Tag Archives: Government

My Top 21 recommendations for what to see and do in Havana, Cuba!

I arrived in Havana on 3 July 2019, with no preparation of what I wanted to see or do, except that I wanted to learn to dance the Salsa. I was lucky that a slightly out of date ‘Cuba’ Guide by Lonely Planet was lying in the lounge of the San Lazaro BnB I stayed at. I annexed it for the more than three weeks that I stayed there, and found useful background information in it, but perhaps it contains too much information, not just focused on Havana, my only destination in Cuba, therefore making a large part of the book irrelevant to me. Much more useful was the Guidebook ‘300 Things to love about Havana’ by Heidi Hollinger, focused on Havana, divided into the various suburbs of Havana, with an address, a good representative photograph, and largely accurate in its descriptions, even if published in 2018. 

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New Tourism Incentive Programme launched, assists accommodation go green!

Clifton beachA new tourism marketing scheme has been launched by the Department of Tourism to assist accommodation establishments to become graded and finding new clients, and to encourage them to go green, a total of investment of R600 million over the next three years.

At the launch of the Tourism Incentive Programme by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom earlier this week, he shared that the growth rate of the tourism industry is faster than that of the country’s economy.  It is for this reason that the Programme has been launched, to grow the tourism sector, and to transform it to make it more inclusive and sustainable.   Investing in tourism businesses will benefit the economy, Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   SA Tourism has launched a cinema advertising campaign highlighting the beauty and thrill  our country offers,  at 94 cinemas in seven Indian cities.  In the foyer of the cinemas one is able to book a holiday to South Africa via travel agents, taking the movie-goers to action in booking.  Part of the marketing campaign is ‘Take me to South Africa‘ promotion, in which four winners travel with cricketer Jonty Rhodes as their tour guide.

*   Comair says that domestic airfares are unlikely to come down, even if new low cost airlines enter the market, as it would not be sustainable to operate as such lower rates.

*   Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse has moved to Bree Street (ex Caveau and ex Awestruck), having dropped the second part of the original business name (& Cookery School).  They serve lunch from 11h30 onwards, and an early dinner.  (received via newsletter from Chef’s Warehouse)

*   The government has lashed out at the media for its negative reporting about events in South Continue reading →

Food News: It’s ‘OK’ to eat meat, says ecologist!

A new book, called “Meat: A Benign Extravagance”, by ecologist Simon Fairlie, has turned around current thinking about the effect of meat production on the carbon footprint, and argues for the benefits of meat production, reports the Cape Argus.

Fairlie says that farming with and eating meat “is OK”, and in fact benefits the planet.  He explains that for 30 years the generally accepted view has been that meat-eating is bad for the planet in terms of climate change, and bad for the human race, having led key climate change authorities to propose vegetarianism as a means of solving the planet’s climate problems.

If one follows a vegetarian lifestyle, one has to obtain proteins and fats, in the form of soya, peanut butter, nuts and pulses, impacting on the carbon footprint, whilst fats and proteins could come from farms closer by, with a lesser impact on the environment, he says.   He further argues that the original 1:10 conversion ratio of 10 kg of grain is required to produce 1 kg of beef is an outdated statistic from more than 200 years ago, being closer to 1:7.   For every 1,4 kg of vegetables that one could eat, 1 kg of beef can be produced on a small farm.  Fairlie also argues that humans cannot eat grass, and that cows are an efficient means of ‘transforming’ grass into products that they can eat: milk, butter and cheese.   In addition, they produce natural nutrients in the form of manure, which goes back into nature.

Fairlie is critical of  battery chicken farming and of large-scale cattle production, calling it a “moral and environmental disaster”.   He says that we eat too much meat, because it is so cheap.   He calls for all farming to be organic, and for the government to prevent supermarkets from taking an ever greater cut of the food production cost.

His personal lifestyle includes eating meat twice a week only.  He advocates eating offal, and eating smaller portions of meat.  “Eat local, eat less, is my recipe” he says.  “Support your small farmer.  You’ll enjoy the meat more too”.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

No mining in the Stellenbosch and Cape Town Winelands

For the past few weeks intense debate has taken place about the Government’s announcement that it is considering applying for prospecting rights on a number of Stellenbosch wine farms, including Saxenburg, Jordan, Langverwacht, Haasendal, Rosendal and Zevenwacht, and De Grendel, Highlands and Hooggelegen in the Tygerberg/Durbanville winelands area in Cape Town.  

Intense lobbying by the Winelands Action Group has led to the announcement last Friday that the application for the prospecting rights has been withdrawn. 

Gary Jordan, spokesperson for the Winelands Action Group, announced the good news about the withdrawal of the prospecting rights application on 19 March.  The Winelands Action Group was supported by Cape Winemakers Guild, Wines of South Africa, the Stellenbosch Wine Route, the Durbanville Wine Route, the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, the WWF Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, the Bottelary Conservancy, wine writers, heritage groups and the public to lobby the Department of Mineral Resources to withdraw the application for rights to prospect for tin, zinc, lead, lithium, copper, manganese and silver.

The mining rights application threatened the wine industry’s International Year of Biodiversity, and the new ‘Sustainable Wines SA” certification seal for wines, a world first.

Despite the announcement by the Winelands Action Group, reports remain contradictory about the withdrawal of the applications.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com