Weekend Wrap: Bush hunt goes horribly wrong, Kenya issues cholera alert and Sandton Station’s forgotten

2017-05-21 19:52 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - Wildlife experiences and conservation efforts are front and centre after this past weekend ahead of International #BiodiversityDay tomorrow, Monday 22 May.

And while there have been a few conservation steps in the right direction, one man has lost his life after a bush hunt went horribly wrong. Here are the top stories you might have missed but need to know about.

Hunter dies after shot elephant falls on him

A professional big game hunter from Tzaneen has died in Zimbabwe, after a storming elephant grabbed him with her trunk and then fell on him after another hunter shot the animal dead in a failed rescue attempt.

Theunis Botha, 51, was out with a group when they came across a breeding herd of elephants.  A source who didn’t want to be named told Netwerk24 that three elephant cows stormed the hunters and Botha shot at them.

A fourth cow stormed them from the side and one of the hunters shot her after she’d lifted Botha with her trunk. The shot was fatal and as the cow collapsed, she fell on Botha.  Read the full report here.

SEE: Mpumalanga tightens up on trophy elephant hunts

Last week in a surprise move, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) confirmed that it will not issue permits to hunt trophy elephants with unlimited tusk weights.


MTPA permitting authority, Riaan de Lange, confirmed that no permits will be issued for elephants bearing tusks in excess of 40lbs, or 18kg.

Recent press coverage highlighting the large number of elephants earmarked to be hunted, in particular the “trophy elephant bull”, has sparked outrage amongst conservationists and South African citizens leading to a petition as well as an open letter urging SA’s government to protect large tuskers. 

Kenya issues alert over cholera in Nairobi

Kenya has issued an alert over a cholera outbreak in its capital Nairobi, after five cases of the disease were confirmed and three other suspected cases were being investigated.

Nairobi County Health Executive Bernard Muia says the disease came from travellers from the town of Vihiga in western Kenya who were in Nairobi for a wedding.

Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious, water-borne illness that can cause diarrhoea so severe that victims can die of dehydration in hours if they don't get treatment. The infection spreads in areas without clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

ALSO SEE: ALERT: Kruger issues malaria warning

SA makes conservation strides ahead of International #Biodiversity Day

While hunting of any sort does little in the form of supporting sustainable tourism, South Africa has been making a concerted impact on certain conservation fronts.

One such example are the breeding lesser flamingos of the man-made island in Kamfers Dam in Kimberley.

Designed to entice the birds to breed, the formation of this new breeding ground is vital to the flamingos survival, as their traditional hatching spaces are under threat.

The alternative project is the brainchild of Birdlife CEO Mark Anderson, who is responsible for initiating the building of the island in the dam in the hopes to encourage a new population of birds to breed in South Africa for the first time.  Read the full report here, and don't miss Beautiful News's full reveal of the short-film of Mark Anderson and his lesser flamingo project in Kimberley.

Oudtshoorn farms scrap ostrich rides in line with ethical tourism best practice

This weekend also saw another small step for ethical tourism in South Africa as two big ostrich farms near Oudtshoorn confirmed people riding the big birds is simply not okay.

Riding ostriches or posing while perched on top of them for a photo-opportunity is very popular among tourists - but now the well-being of the birds is being put first. Safari ostrich farm, in existence since 1956, confirmed that ostrich rides will no longer be allowed on the farm.

Visitors now get onto a trailer with seats, drawn by a tractor. The tractor drives very close to the ostriches. This means that visitors get a close-up of the birds in their camps. Read the full report here

Sandton Station's forgotten: Where are the owners and why have they abandoned these cars?

In a parking lot in Johannesburg’s most affluent area is where you will find Dusty, Richie, Windor and Jeeper.

These abandoned cars on the basement floors of the Gautrain’s Sandton Station have perplexed writer Anje Rautenbach no end.

Read her  interesting peak into this eerie peculiarity of the station after dark, begging the question, “Where are the owners and why have they abandoned these cars?”. Read the full story here

Find Your Affordable Long-Haul Escape

This weekend's Traveller24 Newsletter was all about convincing you that you don't need an entire year's salary to take a proper overseas holiday. The concept of bucket-list holidays has adapted to include shorter, more budget-friendly escapes that are equally as memorable and certainly twice as effective.

We’re not saying avoid the dollar or euro-destinations entirely - but merely suggesting a broader selection of spots to consider spending your hard earned cash on.

Check your passport validity and then get ready to explore after you've reading the following - also don't forget to subscribe here

Visa-free travel: Where your South African passport can take you

How to do a budget Euro trip – and have a unique experience in the process

- 18 Budget-friendly spots that are a hot favourite for South Africans right now

The best of Dubai on a budget

Japan on the cheap

Budget-friendly Breaks: Quick tips to save on flights