Page 21 - CemAir SkyNews 04/16-05/16
P. 21

PORT ST JOHNS,
PARADISE IN PONDOLAND

Port St Johns is home to the Sardine                visit kraals and villages in the area to share  The Umzimvubu Herd taking a stroll.
         Run (not to be confused with the           ‘mqomboti’, the traditional, homemade
         Sardine Fever on Natal’s South Coast,      beer. Sangomas, traditional healers, which      whales en route to their breeding grounds
         where the fish beach themselves            are misnamed in Western culture as ‘witch       off Madagascar, making the area a theatre
 on the shore), the little understood marine        doctors’ are often seen taking part in          for Earth’s most spectacular marine event,
 version of the Massai Mara Migration.              ceremonies on the beaches or in villages.       which is enjoyed by both divers and
 Millions of sardines move northwards from          Eating out in Port St Johns is varied –         sightseers.
 the cold Antarctic waters in the winter            restaurants range from the extremely            If you prefer out of the way places with
 months, follwed by predators. Thousands            Bohemian to regular a la carte. A number of     character when on holiday, Port St Johns
 of dolphins, sharks, other predators and           popular pubs welcome both the locals and        could be just what you’re looking for. No
 pelagic birds bring the ocean alive with           tourists. Wild Coast crayfish and oysters are   shopping malls, no movie houses, no traffic.
 activity.                                          sold by local fishermen, as are other fish.     But you will find great weather, spectacular
 The beaches are white and deserted, and            Accommodation in Port St Johns is also          scenery, friendly people and wonderful
 have the unusual phenomenon that you               varied – from village based to backpackers,     memories.
 are more likely to see cows there than             to 4 star lodges. The most picturesque are
 people. Washed by the warm Indian Ocean,           situated on the Umzimvubu River banks.
 the beaches are surrounded by high cliffs,         They offer assorted amenities, and are very
 speckled within sub tropical forests. Here         comfortable.
 you will find more than 250 different types        The area is smack in the middle of the
 of birds, including the rare Cape Parrot.          annual Sardine Run. It’s an exciting
 Vervet monkeys and Samango monkeys are             spectacle with thousands of fish washing
 the most commonly seen mammals in these            up along the shoreline. Here, the tiny fish
 forests, but bush buck and puti (blue duiker)      swim in their millions, up the coast, creating
 live here too.                                     the marine equivalent of the Masaai Mara
 The Pondo people have lived in this area for       migration. Thousands of dolphins, porpoise,
 centuries, and their culture and traditions        shark and sea birds follow these shoals of
 can be seen everyday. Port St Johns does           fish and feed off them. The sardine run
 not have any artificial ‘cultural villages’, only  coincides with the annual migration of
 the real thing, and visitors are welcome to
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