The South African Travel Corporation
Newsletter February 2005
Editor Erika Fredholm
Dear Tourism Colleague,
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Drought.Very little rain fell during the winter months in the Western Cape and the area is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Everybody is supposed to help save water and residents are allowed only half an hour a week for watering of their gardens. Residents express concern about the influx of tourists to the area and what impact this will have on water consumption. Cape Town is experiencing a tourist boom with guests arriving from all over the world.
Other parts of the Cape have had serious floods due to heavy rainfalls, amongst them popular Knysna on the Garden Route.
Water recede in the damsThe shortage of fresh water is nothing new to Cape Town, though it hits us as a surprise each time. Before the white settlers arrived in 1652 there was more than enough fresh water flowing down from Table Mountain for the Khoi and San people to enjoy. With the growing settlement there was soon a water shortage and a dam was built above the Gardens. It was soon too small and new dams were established on top of the mountain. When the building of one dam was finished there were more people and another water shortage and more dams were built on the mountain, at Gordons Bay and Franschhoek and even further away.
How this phenomenon can go on and on escapes my understanding, since we are surrounded by water, the whole Atlantic. Why don't they build a few desalination plants and use water from the sea, which is rising by the day anyway, due to global warming? I know somebody in Kommitjie on this Peninsula, who bottles desalinated water from the sea and it tastes really good!
Tennis. Some of the worlds greatest tennis players have met in Cape Town to participate in the Cape Town Grand Championships in the Cape Town International Convention Centre 4-6 February.
Players like Matts Wilander, Goran Ivanisevic, Henri Leconte, Pat Cash and Michael Stich and the South African players Piet Norval and Danie Visser are here to play doubles and singles for three days and to enjoy what Cape Town has to offer. Some of them have been spotted in popular places in the city.
Pat Cash beat Mats Wilander in a tightly contested match. The final score was 6-3, 2-6, 10-7. A gala dinner was also held in honour of the players.
Oscar-nomination. A South African made film has been nominated for an Oscar. "Yesterday", is South Africa's first Oscar-nominated film. It has been produced by Anant Singh and directed by Darrell Roodt. The film may offer hope of a better tomorrow for those living with Aids.
The story is about a young woman, abandond by her husband, fending for herself and her little daughter. 'Yesterday', the name of the lead character has Aids and she hopes that she will live long enough to see her daughter go to school. It is a story about hope. The film is shot amid the desolate but starkly beautiful hills of eastern KwaZulu-Natal.
'Because it was done in Zulu, the characters performed with a greater degree of pride and strength', said Anant Singh.
'This story is lived every day in South Africa. I have talked to the people who are living it. There is a need to tell the story of Aids in South Africa", said Darrell Roodt. The day after the film received its nomination, former president Nelson Mandela, whose charitable foundation helped finance the film, praised Singh and Roodt for the movie.
FancourtThe 2005 Women's World Cup of Golf. This is the first time in the history of women's golf that an international field of the world's very best female golfers will come together to compete for the coveted "World Champions" team title.
This prestigious event will be significant in uniting golfing enthusiasts from across the globe, and through the donation of a portion of the gate takings, funds will be used to enrich the lives of previously disadvantaged South African women who want to start a business.
South African companies have thrown their full financial weight behind the inaugural Women's World Cup of Golf at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate from February 10-13.
If you are in Cape Town on a Sunday evening in our summer months, you must not miss the summer concerts in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Take a picnic basket (you can order from a picnic company or maybe your hotel can assist) and a great bottle of South African wine, take a taxi to Kirstenbosch. Spread out your blanket on the grassy slopes at the stage and enjoy an evening of music and fun together with thousands of Capetonians doing the same, while the sun sets and the stars begin to twinkle in the sky above you. Don't forget to ask the taxi to came back to fetch you!
Talking about wine, did you know, that there are 974 wine producers in the Cape and more than 15000 wines to be tasted? Just remember, you cannot drink and drive, so take a trip with a teetotaller or book through us, we take you there, for one day or more.
There are now more than 3000 bontebok in the Western Cape. It's an antelope with a distinct pattern in glossy red/brown/beige/white. It is one of Africa's rarest antelopes and the number was down to below 50 before one realised the bok was on the verge of extinction. They are endemic to the area and breed well in private reserves and in the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
Long StreetHunting for Kitsch and Antiques and Antique Jewellery? Then you must stroll around in the CBD on streets like, Church, Long, Chiappini, Buitengracht, Kloof etc. Some of these shops seem not to have changed at all since they opened about 100 years ago. Kalk Bay and Simonstown also offer very interesting shopping of this kind. Good hunt!
Apart from incentives, adventure trips and tailor made tours for groups and individuals, our wild wine tours and beginners golf are hot stuff, see website.
Erika at Cape of Good Hope
Until next time!
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