South Coaster of the day

2011-03-07 00:00

HOWARD Kelly is the owner of Riverbend Crocodile Farm in Southbroom. His father opened the farm 30 years ago and today Kelly runs it with his mother, Sheila. The farm was the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal and has seen around two million people pass through its gates since opening.

The Witness spoke to Kelly about his job and his life.


What is the best part of your job?

Interfacing with people from all over the world and meeting new people on a daily basis. Being your own boss is also quite nice.

Have you ever had any close calls with any of the crocodiles on the farm?

No, that is something I take very seriously. I respect their power and agility and they are not things you want to play games with.

What do you enjoy about the South Coast?

The quality of life here is fantastic compared to the rat race of the bigger cities. The natural beauty of the beaches offers some of the best swimming on the continent.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Still on the South Coast and still involved in the tourism industry.

From what you have seen, how much do people care for nature in our country?

More and more people are starting to take nature more seriously. People are worried about global warming and the sustainability of our planet — you see it more and more with how the parents speak to their kids at the farm.

What is the biggest problem facing the world today?

Man’s greed and a lack of education.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I can’t really say; I’m just a normal guy.

Will you be voting in the local government elections?

Yes. It is very important to take responsibility for your own environment.

Does your wife worry about your safety when you are working with crocs all day?

I’m sure she does... I hope she does!

What is your secret talent?

I communicate well with most people.

What do you do to relax when you’re away from work?

I love going into the bush and I am an avid bird watcher. I also enjoy my mountain biking and being on the golf course.

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