Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Gansbaai
We managed to fit in a last-minute but very worthwhile meeting with Wilfred and Allison of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Gansbaai. The Trust was established in 2006 and clearly carries the passion of everyone involved. The eco-tourism activities of Dyer Island Cruises and Marine Dynamics, which have been awarded whale watching and shark cage diving permits, provide much of the financial backing for the Trust’s core activities. Volunteers can get involved too – they usually have between 8 and 12 at any given time – and support the incredible marine research carried out on either of the two dedicated research boats, the whale boat, or the shark boat. There are also numerous marine conservation education activities that the Trust carries out in the area. We were actually astounded by the amount that the Trust is doing and we each left with a volunteer brochure in hand for future reference.
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Mthimkulu Village Centre, Kleinmond
For our last day we decided to get our fingers dirty and off-set some of our carbon footprint through the 5862km (3642miles)* that we covered on this crazy EXPEDITION. We headed to the Mthimkulu Village Centre that was chosen as the new home for our 30 trees. Trees for Schools organised the trees and provided a tree planting demonstration before we got allocated our spades, and thankfully Mthimkulua even offered some of their manpower to help us with the planting task ahead..
When they’re not being distracted by our tree planting fun, Mthimkulu runs a very busy centre – complete with creche, various trainings, a job centre and various other community empowerment support facilities. One of the biggest successes communicated to us by the Mthimkulu team was linked to their Change Agent Training workshops, which resulted in empowered community members successfully lobbying for solar-powered RDP houses in their area. Mthimkula operated under the umbrella of the Grail Centre who kindly hosted us the night before, and who provide accommodation and conferencing facilities (including venue) linked to Mthimkulu’s programmes.
For more information about the Mthimkulu Village Centre, visit http://www.grailprogrammes.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=4.
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This has been an amazing 41 days… We have met some incredible individuals and organisations doing great things for South Africa and its people. The EXPEDITION Project looks forward to whatever role it can play in helping them learn from each other and grow from strength to strength. Until next time…!
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The EXPEDITION Project team would like to thank Berg en Zee Guesthouse and Miguel’s Al Forno in Gordon’s Bay, Bientangs Cave and Hermanus Lodge on the Green in Hermanus, The Grail Centre, Shellfish Bar, and Stoep Cafein Kleinmond, and Thyme at Rosemary’s Restaurant in Gansbaai for their generous support along the way.
Berg en Zee Guesthouse, Gordon’s Bay
Miguel’s Al Forno, Gordon’s Bay
Bientangs Cave, Hermanus
Hermanus Lodge on the Green, Hermanus
The Grail Centre, Kleinmond
Shellfish Bar, Kleinmond
Stoep Cafe, Kleinmond
Thyme at Rosemary’s Restaurant, Gansbaai
*Route 3 accumulated 5862km which brings the 2013 total up to 10483km and an overall total (2012+2013) to 27081.77km.