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Tourism KwaZulu-Natal

VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 3

									Tourism KwaZulu-Natal
MEDIA STATEMENT
12 June 2009 Contact: Lihle Dlamini – 083 6433018

KZN’s South Coast lifts the curtain on its Sardine Festival
“Experience the Greatest Show(l) on Earth - by ‘land, sea, air’ and more recently ‘dive the sardine run’

Hundreds of thousands of local and international holiday makers are heading to KwaZulu-Natal to revel in the warm weather and take part in the wide variety of events and entertainment lined up for this June/July season.

This time of the year also brings the famous sardine run that draws thousands of visitors to watch in awe or scoop up millions of these silver fish who migrate north persuaded by the predators – dolphins and sharks.

KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast is ready to lift the curtain on the Sardine Festival which will entertain the thousands of visitors that flock to its shores from around the country. Again this year, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal in

partnership with the South Coast tourism and the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board will turn this phenomenon into an exciting annual Sardine Festival which will run from 13 June to 17 July 2009 and this will be officially launched today (12 June 2009) in Port Edward by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, South Coast Tourism and the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.

“The Sardine Festival is a large tourism income generator for KwaZulu-Natal, boosting the provincial economy through revenue earned from the provision of accommodation, food as well as the hiring of boats, small aeroplanes and

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helicopters to maximise the sighting of the Sardine Run”, said Ndabo Khoza Tourism KZN’s Chief Executive Officer.

This season sees a vast shoal of sardines appear along the South Coast, followed by an armada of sea-birds, sharks, dolphins and game fish. The shoals are chased by the pursuing predators into the shallow waters along the South Coast, and sometimes they are washed right up onto the beach- often into the waiting nets and buckets of locals cashing in on “the greatest shoal on earth.

According to Khoza, the Sardine Festival creates a great deal of interest from the media, international marine and environmental experts. “This, in itself, reinforced the fact that the South Coast is just one of the many areas that make KwaZulu-Natal a prime eco tourism destination”. He also added that the Sardine Festival was well timed with the winter school holidays and this was a perfect catalyst for unlocking the value offered by a multi-faceted destination such as the South Coast.

Some of the highlights of the Sardine Festival include the popular Ugu Jazz Festival on 27th June 2009 at Marburg Sports Ground followed by the Margate Air show on 28th June staged off shore, with exciting entertainment on the Margate beach, the Mallards Mercury Ski Boat festival from 1st to 4th July 2009 at St. Michaels beach and the Mariners Portuguese Food and Wine Festival on the 18th to 19th July 2009 in Port Edward.

In an effort to grow the profile of the Sardine Festival, TKZN and the South Coast Tourism launched this event on 25th February 2009 in Menlyn Park Pretoria with the premier of Wild Ocean, an action-packed, inspirational IMAX® documentary exploring the interplay between man and our endangered ocean ecosystem. The film which was launched internationally highlights one of nature’s greatest migration spectacles – the Sardine Run and plunges viewers into an ocean feeding frenzy.

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The Sardine Run is a unique event, and an expedition to explore the annual sardine migration along the eastern coast of South Africa is well worth the effort. The ‘run’ or migration of sardines begins in the cool waters south of the African Continent, where the tiny fish form into large swirling shoals of sardines in their silvery thousands. The sardines then head north east in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, massing into what we call the Greatest Shoal on Earth.

In 2006, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), the Ugu District Municipality and Natal Sharks Board launched its inaugural sardine festival to encourage visitors to enjoy all the attractions of the country’s best winter beach holiday destination while waiting for the first sardine sightings.

To make sure that the Sardine Festival remains a success and visitors are left wanting to come back and experience more of the Zulu Kingdom, we appeal to everyone to keep up to our reputation of being a province of warm friendly smiles and excellence service that goes beyond expectations, but is within your reach.

Ndabo Khoza

Chief Executive Officer:

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal. Issued by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Contact - Manager PR Communications, Lihle Dlamini - (031) 366-7507/083 6433018 or lihle@zulu.org.za

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