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eSangweni Guest House Richards Bay

eSangweni Guest House Richards Bay is freshly renovated and offer comfortable and tastefully decorated bedrooms.

Set in the tranquil suburb of Birdswood, you are conveniently only a few minutes from the airport, and a short drive away you have a choice of restaurants and shops in a modern regional shopping mall.

Come enjoy a comfortable and relaxed stay in one of our individually decorated en-suite rooms

The Richards Bay Small Craft Harbour has a vibrant leisure area filled with restaurants and pubs, ideal for long afternoons and evenings relaxing with friends.

The local beach has been declared one of 41 South African beaches and five marinas awarded the international Blue Flag status for excelling in safety, cleanliness, provision of amenities and environmental information and management.

Exploring further afield, the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park is only 76km away, along with the St Lucia Wetlands World Heritage Site, Cape Vidal and much more just an easy day trip away

After a busy day exploring, unwind by the swimming pool and relax in their carefully tended garden.

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The Ancient Cycle Of Life

Image Source: Gwynne Howells iSimangaliso

The following article is by Gwynne Howells, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

November in iSimangaliso Wetland Park heralds the beginning of one of the most special and awe-inspiring miracles of this world heritage site – the nesting of endangered turtles on the 220km golden shoreline. Annually, between the months of November and March, leatherback and loggerhead turtles haul their massive bodies out of the Indian Ocean and up to the base of the dunes, to lay their eggs.

In this most ancient cycle of life, turtles return with almost magical accuracy to the very same beach where they hatched.

Of the seven species of marine turtles worldwide, iSimangaliso’s protected coastline has five species, and its pristine beaches comprise one of the last significant laying sites in Africa for loggerheads and leatherbacks.

Turtle monitoring has been undertaken in the Park since the 1960’s, with turtles being measured and tagged. The turtles of iSimangaliso have received significant conservation attention, producing a noteworthy increase in the loggerhead turtle population.

“With less than 100 laying females coming ashore each year, iSimangaliso’s leatherback turtles, the most southern population in the world, are rarer than black rhino and critically endangered.

This means they could go extinct in our lifetime. Having survived aeons and ice ages along with rhinos, and at a time when over 1000 biological species are going extinct globally every year, their future survival lies with all of us,” said iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis. “As site managers, our challenge is that once they leave our shores and swim across the high seas, they undertake epic journeys, travelling as far as Australia and India.

During these journeys, which occur between nesting periods, the leatherbacks spend their time foraging. They feed on pelagic (open ocean) invertebrates such as jellyfish and this makes them extremely vulnerable to threats such as long line fishing methods and pollution.

Plastic bags are often mistaken for jellyfish by these feeding animals, ultimately killing the animals that ingest them.”

Summery statistics for Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles nesting in iSimangaliso
LOGGERHEADS LEATHERBACKS
Population Size 700 females per season 70 females per season
Population trend Increasing Stable
Size (average shell length) 86cm 160cm
Diet of adult turtles crabs, snails and starfish jellyfish
Age to sexual maturity 36 years 12 years
Breeding frequency (number of years between nesting seasons) 3 years 3 years
Reproductive lifespan (number of years between first and last nesting) 18 years 16 years
Number of eggs per female over a nesting season 390 eggs 700 eggs
Emergence success (percentage eggs that produce viable hatchlings) 80% 70%
Number of hatchlings produced per female per season 300 hatchlings 480 hatchlings
Total hatchlings produced per year 63 000-144 000 36 000-52 000
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Animals in Captivity

Article Source: Richard Branson

I’ve instructed Virgin Holidays not to deal with any organisation that do not pledge that they will never again take cetaceans from the sea. We hope other holiday companies will follow suit. – Richards Branson

Virgin Holidays will no longer book with any organisation that won’t guarantee that they won’t display dolphins and whales that are taken from the wild.

