Tag Archives: Plettenberg Bay

Garden route

Behind the “Glitz” of the Garden Route

Plettenberg Bay is known for its stunning beaches and glitzy holiday homes, but we found a gem of a different kind in Kranshoek on Plett’s Robberg Peninsula. This was a return visit for The EXPEDITION Project and Phillip navigated the team to the ongoing projects of Kranshoek, filling us in on all the updates over the past year.
hearts Philip 1
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

We were met with a warm welcome at the children’s library, which was filled with books for all ages and in a variety of languages. The librarian mentioned that the outside of the building is sometimes vandalised with graffiti so we brainstormed an idea we picked up from the Valleys and Mountains Development Foundation in Bonnievale where colourful murals have been painted on large wall spaces throughout the town. Maybe this is something that the TEP team could help with on a re-visit. Watch this space!
hearts Philip library
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

We walked to the Kranshoek Community Development Centre where they are busy with a number of initiatives, including a vegetable garden and nursery, a youth band which is also linked to life skills learning, and an upholstery workshop for local entrepreneurs. And on the other side of Kranshoek, we popped in to visit with the team at the House of Hope – a local soup kitchen.
kranshoek
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

hearts Philip house hope
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

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Our plans to join the Masithandane team in their mosaic activities were derailed by the fact that we arrived immediately before the Knysna Oyster Festival, which presents a huge opportunity for the crafters to sell their wares. As such, they were busy getting as much product ready for the market as possible. Our time, however, was not wasted; Lettie and Lisa helped out with some of the tasks that Masithandane said they never seem to get to, like colour coordinating Masithandane‘s stacks of tiles!
Hearts masi mosaic crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about Masithandane, visit http://www.masithandane.org/.

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Our last stop along the Garden Route was to Thanda Jesu where we learned of the huge strides made by this project since it started in October 2012. Inspired by the need to support the impoverished children and families in the local area, Thanda Jesu has grown tremendously such that it now provides a number of community support services, including a unique initiative whereby food parcels are exchanged for time spent packing them. For example, packing 100 food parcels provides an individual with five packages to take home, which is enough to feed a family of six for the week! TEP looks forward to following this project and helping them to network with similar initiatives around the country.
Hearts thanda jesu crop
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives, © 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

For more information about Thanda Jesu, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thanda-JESU-Wilderness-Heights/246796315465249.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.

addo car and ellies

EXPEDITION: Conservation

Lettie and Lisa were whisked away by one of Sibuya’s rangers. As they boarded the boat to navigate the river to camp, Roger and Mark warned them of something called “khaki fever”. Their puzzled faces said it all…
Sibuya ranger
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

Sibuya Game Reserve and Tented Camp is one of the many conservation efforts in the area that focus of the rehabilitation of agricultural land. The camps are completely off-grid, generating power through solar energy with generator backups, and Sibuya participates in a cheetah breeding programme. The game viewing was fantastic, including a black-backed jackal and buffalo herd at the waterhole at sunset, and the elevated boardwalk through the thick riverine forest makes you feel like you’re completely in the middle of the wilderness.
sibuya cropped
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography, © 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

For more information about Sibuya Game Reserve and Tented Camp, visit www.sibuya.co.za.

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We woke to a misty morning, but Lettie and Lisa were not deterred. They fearlessly joined the fence patrol team whose responsibility it is to ensure the security of the Amakhala Game Reserve perimetre. Truth be told… Dedos did all the work with his handy little voltage metre and bag of tools, while Debbie skillfully navigated the dirt tracks.
amakhala mist
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography

In addition to having a great time and learning how much work it is to actually maintain a game fence, they also managed to squeeze in some game viewing and spotted a rare blue duiker and large herd of giraffe. They also crossed paths with the Amakhala ecologist who was tracking the cheetah who were due to be relocated to the Free State – marking the first time in over 100 years that wild cheetah would roam freely in that province.
amakhala dedos
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

amakhala us

For more information about Amakhala Game Reserve, visit www.amakhala.co.za.

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Angus – our trusty Landy – wound his way down to the ocean where The EXPEDITION Project team joined the interns at the Nature’s Valley Trust to tag along on their research activities. It turned out to be a lot of fun; some of us even rolled up our trousers to wade in the chilly river to collect samples for data entry to complete a “mini SASS” (it’s ok to look that up – we did). After identifying mayflies and various other creatures, the NVT team calculated that the river is in excellent health!
nvt jump
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

Equally fun was checking the speed, PH, and temperature of the ocean and the lagoon. Really, we played in the sand more than anything and thank goodness for that because according to our findings, the temperature of the water was only 10.4 degrees..!! We struggled to imagine how difficult it might be to do all of this with the groups of children that the NVT interns take out weekly from various local schools. They do a great job to ensure that local youth are aware of the importance of healthy ecosystems.
NVT collage cropped
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography, © 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

For more information about the Nature’s Valley Trust, visit www.naturesvalleytrust.co.za.

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Usually when people think about seeing animals in enclosures, they have a certain ‘zoo-like’ expectation. However, we were proven that other options are possible during our visit to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden in the Craggs. The sanctuaries enable rescued primates and birds to live a ‘semi-wild’ existence in their 12ha of indigenous forest (for the primates) and the largest enclosed aviary in the world (for the birds).
mkland collage cropped
© 2013 Lettie Irving Wildlife Photography, © 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

The curator at Monkeyland showed us how primates are introduced into the forest and we were fortunate enough to see two spider monkeys getting familiar with their soon-to-be new home and interacting with other ‘residents’ through their specially designed enclosure. When their behaviour is less ‘humanised’, the curator will make the call to release them. These particular monkeys will then be the largest species in the sanctuary.
mkland dom
© 2013 Lisa Scriven | levelle perspectives

For more information about Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, visit www.monkeyland.co.za and www.birdsofeden.co.za.

This photo blog was prepared in support of The EXPEDITION Project 2013.