While confinement indoors has proven a difficult – albeit necessary – undertaking for South Africans, many organisations have quickly adapted to allow innovative visitor experiences during the national lockdown. On the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, a number of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) member establishments have introduced online portals to give residents at home a chance to experience virtual tours and interactions.
“These are obviously unprecedented times, but it has been so enlightening to see how our local tourism establishments are pivoting to maintain visitor interest while also performing a civic duty in keeping people home, safe and entertained,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu. “Virtual tours have worked really well for nature-based organisations where core staff members are still performing maintenance and animal feeding. These virtual experiences are a great opportunity for new visitors to get a sense of these tourism offerings and for regular customers to enjoy the serenity of the KZN South Coast during these difficult times.”
Crocworld Conservation Centre (www.crocworld.co.za)
This Scottburgh-based animal conservation centre has garnered a number of new online visitors through its comprehensive video sharing, animal talks and tours during this time. The Crocworld team has been hosting virtual tours of the centre with live feeds and interactive sessions with the resident experts, Martin Rodrigues (Centre Manager), James Wittstock (Reptile Curator) and Ryne Ferguson (Bird Curator). The public can also visit the Crocworld Conservation Centre Facebook page to vote on environmental topics and themes they would like covered during the lockdown period, and check out any of the exciting snake capture videos being posted. Upcoming live-stream videos set to be shared on the ‘Crocworld Conservation Centre’ Facebook page include the Flamingo feeding and talk on Wednesday, 8 April at 11am and the Green Mamba talk on Wednesday, 15 April at 11am.
Wild 5 Adventures (www.wild5adventures.co.za)
Located in the stunning Oribi Gorge, Wild 5 Adventures is renowned for its incredible Wild Gorge Swing – an adrenaline-inducing ride on the world’s highest gorge swing. A free-fall of 55 storeys has participants accelerating to speeds of 120km/h. During the lockdown, Wild 5 Adventures is inviting everyone who has taken the leap to share their videos online in the ‘Show Us Your Jump LOCKDOWN Competition’! This gives viewers a chance to experience the adrenaline from home while one lucky participant stands the chance of winning R1 500 and a lifetime supply of #BraggingRights.
Lake Eland Game Reserve (www.lakeeland.co.za)
Another Oribi Gorge spectacular, Lake Eland Game Reserve is 2 500 hectares of diverse ecosystems home to some of South Africa’s most impressive wildlife and natural vegetation. During the national lockdown period, they will be sharing images and video clips to give residents a chance to escape into the African bushland and get up-and-close with natural wonders – from the comfort of home.
Rocky Bay Resorts and Rocky Bay Trails (www.rockybay.co.za)
Scottburgh’s popular holiday location, Rocky Bay Resorts – home to Rocky Bay Trails – is keeping nature lovers engaged and uplifted through regular Facebook posts and messages. Smell the sea air and get a virtual taste of the ocean life by visiting ‘Rocky Bay Resorts’ or ‘Rocky Bay Trails’ on Facebook. Visitors can even go on a virtual mountain bike ride or trail run by watching one of the uploaded scenic videos of the site.
To get a feel for the great outdoors again watch DUrbanTV‘s Rocky Bay Trail ride proudly sponsored by local industry leaders Illovo Sugar.
For more information about USCT and its member establishments, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. USCT is also on social media – follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter using #travelsouthcoast #tourismsouthcoast #kznsouthcoast.