there. At Collins House, a distinctive double-storey in Church Street, they offer bed and breakfast with dinner on request. Tessa’s great-grandfather, the Rev William Collins, was once the priest at St Mary’s Anglican Church on the Braak in Stellenbosch and headmaster of a local boys’ school. He retired to Prince Albert, where he died in 1885. Oddly enough, he is not the only Collins link with the village. Tessa’s great great-uncle, Dominee Adrian Hofmeyr, attended the opening ceremony of the Swartberg Pass on January 10, 1888.


Die wat nadere kennis met die Karoo wil maak moet besoek aflê by Van Tonderskraal in die Murraysburg distrik. Die plaas lê 15 km van die N1 in ‘n besondere mooi gedeelte van die Karoo. Gaste kan of in die plaashuis saam met Stephan en Dorothea Kirsten bly, of in hout chalets in ‘n pragtige bebosde kloof op ‘n ou rivieroewer. Daar is ook wild en voëls to sien.


Two new farm holiday venues in the Murraysburg area are linked by a scenic hike. The variable route, 20km – 30km, links Bloupoort, on the R63, to Toorfontein, on the gravel road to Nelspoort. Toorfontein takes its name from a “magic” fountain that has never been known to dry up. Hikers can overnight in a mountain hut, an old farmhouse, named Vastrap, or at the farm homesteads with Leslie van Heerden at Bloupoort and Dorees Pienaar at Toorfontein.


‘n Ou Viktoriaanse huis wat Laingsburg se vloed oorleef het, is onlangs in ‘n gastehuis omskep. Die Wawiel, in die hoofstraat, bied bed en ontbyt teen ‘n billike tarief aan. “Die wat graag ‘n heerlike boerekos aandete wil geniet, kan dit vooruit bespreek,” sê gasvrou Ilse Nel.


A small, brick cottage on the farm Scheurfontein, 40 km from Beaufort West on the road to Oudtshoorn, offers affordable accommodation for holidaying families on tight budgets. It is a fully-equipped, self-catering venue offering a continental breakfast. General supplies, such as milk, bread and braai packs can also be ordered. Anglo-Boer War enthusiasts can walk to a nearby memorial to Japie Hauptfleisch, a young Boer killed here in a clash with the British.


Beaufort-Wes word onder die soeklig geplaas. Die Reklame Vereniging reel ‘n dinkskrum op 15 April om 18h30 by die Klub in Donkin Straat. Alle idees vir die ontwikkelling en opbou van toerisme in die dorp sal bespreek word. Klagtes en knelpunte sal ook ter tafel gelê word.


The 1998/1999 Western Cape Travel Guide will be available at the end of April. Tourism Bureaus can order copies for resale. There will be no accommodation listings in this guide as a special accommodation guide will be printed later in the year. Also, establishments offering 40 per cent discount on winter breakaway prices from June to September, will be promoted at the Western Cape Tourism Expo at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront from May 28 to 31, 1998. Regional stands will have competitions, exciting prizes and more special offers.


In 1918, the ‘flu epidemic changed many lives forever. And so it was with a 10-year-old Beaufort West boy, Lloyd Morgan. His daughter, Jenny McNaugh!on, recently visited the grave of her grandfather, Thomas Morgan, in Beaufort Wes “I was happy to see it neat and well kept. I stood there reflecting on the saga that unfolded after he died. It’s almost like a novel.” Her father, Lloyd, was the only son of Thomas Morgan, a Welshman who came to Beaufort West with his young wife, Sophia (nee Webb), shortly after the Anglo-Boer War, to seek a cure for a chest ailment. Everything was scarce, so they opened Morgan’s Store. It was a success and they rapidly made friends. Well educated, talented aid musical, Sophia was a gracious hostess. Lloyd and his four sisters grew up strong, healthy and carefree. Sent to Grahamstown “for a good education”, he studied hard as he hoped to join his father’s business. Then disaster struck. His father contracted ‘flu and died L!oyd was devastated. Sophia inherited the store, as well as property in Cape Town. Fearing that Sophia would be lonely, Matilda de Beer, introduced her to her brother. He swept Sophia off her feet and they married almost immediately. The new husband didn’t like the Karoo, so he sold the store and house in Beaufort West house and moved the family to Cape Town. Lloyd hated it. He missed his father, longed for the Karoo and could not settle. He opted to leave so his mother gave him 18 gold sovereigns and he set sail for Australia. Down under he met the lass of his dreams, married her and settled in “a different desert”.


Blikskottel is ‘n klein grys donkie wat in almal se harte sal inkruip. Saam met sy maat, Theo, aan wie hy as verjaarsdag geskenk gegee is, deurleef hy heelwat wondere in die Karoo Hierdie Karoo kinderverhaal speel af in die Beaufort-Wes en Loxton areas Beaufort-Wes se Ark kerk en mense in Rustdene kom in die tweede hoofstuk voor. Leser wat die area ken sal heelwat bekende plekke en plase in die storie vind. “Theo en Blikskottel” wat op die Wes-Kaap Onderwysdepartement se voorgeskrewe lys vir Graad 7 verskyn, word hierdie maand deur Juta vrygestel. Die skrywer is Melanie Holland, ‘n Engelse onderwyseres aan die Hoërskool Victoria-Wes, wie onder haar nooiensvan, Melanie Steyn, sky’f. Haar seuns, Julian en Kurt, het gehelp met aantekeninge en kunswerk.


