In January 2013 , Marine Dynamics, Trans Africa Safaris’ preferred White Shark Cage operator in Gansbaai (near Hermanus) notified the Dyer Island Conservation Trust of a juvenile (3 metre) female Great White Shark entangled in fishing line. The line was wrapped tightly around the head through the gills and was trailing half a metre of line behind the shark which still had bait and hooks attached. The situation was severe and if the line remained, the shark faced a certain death. Even though white sharks are a protected species in South Africa, they are still targeted by shore-based fishermen.
Within 48 hours, Oceans and Coasts had deployed a team of researchers, deck hands, and Two Oceans Aquarium specialist fishermen to Gansbaai. Yet, the entangled shark evaded the multi-day search and bad weather forced the crew back to land. Since most white sharks only spend a few weeks at a time in Gansbaai, fears began to grow that the shark would leave the bay before the team had a chance to disentangle the it. It was clear that if the shark did re-appear, that would be the last chance to set the it free.
On 5th February 2013, the shark was spotted by the Marine Dynamics shark tours boat, Slashfin . Shark handler, Khwezi Balena, was pleased to see the shark, “The shark was very active, and we knew this was our last chance.” The crew had prepared a simple line and hook, using a barbless circle hook as circle hooks are safer for sharks and removing the barb means the hook will easily come free. Within a few minutes the entangled shark was hooked and skilfully guided to the side of Slashfin by Pieter du Toit, a Springbok angler. The crew immediately went to work with a reverse cutter, a tool used during whale disentanglements. With two quick cuts, all the line was removed and the shark was set free. The shark swam away strongly, and understandably, has not been seen in the area since. “With any luck, this will be the last time this shark is hooked, and we look forward to seeing her in these waters again!”
The Cape Chamber of Commerce together with ABSA Capital recently staged the Western Cape Exporter of the Year Awards 2012 and Trans Africa Safaris is proud and honoured to have been named as one of the ten finalists.
This achievement is all the more impressive given the somewhat challenging trading conditions in the tourism industry during 2011 and early 2012.
The Exporter of the Year competition, now in its 21st year, allows the Chamber to honour exceptional achievers for their contribution to the economy and promote business generally.
Judging criteria include; notable achievements in the export of products or services, product improvement, positive contributions made to local communities and the creation of employment & empowerment opportunities.
The Chamber firmly believes that growing the local economy lies in innovation, increasing the skills base and expanded diversification.
Recently Lesley and André participated in the 2-day Houw Hoek Mountain Bike Race in the mountains surrounding Cape Town. The recreational ride allows riders to have fun on the bike, enjoy the stunning views along the route and have good time with friends.
The ride starts at the charming Houw Hoek Inn and winds its way through picturesque farmlands and wineries of the Elgin Valley to the Hermanus pietersfontein Winery, in Hermanus. A total of 115 km. The pictures below will give you an idea of what the terrain is like.
In November, we had the Renshaw Travel Canadian Garden Group visit South Africa. During their time in Cape Town, they worked with a project called Lavender where they were involved in planting Lavender shrubs in the Lavender Hills neighbourhood.
|Lavender Hill, largely a gang infested community, needs help. Lavender, commenced business in May 2011 and their vision is to populate Lavender Hill with lavender plants and create a Social
Artwork and Urban Farm for the production of lavender products. Lavender aims to have the Lavender Hills project act as a pilot project, with the hope of replicating this into other struggling communities in the vicinity with similar problems.
East Trans Africa Join Visa Deal
Commencing January 2014, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda has adopted a single joint visa deal to facilitate the free movement between these countries for tourists and citizens alike. This arrangement makes these three countries borderless and presents an opportunity to grow tourist numbers as they jointly offer very diversified tourism products. This visa is cost effective and will boost tourism in the region.
It is hoped that other East African countries will join this initiative.
Zambia implements 16% VAT on all services
As of January 2014, the Zambian Government has implemented 16% VAT on all services. We are hoping that this will only affect new bookings as of today. When we have more news on this, we will advise agents.
Message from Trans Africa Safaris
We have had a very busy year and are looking forward to some time off over Christmas. I trust that you too will have a good break and enjoy great times with family and friends over the festive season!