MEC takes walk on the wild side

2015-09-17 06:00
Daphne Kettledas, executive mayor of the Kouga Municipality and MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism, Sakhumzi Somyo hiked through the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve in celebration of Tourism Month.
  photo:
ESTI STEWART

Daphne Kettledas, executive mayor of the Kouga Municipality and MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism, Sakhumzi Somyo hiked through the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve in celebration of Tourism Month. photo: ESTI STEWART

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The MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism, Sakhumzi Somyo, celebrated Tourism Month - held each year in September - by doing the Walk on the Wild Side with 16 of his tourism partners and colleagues, as well as selected members of the media.

Daphne Kettledas, executive mayor of the Kouga Municipality, also put on her hiking boots and joined board members of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) and Nelson Mandela Metro Tourism Officials on the 21km hike.

The Walk on the Wild Side is a new three day/ two night hiking trail in and around Cape St Francis. The group met at the Cape St Francis Resort on September 11 and hiked through the Irma Booysen Flora Reserve, boasting its spring flowers in full bloom. Prof Richard Cowling, representing the Friends of the St Francis Nature Reserves (FOSTER) gave a short briefing on the fauna and flora of the area as well as conservation of the nature reserves. The delegation then enjoyed a cruise on the St Francis canals, followed by dinner with their host, the Cape St Francis Resort.

On Saturday morning the group was transported to Mostertshoek where they continued their hike with a 15,5km stretch to Port St Francis. Their guide, Eric Stewart from the Chokka Trail, showed them the blowhole, an unknown grave, and the remains of the Osprey and Cape Recife shipwrecks before they stopped at the SANCCOB Sea Bird Rehabilitation Centre at Seal Point for a guided tour of the facility.

They then hiked to Port St Francis via Shark Point, where they enjoyed a tasting of calamari and local wine at Loligo’s Restaurant. On Sunday morning after breakfast the group departed for home.

“We are delighted that the MEC chose the Kouga to celebrate Tourism Month,” says Mrs Carleen Arends, Director Tourism at the Kouga Municipality. “This is a direct result of our participation at Indaba, and I want to congratulate our team from the Kouga LTO for their de-dication and hard work to promote our area.”

The Walk on the Wild Side is a shorter version of the Chokka Trail, a slack packing trail between Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay as well as Cape St Francis

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