iSimangaliso Wetland Park - Photo Credits: iSimangaliso Wetland Park
As winter deepens, rainfall eases off and the grass turns yellow and dry, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in South Africa, conservation managers turn their attention to an integral element for the management of protected natural areas – fire. Controlled burns are an essential management tool for maintaining the optimal ecological functioning of fire-prone natural systems, allowing old, dead vegetation to burn off and new palatable grass to grow back in its place.
Elephant - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
During the Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas’ eighth birthday, formed the backdrop for the revelation that Niassa Special Reserve, the country’s largest, is also celebrating a milestone: a year without a single elephant dying at the hand of poachers.
The ANAC noted in the statement a “significant reduction in elephant poaching in the country, especially in the Niassa National Reserve, which has completed one year without elephants being slaughtered by poachers”.
ISimangaliso Wetland Park - Photo Credits: Triton Dive Lodge
iSimangaliso marine protection expands significantly.
In a massive step forward for the benefit of South Africa’s marine resources, and in particular the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, the Minister of Environmental Affairs signed a gazette notice on 23 May 2019 proclaiming twenty new marine protected areas (MPAs).
This includes a huge expansion to the existing iSimangaliso MPA and will increase protection of the ocean around South Africa from 0.4 to 5%.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park: False bay
The False Bay section of iSimangaliso is possibly the most underrated area in the Park.
Few realise just how special this area, comprising mostly of rare sand forest, is and why it is so vital to protect it.
At first glance, it may seem rather unimpressive, but a closer inspection will reveal unique characteristics.
Sand forest covers a smaller area than any other forest type in South Africa, just one reason to protect that which remains.
Umthayi Marula Festival - Photo Credits: iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority was delighted to support this year's Umthayi Marula Festival, an annual Thonga celebration of the first harvest of the fruit of the protected indigenous marula tree.
During this festival, the entire community unites in preparing the special traditional marula beer and presents this to the King of the Tembe people, Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe, in song, dance and a feast for all at the royal palace in KwaNgwanase, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Ivory Coast - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
Our trip to the Ivory Coasth as just ended and, as usual, the time has come to draw conclusions, looking at the numbers of this wonderful journey.
The trip lasted for a total of 13 days, including flights, and 12 nights, of which 11 in the Ivory Coast and one spent on the flight on the return journey; it was a traveling trip and one can guess from the fact that we spent the 11 Ivorian nights in 9 different hotels.
Brussels Airlines - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
Yesterday evening at 9:00pm we went to the airport atAbidjan, it is time to say goodbye to the Ivory Coast; this country has fascinated us and its people welcomed us with an unparalleled warmth.
But our Brussels Airlines flight was already waiting for us to bring us back to the cold Europe, cold in every sense ...
We checked in, we passed the controls and made the exit from the country: bye bye Ivory Coast, we will carry with us forever the memory of a wonderful country.
Grand Bassam - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
This morning we left Yamousoukro, we arrived at Abidjan and, after escaping the chaotic traffic, we finally arrived at Grand Bassam.
The town of Grand Bassam was, even if only for 3 years, the capital of the Ivory Coast during the colonial period; the French decided to found the capital here, but the town was abandoned in 1896 due to an outbreak of yellow fever, and the capital was moved elsewhere.
On the road - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
We are at Yamousoukro, the capital of the Ivory Coast.
Yamousoukro, as a city, does not offer much, but hosts the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, that, in the intentions of those who built it, wanted to be a copy of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome; let's say that the realization, however, is not really a masterpiece.
This morning we have breakfast at the hotel garden, we enjoy the view and also the company of some starlings that, as always, do not miss the opportunity to catch a few crumbs falling from the tables.
Yamousoukro - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi
This morning we woke up at our hotel in Man, Ivory Coast and, after having had breakfast, we left.
Today a long stretch of road awaits us, almost 500 km, up to Yamousoukro, on a paved road but full of holes, some of them huge; so we must proceed with caution.
From this moment on we will not visit anymore villages and we will not see anymore tribal dances and rituals; we already have nostalgia.
The first stretch of road, that heads South, is actually in good condition.