A somewhat ponderous and seemingly prehistoric-looking “korinlgkriek” at the Karoo National Park startled delegates at a recent Skaloga (South Cape Local Government Association) Conference. District Council Chairman Herman de Will relieved the tension with a story of a train once delayed on a journey through the Karoo by a swarm of these creatures. An official letter of inquiry on the delay, in English, was sent to the stationmaster. He was Afrikaans-speaking, but decided it would be no more than mannerly reply to his superiors in the language of their choice. So, armed with dictionary, he laboured forth. All too soon he hit a problem. He couldn’t find an English word for “koringkriek”. So he wrote: “A swarm of koringkrieks settled on the tracks. The train wheels crushed them and then began to slip in the sticky mess. The train was stopped to clear the line, so causing the delay.” Satisfied, he posted the letter. A response came by telegram. “What,” it tersely asked, “is a koringkriek?” He was at a loss. What could he tell them. He’d already searched for the English name. Then he had an idea. He rushed into the veld and found and killed koringkriek. He put its body in a small box and mailed this with a note stating: “A koringkriek is a koringkriek as per enclosed sample!” For those who are interested, the insect is the “armoured ground cricket”.


International researchers recently conducted a series of ecological studies in Prince Albert. The group included 10 lecturers and supervisors, 24 German students and 12 masters students in conservation biology from South Africa, Canada, Germany, Portugal, Reunion, England and Zambia. They are all studying disturbance ecology at the Fitzpatrick Institute in Cape Town on the manner in which fires, droughts, ploughing, grazing, insects, and disease influence vegetation, stock and game. The leader of the German group is Professor Josef Settele from the Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig. His assistants come from the universities of Cottibus, Giessen, Halle and Jenna, all in former East Germany. Drs Richard and Sue Dean, of Prince Albert, also delivered lectures. “This was the first course of its kind,” said Sue. ” Its aim was to encourage an interchange of ideas on land management and conservation. The German group had, for instance, recently completed studies in Israel, Nigeria, the Phillippines and East Germany. Prince Albert is the ideal place for ecological studies as it lies between the dry koppies and plains of the Great Karoo and the cooler slopes of the Swartberg mountains. There are many differing vegetation types to compare, from fynbos to succulents. Soil types, drought, fertility, the effects of fire, the tolerance of various plants to grazing and trampling are easily studied here. Karoo bushes grow in fertile soil and offer good grazing. Students can study the aromatic Karoo herbs, which impart flavour to mutton, observe birds, reptiles, farm animals and farming methods. Such ecological studies are of benefit to agriculture, nature conservation and tourism.”


Willem van der Berg se skrywe, “Die Asvaal ou Karoo”, vang die atmosfeer van die gebied op papier vas. Hy beskryf die vlaktes waar die lug anders is, nie koeler nie, maar soeter en stiller in die vroeë oggendure. “Dis soos fyn kristal. ‘n Mens voel nooit so klein as op hierdie eindelose vlaktes nie. Dou voor dag is daar min geluide. Jy voel betower. Jy is heimelik beangs. Jy hoor jou voetstappe, en as jy stil staan, jou eie asemhaling. Hier in die bruin dor vlaktes, wat lyk soos die hand van ‘n bejaarde, besef jy dat die mens maar ‘n blote toevalligheid is, ‘n kuiergas op ‘n vlugtige besoek. Die wêreld is die tuiste van orkane, rukwinde, stofstorms, donderbuie, droogtes, vloede en skroeiende sonskyn. Die Karoo is ‘n arena vir die spel van reuse en jy ‘n dwergie toeskouer. Die land is deurkruis met grondpaadjies wat lyk of hulle van nerens of kom en nerens heen lei. Hulle begin skielik tussen bossies en verdwyn spoedig oor rantjies. Hulle voel asof hulle geen houvas op afstand het nie, maar hulle tart jou uit om hulle to volg. So stap jy heerlik vir ure oor die veld. Ek het baie ondervindings in my lewe gehad wat onvergeetlik sal bly. Maar die mooiste hiervan was my kennismaking met die asvaal ou Karoo.”


Helping the travelling public is usually a pleasure. But every so often an exception crawls out of the woodwork. One such charming fellow recently called at the Central Karoo Regional Tourism Office. He demanded an old map displayed on the wall. It was out of print, but still useful to share with visitors. That’s why it was pinned to the wall. This explanation didn’t please the gentleman. He stormed out, then spun around, charged back, ripped the map from the wall and ran out before anyone could utter a sound. Couldn’t have done his blood pressure much good and he now has a torn, wrinkled, useless map. We have none. Pity, because many people found it useful. The incident poses a question about aggressive attitudes in tourism. Are they on the increase as the great map snatch would seem to indicate?