The Importance of People
"South Africa has a huge but untapped potential for
environmentally friendly eco-tourism, which offers holidaymakers the chance to combine meaningful pleasure with building local economies and sustainable communities. Guided hiking trails along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape are a fine example."
- Mark Heywood
"The hidden treasures of the Wild Coast ... and how to make the most of them"
Daily Maverick 17 December 2020
Guides who Nature Journal
When you go to special places connect with people in and around the place. One way to do this is to seek out local guides.
Here are some special local guides, guides who nature journal.
In and around eThekwini (Durban)
Bongani Chisale is an amazing guide.
You can walk, talk and nature journal with him
in Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, and
in the nearby Hawaan Forest,
both north of eThekwini (Durban).
Don’t know how to nature journal?
Bongani can show you how.
He explains what nature journaling means to him
for International Nature Journaling Week here.
Contact him to make arrangements:
Call or send message 068 084 0811
Contact him on his Facebook page.
Siphiwe Rakgabale, Briardene resident, does many things.
He is a tour guide and founder of Tri-ecotours.
It is based in eThekwini (Durban)
by the Umgeni River estuary.
Tri-ecotours guides are all local people who specialise
in nature, cultural heritage, and history.
Tri-ecotour's tour options support communities
in the way that they are organised.
Siphiwe is also an environmental educator and steward.
His work benefits people, places and the planet.
He is the Coordinator of uMngeni litter boom,
a Durban Green Corridors project.
Litter booms are used to collect plastic before it pollutes oceans, river systems and beaches.
Best of all, if you want to learn how to nature journal, Siphiwe can show you how to get started.
Call him on either 078 726 4890
Send him an email on either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
To support the Litterboom project with contributions or donations
Contact Siphiwe Rakgabale on 031 322 6026
See local news reports on how donations are working here and here.
In Pietermaritzburg, Howick, Mpophomeni and the Midlands
Bhekisisa Gcumisa is also known as Howickman.
He wrote that
“Spending time in Nature helps us to de-stress,
to clear our minds, to fix broken souls.
We don’t have to go miles away to reap these benefits
– they right on our doorstep.”
Read his story “Walking to Stay Sane” here.
He wrote this article during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.
He is also a nature journaler!
Connect with him for a nature journaling walk
and explore the hills and valleys of Mpophomeni.
Should you wish to join him
Call 079 051 7898
Check out the Howickman Hiking Club Facebook page here
John Roff is a transformative nature guide.
He describes his role as a guide as,
"I'm here to help you experience
the deep restoration that nature experiences can give."
He runs non-accredited, adult-level courses
for personal development and enrichment.
These original courses are designed for people
interested in wildlife, conservation and nature guiding.
See his website or contact him (details below) for
the latest offering of short courses at
Karkloof Forest and other venues.
He is also a guide who nature journals! Ask him!
To contact him
Write to email@example.com
Call or message 083 662 2306
See his website here
Connect with him on his Facebook page here and Instagram here
Along the Wild Coast and through Pondoland
Sinegugu Zukulu is a “trailblazer in
upskilling youth and
raising awareness of
Pondoland’s unique and extraordinary
biodiversity and ecosystems” - Pat and Tony Rebelo
“Wild Coast Wonders” Veld & Flora Dec 2020
With him, or one of the guides he has trained,
you will benefit from
“… his vast wealth of knowledge
about indigenous plants, birds,
the Mzamba fossil beds,
the red desert and
the ancient traditions entrenched
in the communities of the Wild Coast.”
- Shona Aylward “Shona’s wonderful Wild Coast walk – Day 1” South Coast Herald 22 July 2019
“We found being hosted overnight by the local communities during our hike was
an enriching experience and also gave us a way of supporting the local economy’s development of sustainable tourism.” - Pat and Tony Rebelo “Wild Coast Wonders” Veld & Flora Dec 2020
Their message is repeated by others who write about this extraordinary experience.
For example read Nikki Brighton's blog post here, and articles by Shona Aylward here.
“Sinegugu has devoted his life to protecting Pondoland’s rich, diverse and spectacular landscapes."
- Zoë Chapman Poulson “Pondoland's Medicinal Plants Treasures” Veld & Flora August 2020
The Wild Coast stretches from Hibberdene in Kwa-Zulu Natal,
south along the coastline to Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape.”
In ecological terms, this area is known as
the Pondoland Centre of Plant Endemism,
which extends from the Mzimkhulu River to the Umzimvubu River.
It is part of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot.
Sinegugu Zukulu regularly leads guided hikes along the spectacular Wild Coast. Read more about him, the hikes he leads, and the diverse landscapes of the Wild Coast by
Shona Aylward “Shona’s wonderful Wild Coast walk” a series of articles published in the South Coast Herald here and here
Nikki Brighton blog posts on the Wild Coast: Plants of Pondoland, A Feast of Colour, Ukutya Namanzi, Sweet Potatoes and Soweto Pepsi, and Secrets of Cutwini.
Mark Heywood “The hidden treasures of the Wild Coast … and how to make the most of them” Daily Maverick,17 December 2020 here
Zoë Chapman Poulsen “Pondoland’s Medicinal Plants Treasures” Veld & Flora December 2020 here .
Pat and Tony Rebelo “Wild Coast Wonders” Veld & Flora December 2020 here.
Get in touch with Sinegugu Zukulu (Mr)
Phone: +27 72 428 5109
Facebook page here
Twitter account here
Ways to support the people and environment of the Wild Coast:
"Raise awareness of issues by sharing information helps to shine a light on the human rights struggles of rural communities who play a significant role in protecting the planet from destruction.” Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) website
Stay up to date on what is happening in the area on SWC's website and Amadiba Crisis Committee Facebook page.
Make a donation towards developing ecotourism and agriculture projects,
via EFT or deposit directly into their bank account.
Their banking details are:
Sustaining the Wild Coast
First National Bank
Randburg, Acc no. 62157997639
Bank code 254005
Swift Code FIRNZZAJJ
Your time or talents are most welcome too! Contact them to explore opportunities to support the Amadiba.
Read more by Nikki Brighton on her blogs, Midlands Mosaic and Plant Abundance
Also see what she posts on Instagram: plantabundance