Bitou News Volume 20, Edition 04, 04 February 2022

Bitou News Volume 19, Edition 10 – 30 April 2021



Cape Town – As part of their Travellers’ Choice Awards 2015, TripAdvisor recently released a list of the top 10 places to visit in South Africa, nine of which can be found in the Western Cape.

Robberg Nature Reserve – South Africa
The only destination outside of the province is Johannesburg, which features in the fifth position.

The destinations were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

Cape Town Central tops the list, followed by Knysna in second position and Franschhoek at number three.

The Mother City also found itself in the 10th position among TripAdvisor’s to 25 places to visit in 2015, beating popular urban destinations such as New York City, Barcelona, Dubai and Hong Kong to the top 10.

TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 315 million unique monthly visitors, and more than 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.5 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, operating in 45 countries worldwide.

The top 10 destinations in South Africa, according to these users are:

Cape Town,
Plettenberg Bay,
Camps Bay,


The Plett MAD Festival and Plett Food Film Festival – the second annual Plett MAD (Music, Art and Drama) Festival held in June and July of this year included the Plett Fringe Festival with artists from all over South Africa performing at The White House, interesting art exhibitions, musical performances all over town and the Plett Food Film Festival – a pairing of compelling food and delicious film hosted by actress Lika Berning and celebrity chefs Reza Mahammad and Karen Dudley.
Also in its second year, the Sasfin Plett Wine and Bubbly Festival was a huge success – held right on Central Beach with musical performances from Arno Carstens, Josie Field, Gerald Clarke and local musicians. Plett wine and bubbly were the stars of the show with 9 estates showcasing their delicious MCC bubbly, whites, roses and even some new reds – the Plett Winelands are expanding each year. Fun, fabulous food was provided by some of Plett’s top restaurants and the holiday period was made even more enticing by the inclusion of smaller wine estate events, the Tour de Plett MTB race and the Robberg Xpress Trail Run all over the same period.
Easter is always a good time to visit Plett – the weather is still very summery and there are usually a slew of nature/sport events to enjoy during the holiday period. Most popular is the Pennypinchers Adventure series which includes a night MTB relay, surf-ski race and a trail run – all in Plett’s amazing natural surroundings. Watch this space for more information on Plett Easter 2016.

Colourful Plett Summer is a really wonderful time to visit Plett! Plett is flooded with South African and international visitors, awesome international acts like Good Luck and Castle Lite’s Republic of Extra Cold, Plett polo every day and so much action on the beaches including the Color Run, Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge and ClemenGold’s Hobie Regatta to name but a few.


Deon Truter, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said: At 15h30, Thursday, 14th January, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from Cape Nature Conservation officers for a 46-year-old Port Elizabeth man fallen and injured his right knee while hiking at the Robberg Nature Reserve trail with his son.

We launched our sea rescue craft Leonard Smith and Discovery Rescue Runner and WC Government Health EMS responded. On arrival on the scene, we sent rescuers ashore and they hiked approximately 3 kilometers to reach the casualty who was treated for an injured right knee.

The AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was activated but due to fog restrictions limiting the aircraft from approaching the scene a helicopter rescue operation was aborted and we secured the injured man into a stretcher and assisted by EMS paramedics the rescue teams carried him to the shore where he was floated out to our sea rescue craft secured into our floating stretcher and taken aboard the sea rescue craft.

He was brought to our sea rescue base aboard our sea rescue craft and transported to hospital in a stable condition by EMS ambulance. The man is expected to make a full recovery.


SMS 32287 (R1/sms) with your name and a message of support for our Sea Rescue crew




Dear friends of KAWS, Let me first introduce myself – my name is Cathie Garner and I have the privilege of working on the KAWS Committee. My portfolio is FUND-RAISING for KAWS, upon which the Society relies heavily!

I am currently working on our fund-raising event programme for 2016, and I would like to call upon all friends of KAWS, who are willing to donate a few hours of their time, to become involved and assist with the FUND-RAISING events this year.

I’m looking to create a fund-raising team, where we will have a group of like-minded people, sharing ideas, inspiring each other and collaborating to ensure an awesome fund-raising year ahead for KAWS! This means that organising and running each of our events can be undertaken by different people, so that there is less pressure on everyone.

We need people who can:

1. generate great ideas for fund-raising
2. organise and plan the events
3. jump in and help out at the actual event
4. assist with all of the above 🙂

Some of the events already on our calendar for this year are:

KAWS Quiz Night
Simola Hill Climb ticket sales
Knysna Car Show
Slow Festival Dog Walk
Leisure Isle Festival Stall
KAWS Book Sale
KAWS Boerie-Bash

If you are interested in joining this new team, would like to share some ideas, or have a few questions before making a decision, please click on the button below to contact me directly via email.

I really look forward to hearing from you!

Cathie Garner
Knysna Animal Welfare Society – Fund Raising
Cell: 083 291 7967
E-mail: cathie.garner

Busy period for Plett NSRI

On Wednesday, 23rd December, at 15h43, NSRI Plettenberg Bay assisted a man, from Pretoria, after his boat capsized behind the breakers off Keurbooms River Mouth.

The man was rescued from the surf onto the Sea Rescue craft and his boat, which had washed ashore, was recovered and he was brought to the Sea Rescue base where his family collected him. He was not injured.
At 12h30, Sunday, 27th December, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew responded their Sea Rescue craft and a land party with rescue swimmers following reports of a drowning in progress at Natures Valley.

A 28 year old man from Austria, on holiday, got into difficulty in a rip current while swimming.

While responding to the scene a local spear fisherman had swum out to the man and assisted him to shore.

On NSRI’s arrival on the scene the casualty was found safe ashore, not injured and he required no further assistance.

The spear fisherman is commended for assisting the casualty.
At 15h39, Sunday, 27th December, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew responded aboard sea rescue craft and a land party, including NSRI rescue swimmers and an NSRI doctor, following eye-witnesses reporting a man in difficulty in the water off the rocks on the Wild Side of Robberg.

The man is believed to have been swept off rocks while fishing and 2 male family members had jumped into the water to try to assist him.

The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, WC Government Health EMS and the Mountain Club of South Africa – Search and Rescue also responded.

It was then reported by an American lady, who had witnessed the incident, that she was on the scene and she had managed to assist the fisherman onto rocks and she reported him to be injured.

The two family members had managed to swim out of the water and they were not injured.

On NSRI’s arrival on the scene the fisherman was found to be suffering difficulty in breathing, a dislocated shoulder and multiple lacerations to his body sustained from the rocks.

The NSRI doctor assisted by NSRI medics and paramedics treated the man before he was airlifted to hospital in a stable but serious condition by the Skymed rescue helicopter.

Festival makes a SPLASH!

Knysna SPLASH, the annual water festival presented by Knysna Rotary, was a great success and has grown considerably since its inception four years ago, says coordinator Mick Furman, the Rotarian tasked with making it all happen.

Furman said that a record number of swimmers registered for the Lagoon Mile Swim on Saturday, 19 December. “The swim is proving to be a very popular event, and perfect weather on the day ensured an excellent turnout.”

The Quack Attack duck race on Saturday afternoon was also a hit, with all 1,000 ducks sold out before the race and hundreds of people lining the quays to watch their yellow plastic ducks ‘race’. After four heats, there was a clear winner – first duck home belonged to Steven Naude from Knysna, who won a cash prize of R2,500.

Sunday, 20 December featured two new Canoe Races: the Family Fun Canoe Race with a Pirates of the Caribbean theme, and the 10km Canoe Race for more proficient paddlers.

“The conditions were not great for paddling, but we had locals and visitors competing in both events,” said Furman. “In total we had nearly 60 boats and over 80 competitors, so we are very pleased with the way it went and are certain that this event will grow next year.

“We would like to thank the Thesen Islands residents for their cooperation and understanding while the event was in progress, SANParks for cleaning up the launching area and helping to make this a safe event, and our major sponsor, Sanlam Private Wealth, for the prizes and financial support.”

Knysna SPLASH is an important fundraiser for Rotary, which donates all proceeds from the entry fees to local charities.


Lagoon Mile Swim:

Girls U/16: 1st Tatiana Kleiner; 2nd Jamie Hattingh; 3rd Aimee Canny
Boys U/16: 1st Deorge Lategan; 2nd Benno van der Merwe; 3rd Bernard Becker

Ladies 17-27: 1st Alex Bantock; 2nd Jessie Nielle; 3rd Melissa Schultze

Ladies Under 40: 1st Klippie Bishop; 2nd Robyn Taylor; 3rd Christine

Ladies 40+: 1st Tania Osborne; 2nd Carol Hampshire; 3rd Janet Michaelides

Men 17-27: 1st Liam Fourie; 2nd Bradley Rothschild; 3rd Justin Besrick

Men 40+: 1st Royden Tustin; 2nd Brendan Locke; 3rd Roland Imstra

Junior Swim:

Girls Under 11: 1st Adelia dos Santos; 2nd Kate Tanner; 3rd Kelly Paton

Boys Under 11: 3rd Nicholas Cheeseman

Canoe Race 10km:

K1: 1st Martin Fraser Mackenzie; 2nd Gavin White; 3rd Hans van der Veen

K2: 1st Pierre van der Merwe & Ronald; 2nd Greg Vogt & Danie van Wyk; 3rd Neil & Di Steenkamp

Quack Attack Duck Race:

1st prize – R 2500 – Steven Naude from Knysna

2nd prize – R 1000 – Eoin Ivory from Welkom

3rd prize – R 500 – Paul Whitehead from UK

4th prize – R 500 – Ivan from Knysna

5th prize – R 500 – Henning von Ribbeck from Knysna

Save the dates for next year’s Knysna SPLASH Festival: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December 2016.

For more information visit Follow Knysna SPLASH ( on Facebook and Twitter ( for regular updates.•

Kurland Summer Trail Run

The Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team brings you the Kurland Summer Trail Run this December in Plett.

Date: 13 December 2015
Time: Registration from 7:30am
Start: From 8:30am
Venue: The Pavilion at Kurland Hotel

18.5 km (limited to 100 runners R150-00 (R180-00 late entry) (mountains, Jeep track, single track)
11.5 km (12 years and upwards) R70-00 (R80-00 late) (jeep track, some climbing)
5.5 km (fun run for all, prizes for U12 only) R50-00
Kiddies forest and field adventure trail R20-00 (1- 1,5km kids & Parents, self guided throughout the morning)

The Pavilion at Kurland Hotel is 15km East of Plettenberg Bay, on N2 33 55 50.43 S 23 29 04.24 E

Enter online at from 15 November 2015
James 082 925 7885