This includes any park or aquarium that takes the orcas, belugas, false killer whales, pilot whales, and dolphins caught around the world. Countries such as Cuba, Honduras, Russia, Japan, and the Solomon Islands openly catch dolphins and whales for the display trade, and others such as Mexico are lax in allowing dolphin brokers to get “scientific research” permits for capture.

Branson goes on to say:

Since – I believe – that animals bred in captivity cannot safely be released, we will examine what is best to do with this issue and others in the engagement process. As part of the process I will personally visit some of these facilities around the world.

Article Source: virgin.com

Branson on Google+

Also sourced from: seattle-pi

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Juvenile Lobster in Anguilla

Catlin Seaview Survey 2013

Photographer Alex Klingen’s index finger gives scale to the tiny young lobster in this image. The brightly coloured lobster blends in well on the coral reefs of Anguilla where it hides during the day waiting to feed at night.

Image Source: Google+CatlinSeaviewSurvey

Article Source: catlinseaviewsurvey.com

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Malaria Prevention this Summer

Mosquito

With the holiday season nearly upon us, many people will be heading to warm holiday areas in and around South Africa. But warm weather can also bring out the mosquitoes and sometimes the risk of malaria, especially in the hot tropical areas.

If you’re going to be in an area with the risk of malaria, make sure you and your family do what you can to avoid the disease.

Malaria Africa ZululandMalaria is a disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is carried by mosquitoes. If you have travelled to a malaria area, you need to keep a watchful eye afterwards for symptoms and signs of malaria because malaria can make you become very sick and you may even die if you don’t get the right treatment for your condition.

While malaria still occurs in South Africa, it’s preventable and treatable. Not all mosquitoes carry malaria. Keep in mind these five aspects of preventing malaria:

A. Awareness

B. Bite prevention

C. Compliance to chemoprophylaxis medicine as prescribed

D. Detection

E. Effective treatment

Article Source: Discovery Health 

For more information on Malaria and treatments go to National Department of Health

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NY Antique Dealer Jailed for Rhino Horn & Ivory Products

KarlStromayerUSFWS-500x375

This is indeed good news, but sadly still a drop in the ocean. A New York antiques dealer was sentenced on 5 December 2013 for conspiracy to smuggle Asian artefacts made from rhino horns and ivory.

The antiques dealer, Qiang Wang, was sentenced to three years and one month with a further three years supervised release by a United States federal court.

This followed his arrest  in February 2013 as a result of “Operation Crash”, an ongoing nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Justice Department to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

Wang worked with two Chinese nationals to source Asian artifacts made from rhino horn and elephant ivory from auction houses and galleries in the United States for the purpose of smuggling these items to China.

Wang sent these items using the U.S. Postal Service and express mail services. He made false customs declarations, and knowingly exported rhino horn and ivory without USFWS approval or valid CITES export permits.

In a statement released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe:

This slaughter is fueled by illegal trade, including that exposed by Operation Crash.

We will continue to work relentlessly across the United States government and with our international partners to crack down on poaching and wildlife trafficking.

Article Source: Annamiticus

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iSimangaliso gets clean audit

st lucia estuary zululand

The 2013 audit for iSimangaliso has been released, and the Auditor-General has given a thumbs up to a clean audit and performance review.

Covering a financial as well as performance review, the audit confirms iSimangaliso has achieved its objectives committed to in its business plan submitted to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and National Parliament.

Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999, the iSimangaliso of today is a far cry from its early beginnings in almost every respect.

The majority of land claims have been settled, eco-systems functioning has been largely restored and thousands of hectares of plantations removed, almost all previously existing species including the ‘Big 5’ have been reintroduced, extensive road and tourism facitlities developed and/or refurbished, and over 350 km of big game fencing erected.

This has been underpinned by significant job creation, skills transfer and above average tourism growth.

— iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

This has been achieved through a careful balance between conservation and development, ensuring the Park’s core universal values of eco systems, biodiversity and natural beauty are honoured.

iSimangaliso has shown us that at a time when conservation budgets are at their lowest, and there are so many other priorities globally, parks can still prevail.

–Dr Ian Player, renowned conservationist

Article Source: iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority