South Africa’s tourist highlights

first_imgThe winelands of Franschhoek in the Western Cape. (Image: Mary Alexander, For more freephotos, visit the image library.)South Africa is a place of remarkable contrasts, offering lush subtropical forests, vast and arid desert plains, high-energy cities, hopelessly hippie beaches, abundant wildlife, a rich and fascinating history, friendly people and, pretty much everywhere you go, spectacular natural beauty of all kinds.This article details the country’s tourist attractions by province:Eastern CapeFree StateGautengKwaZulu-NatalLimpopoMpumalangaNorthern CapeNorth WestWestern Cape Cattle graze in the fields in Qunu, watched by Vuyani Sidubule, who is dressed to show that he is currently undergoing his manhood initiation. Nelson Mandela grew up in Qunu, and this land still belongs to the Mandela clan.(Image: Rodger Bosch, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda, a tiny village in the Eastern Cape, where reclusive and obsessive artist Helen Martins filled her house and yard with visionary sculpture made from the prosaic materials of cement and parts of glass bottles. (Image: Mary Alexander, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The famous Hole in the Wall rock formation on the Wild Coast, which gets its name from both the raging and unpredictable ocean off its ragged coastline and its remote subtropical interior. (Image: Rodger Bosch, For more free photos, visit the image library.)Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape is a study in contrasts: the political womb of the country, the birthplace of the country’s foremost statesman Nelson Mandela, and a place of both extreme poverty, and extreme beauty.Like the rest of South Africa, the Eastern Cape has wildlife-rich national parks and other conservation areas – but with a unique advantage. In the Eastern Cape, there is no risk, as there is in other natural areas, of malaria. The province’s attractions include the Addo Elephant Park, which contains five of South Africa’s seven major vegetation zones, and a unique combination of the Big Seven – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white sharks, plus a rich heritage of archaeological and historical sites. The reserve also has the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere.Jeffrey’s Bay is said to be one of the top three surfing spots in the world. The town’s other attractions are scuba diving, rock fishing, dolphin and whale spotting, and the dazzling Gamtoos River valley, noted for its bird life.Grahamstown, originally a military outpost, with its Georgian and Victorian buildings, is where the 1820 British settlers came ashore as part of the British colonial government’s efforts to populate the interior with white people from England. These days it is best known for the annual National Arts Festival, the largest of its kind in Africa. Grahamstown is also a vibrant university town, home to Rhodes University.In the interior of the province is Cradock, a Karoo town known for resistance politics. It is also the place where Olive Schreiner lived, best known for her novel The Story of an African Farm. She is buried in the hills outside the town.Also near the town is the Mountain Zebra National Park, a conservation success story which is saving the mountain zebra species from extinction.The historic town of Graaff-Reinet, with a town centre preserved largely intact from 1786, was the birthplace of Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress. Graaff-Reinet is in the centre of the 14 500ha Camdeboo National Park, in the Great Karoo.Nieu Bethesda is a little dorp north of Graaff-Reinet, a place that may have disappeared from the map if it weren’t for Helen Martins, a reclusive and obsessive artist generally disliked in the village during her lifetime. For many decades of the early 20th century, Martins worked tirelessly on cramming her small home, today known as the Owl House, with visionary sculpture made from the prosaic materials of cement and parts of glass bottles.King William’s Town marks a significant element of Xhosa history. A mass grave in the cemetery is where hundreds of Xhosa are buried, the result of the disastrous 1857 Nongqawuse prophesy to slaughter their entire stock of cattle and destroy their crops, and in return the ancestors would ensure that white settlers would be blown into the sea. Some 25 000 Xhosas subsequently died of starvation.Steve Biko, proponent of Black Consciousness, is buried in another cemetery in the town. He died at the vindictive hands of the security police in 1977.Some 60km west of King William’s Town is Fort Hare, originally a multiracial college set up by missionaries, and the place where Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela were educated.On the northern edge of the Eastern Cape is Rhodes. San rock paintings can be explored in the vicinity of the town, while winter skiers make their way through Rhodes to Tiffindell, the country’s only ski resort, set up against the southern Drakensberg mountains bordering Lesotho.The remote and undeveloped Wild Coast, stretching from East London to the beautiful Mkambati Nature Reserve, consists of unspoilt beaches, lush forest, green, undulating hills, complimented by hospitality from the local Xhosa community.The town of Mthatha (previously Umtata) lies in the middle of the Wild Coast region, and is home to the Nelson Mandela Museum. The museum offers guided tours to the nearby village of Qunu, where Mandela grew up. Highlights of the tour include the remains of his primary school, the rock he used to play on and the graveyard where family members are buried.Back to top South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The city of Bloemfontein as seen from Naval Hill. (Images: Graeme Williams, For more free photos, visit the image library.)Free State Bloemfontein, the capital of the province, is the home of the Supreme Court of Appeal, but also the birthplace of JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.The city is on the route between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and has a number of interesting museums and art galleries, including the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery, the National Afrikaans Literary Museum, and the National Women’s Monument and War Museum.Two interesting personalities have associations with the province. Emily Hobhouse, who campaigned on behalf of Boer concentration camp internees during the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer (South African) War, is buried at the foot of the National Women’s Monument.Laurens van der Post, explorer, writer and soldier, grew up in Philippolis, a town 160km south of Bloemfontein. Seventy-five of the town’s houses have been declared national heritage sites, consisting of a mix of flat-roofed Karoo and Cape Dutch gabled houses, and Victorian broekie-lace gems.Adam Kok’s house, a small, flat-roofed house, is in Voortrekker Street. Kok was the leader of a small band of people called Griquas, originally cattle herders and raiders who were descendants of European, Khoikhoi, Asian and African settlers. They set up a mission station in Philippolis and eventually trekked into KwaZulu-Natal and dispersed as a group, although pockets of their descendants are scattered around the Cape.The Highlands Route, a road along the Lesotho border for some 280 kilometres, runs around the northern tip of Lesotho, from Phuthadijhaba (Witsieshoek) to Wepener, taking in impressive rock formations. The route passes through Clarens and the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, with its stunning mountain views and gorgeous ravines. Black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra can be seen in the park, as well as the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the bald ibis. Clarens is well known as an arts and crafts mecca, popular for its cafes and galleries.The Witsieshoek Mountain Resort gives access into the high Drakensberg escarpment, with a hike to the top of the grand Amphitheatre and the Mont aux Sources, at 3 278m, the source of the Tugela. The Basotho Cultural Village is nearby, showcasing Basotho traditions.The Free State also has a World Heritage Site – the Vredefort Dome, the result of the two billion-year-old meteorite of 10km diameter that hit the earth about 100km southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater.The world has about 130 crater indentations of possible impact origin. The Vredefort Dome is among the top three, and is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world.Back to top The Johannesburg skyline at night, with its most prominent features the iconic Hillbrow Tower and massive Ponte apartment building.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, Johannesburg’s famous township, is dedicated to the memory of the 14-year-old boy who was the first killed by police during the June 16 1976 students’ uprising against apartheid.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The Maropeng visitors’ centre northwest of Johannesburg offers exhibits on the rich hominid fossil finds in the Cradle of Humankind, a Unesco world heritage site. (Image: Mary Alexander, For more free photos, visit the image library.)GautengAlthough South Africa’s smallest province, Gauteng is the most industrialised and densely populated. The name of the province means “place of gold”, and the metal accounts for its concentration of wealth and its 40% contribution to the country’s GDP.Gold is the reason for Johannesburg’s establishment, and the city is defined by its exploitation – although these are fast disappearing, the southern section of the city is littered with large mine dumps and scattered headgear. Main Street in downtown Joburg is lined with mining houses, with street furniture consisting of headgear, coco pans and other mining artefacts.An earlier mine, shaft 14, now incorporated into the theme park Gold Reef City, offers trips 226 metres below ground. On the same site is the Apartheid Museum, a powerful place commemorating and recording the country’s appalling history of racial discrimination.Further south is the iconic township Soweto. Here the unravelling of apartheid began on 16 June 1976, with schoolchildren rebelling against apartheid education, and many losing their lives along the way. The day has been commemorated in the Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial, remembering the death of Hector Pieterson, who was the first child to die on the day and became the symbol of repression and police brutality.The township was home to Nelson and Winnie Mandela; their home is now a museum. Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has a home in the same street. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela still lives in the township.Tours of the township take in the Kliptown Square, where the Freedom Charter was ratified in 1955, shebeens and indigenous restaurants, and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the biggest in southern Africa.The Constitutional Court has found a home in Johannesburg, on the site of a notorious jail where two of the 20th century’s icons, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, and many thousands of apartheid petty offenders, were held.Johannesburg is a cosmopolitan city, attracting immigrants from the day gold was discovered in 1886. It still attracts immigrants, and the result is a lively mix of cultures, languages and cuisines. Like any big city it can be dangerous, but has an energetic, vibrant pace that soon becomes addictive.The city is home to the country’s super rich, and the desperately poor. Upmarket shopping malls abound, together with 70% of South Africa’s corporate headquarters, the stock exchange, a significant Art Deco collection, casinos, theatres, museums, art galleries, flea markets, splashes of water and some 10 million trees.Residents jive to the sounds of a host of musicians, from Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Hugh Masekela and Johnny Clegg to Sibongile Khumalo and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Several orchestras, numerous kwaito, rap, jazz, maskanda and mbaqanga artists keep Joburgers’ feet tapping. The city has several major dance companies, from ballet to Afro-fusion. Several annual music and dance festivals – the joy of jazz, arts alive, dance umbrella – keep residents on their toes. Internationally recognised artists living in the city include William Kentridge, Sam Nthemhetha, Edoardo Villa, Penny Siopis, David Koloane, Cecil Skotnes, Robert Hodgins, Willem Boshoff, and Pat Matlua.Joburg has several large football stadiums, and hosted the opening and final matches of the 2010 Fifa World Cup at the spectacular calabash-shaped Soccer City.To the north-west of the city is the Cradle of Humankind, consisting of the Sterkfontein caves and Maropeng, the former the source of some of the world’s most significant hominid fossils, the latter visitors’ centre and museum set in a huge structure signifying the historical importance of the area in the beginnings of humankind.The Sterkfontein Caves are where Mrs Ples, dating back 2.5-million years, and Little Foot, an almost complete ape-man skeleton just over 4 million years old, were found. The 47 000ha Sterkfontein valley consists of around 40 different fossil sites, 13 of which have been excavated.Just beyond the Cradle is the Magaliesberg mountain range, with the Crocodile River running towards this moderately high range on its way to the Hartebeespoort Dam, to become the Limpopo River.Gauteng’s other major city is Pretoria, founded around a Boer farming community in 1855, and the country’s administrative capital since 1910. The home of president Paul Kruger, its reputation as the bastion of apartheid was exploded when President Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994 at the iconic Union Buildings, the creation of Sir Herbert Baker. The city’s Church Square consists of elegant, colonial-style buildings, a meeting place for Afrikaners for over 100 years. The Palace of Justice and the Raadsaal are the oldest buildings on the square, built in grand, neo-classical style with Joburg’s early gold revenues.South of Pretoria lies the University of South Africa, the country’s largest correspondence university. Further south is the Voortrekker Monument, perhaps the most symbolic statement of Afrikaner nationalism in the country.North of the city is the Tswaing Crater, one of best-preserved meteorite craters in the world. Some 220 000 years ago a meteorite hit the earth, creating a crater of just over one kilometre in diameter. It is one of around 170 impact craters in the world and one of four known impact craters in South Africa.Back to top Hotels line the shore at Durban’s North Beach. In Durban – and across South Africa – you can buy beautiful traditional craft creations such as this beadwork. The Drakensberg range of mountains in the iSimangaliso uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a world heritage site. (Images: Graeme Williams, For more free photos, visit the image library.)KwaZulu-NatalThis province has a bit of everything: beaches washed by the warm Indian Ocean, plentiful wildlife in well-organised game parks, significant battlefields, and two World Heritage Sites: the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.Durban, the country’s largest harbour, offers the visitor a mix of cultures: Zulu, Indian and English, with temples, Victorian architecture and Zulu crafts, particularly clay pots and beautiful woven baskets, abundant in the city. The weather is subtropical and can be very humid but its beaches offer swimming all year round.Not to be missed is the uShaka Marine World, an entertainment park near the Durban harbour. It offers a spectacular aquarium, thrilling water rides, tubing on a canal that winds through the park and under the shark tank, and dolphin and seal shows, where the animals display their remarkable intelligence. There is also a number of restaurants, bars and shops.Durban is the departure and arrival point, on alternate years, for the world-renowned Comrades Marathon, a 90-kilometre run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The gruelling three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon also runs between the two cities. KwaZulu-Natal’s Tugela, Umgeni and Umkomaas are three of the country’s great rivers.Some 80km north of Durban is Pietermaritzburg, a well-preserved Victorian city, with a lively multicultural community. This is where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a first-class train on his way to Johannesburg.Another personality linked to the city is Alan Paton, author of the acclaimed novel Cry the Beloved Country. Paton was born in the city in 1903, and his study, documents and personal memorabilia are preserved in the Alan Paton Centre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus.The city’s best museum is the Tatham Art Gallery, with works by Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse alongside works by black South Africans.Heading north from Pietermaritzburg is the Midlands Meander, a route that takes in a number of crafts stalls, tea shops, pubs, trout-fishing farms, country hotels and B&Bs.The N3 road through the midlands roughly traces the last journey of Nelson Mandela before he was arrested in 1962, and sentenced to jail for 27 years in the Rivonia Trial.Most visitors head inland, up the north coast to Zululand and Maputaland, home of the great Zulu kings Shaka and Dingaan. There are several of the country’s great game parks in the area – Ithala, Mkuze and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi – well stocked with rhino, as well as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a 2 700km patchwork of five distinct ecosystems. This World Heritage Site protects a lake, dunes, a marine zone, papyrus and reeds, and dry savannah and thornveld.The famous Zululand battlefields provide a graphic reminder of the battles between Boers and Zulus, British and Zulus, and Boers and British, either as do-it-yourself or organised tours. Much blood flowed at places such as Rorke’s Drift, Isandlwana, Gingindlovu, Blood River and Spioenkop, and the history of the province was written here.Alternatively, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, 243 000 hectares in size, stretching 150 kilometres down the western spine of the province, offers great hiking, camping, horse-riding, San rock art, luxury hotels, and majestic views. Its remarkable geology and unmatched wealth of San rock art, makes it a mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Site. For more than 4 000 years the San lived in these spectacular mountains and created a vast body of rock art – the largest and most concentrated collection in Africa. There are some 600 sites and 35 000 individual images.Back to top An Otter Trail hot-air balloon flight above the Olifants River in Limpopo.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff, For more free photos, visit the image library.) A hotel with a traditional African design in Limpopo.(Image: Graeme Williams, For more free photos, visit the image library.)LimpopoLimpopo province abuts South Africa’s northern border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, and was the entry point of the original Bantu peoples into the country around 300 AD. The province consists of thornbush-scattered lowveld, lush mountain areas, clusters of baobabs, wetlands and a lake district, and a profusion of game farms.The Limpopo river divides South Africa from its neighbours; its origins can be traced to a spring in Johannesburg.The Drakensberg mountain range rises in Limpopo, and sweeps down through Letaba, an area of lush forests, lakes and waterfalls, into Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. But there are also two smaller mountain ranges in Limpopo – the Waterberg and the Soutpansberg. The Waterberg mountains, in the west of the province, are a Unesco-proclaimed savannah biosphere with malaria-free big five game viewing, while the Soutpansberg mountains in the north are sub-tropical, and home of the legendary Rain Queen.The northern section of the province has significant history – the Mapungubwe site is now a World Heritage Site. The recently formed Mapungubwe National Park is rich in biodiversity, great scenic beauty and the cultural importance of the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe.Here is where an ancient African civilisation prospered between 1000 and 1290 AD. The area was already inhabited by a growing Iron Age community from 900 AD and became rich through trade with Egypt, India and China. This is the place where archaeologists excavated the famous golden rhino and other evidence of the wealthy African kingdom of Mapungubwe.Sandstone formations, mopane woodlands and unique riverine forest and baobab trees can be seen in the park, while impressive Khoi/San rock art shelters have also been uncovered.The province has several other game parks and nature reserves offering good game viewing opportunities. Bela-Bela (formerly known as Warmbaths) in the south offers tourists a chance to relax in hot springs, pumping 20 000 litres at 50°C every hour.Wetlands can be found at Nylsvlei, a 160km² nature reserve which attracts some 150 bird species, among them some of the country’s rarest indigenous water birds.Although now deceased, the Rain Queen Modjadji, the hereditary female monarch of the Lobedu people with the power to make rain, lived in the misty mountains of the Modjadji Cycad Reserve. The province is scattered with baobab trees, one of which contains a pub, close to this reserve.The Soutpansberg mountains, named by the Voortrekker pioneers, previously salt pans but now enjoying a sub-tropical climate, produce exotic crops like macadamia nuts, avocados, mangoes and bananas. Other parts of the range offer unspoilt mountain retreats with around 250 different tree species.The Waterberg, once an area of lakes and swamps, now hosts a diversity of vegetation, supporting cattle farming, hunting, and various conservation projects. It is a Unesco Savannah Biosphere Reserve and is malaria-free.The Marakele National Park lies within the Waterberg mountains, and contains an impressive variety of wildlife, yellowwood and cedar trees, five-metre high cycads and tree ferns. Probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world can be found here.The Lapalala Wilderness Area has the world’s only rhino museum. Lapalala also has rhino orphans, in particular Bwana, who lives in the owners’ back garden.The VhaVenda people, a culturally and linguistically distinct African group, are known for their mystical legends and their arts and crafts. They have traditionally lived in the abundant north-eastern corner of the province, a place of lakes, lush forests and waterfalls. Not surprisingly their legends are linked to water and water creatures.Venda chiefs are buried near Lake Fundudzi and the Sacred Forest, an area of dense indigenous forest north of the Soutpansberg mountains. The nearby Dzata ruins contain the remains of the royal kraal of the kings of VhaVenda, dating from 1400.Venda arts and crafts are well known, particularly clay pots with distinctive angular designs in graphite silver and ochre. Woodcarver Jackson Thugwane was famous for his wood sculptures while Noria Mabasa produced clay and wood sculptures.The north-eastern corner of the province offers entry to the Kruger National Park, which borders Limpopo for 70 kilometres. Punda Maria and Pafuri are the most northernly gates to the famous park.Back to top The Blyde River valley and dam.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff, For more free photos, visit the image library.) An elephant in the Kruger National Park. (Image: Mary Alexander, For more free photos, visit the image library.)MpumalangaMpumalanga, on the far eastern edge of the country, is the home of the southern section of the Kruger National Park, arguably the best game park in South Africa.Kruger covers over 20 000 square kilometres, over 400 kilometres from north to south, with up to 150 species of mammals and over 500 bird species, and 14 well-run rest camps from which to observe this wildlife. A number of private parks abutting the western border of Kruger provide a more exclusive game-watching experience.Summer temperatures (between December and February) can hover around 30ºC to 40ºC, with winter temperatures at a more tolerable mid-20ºC. In winter there are virtually no mosquitoes, and the vegetation is thinner, making game easier to spot.The park is divided into three sections: the southern, with the greatest concentration of game, the central section offers good game viewing, while the northern section offers less game but more of a sense of wilderness.Mpumalanga has spectacular scenery around the escarpment, a section of the Drakensberg that falls down into the lowveld, a tropical fruit growing area. Along the tip of the escarpment are three famous viewpoints – God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Three Rondavels. Nearby is the Blyde River Canyon, with stunning views and great hiking and river rafting. A five-day hiking trail through the Blyderivierspoort Nature Reserve starts at God’s Window, and takes in the views and the flora and fauna of the reserve.Further north is Pilgrim’s Rest, a restored gold-mining town. The town is the site of South Africa’s first gold rush, in 1873, and although on a small scale, it lasted for around 100 years. Gold is still mined in the hills south west of the town.Further south is Barberton, another gold-mining town. In the 1880s gold was discovered and is still mined in the town, where mining tours, including trying some gold panning, can be taken.Back to top Dug in the diamond rush of the 1870s, the Big Hole in the Northern Cape capital of Kimberley is the town’s biggest attraction. The roads in the Northern Cape stretch out as far as the eye can see. (Images: Graeme Williams, For more free photos, visit the image library.)Northern CapeThe vast Northern Cape is the largest province of South Africa, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Kimberley in the east. Covering one third of the country, it is dominated by heat, aridity, large empty spaces and long travelling distances.The long Orange River separates the Kalahari and the Great Karoo, two semi-desert regions that make up the interior of the province. It was this landscape that led to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberley in the 1870s, and each year, to the blooming of the Namaqualand flowers in the western section of the province.The province’s capital, Kimberley, dates back to the early 1870s when diamonds were discovered between the Vaal and Orange rivers. Dug in the rush frenzy, the 500m wide Big Hole is now the biggest attraction of the otherwise ordinary town. By 1914 when the mine closed, over 14,5 million carats of diamonds had been removed from the earth, from the hole which descends into the earth 800 metres. The Kimberley Mine Museum consists of the old diamond-rush town, with shops, bars, banks and churches.Diamonds are still mined from two mines on the outskirts of the city, and tours underground are available.Kimberley is the site of the country’s first township, Galeshewe, a tour of which takes in the grave of Sol Plaatje, South Africa’s first black writer and a founder member of the ANC, as well as the house where Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, lived after his release from Robben Island.Upington lies in the central northern section of the province, on the banks of the Orange River, which flows over the spectacular 56m Augrabies Falls, a huge granite gorge in the landscape. The Augrabies Falls National Park consists of 55 383ha of semi-desert terrain bordering the Orange River.Another attraction of the Northern Cape is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a combination of two parks: South Africa’s Kalahari-Gemsbok National Park, and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park. It’s a vast desert sanctuary abundant in game, set against a landscape of red dunes and hardy vegetation, and stretching for some 38 000 square kilometres, nearly twice the size of the Kruger National Park.On the north-eastern border of the Northern Cape and North West is Kuruman, famous because of Robert and Mary Moffat. This intrepid couple built a mission station, and although not successful missionaries, Robert Moffat translated the bible into SeTswana in the 50 years that they lived in these harsh conditions. Their eldest daughter, Mary, married explorer David Livingstone.The land of the Nama people, Khoikhoi herders who gave their name to Namaqualand, is the location of an annual display of multi-coloured daisies in August and September. Some 4 000 species come to life after the winter rains and only in temperatures higher than 16ºC, in spectacular displays.The Namaqua National Park is home to 3 500 plant species, 1 000 of which are found nowhere else in the world. The park is home to the world’s only arid biodiversity hotspot.Port Nolloth on the Atlantic Coast, at the mouth of the Orange River, is a diamond town that features rich bird life and a lichen forest.North of Port Nolloth is the Richtersveld National Park, an area of 1 600 square kilometres, a fierce and rugged landscape, the country’s only mountain desert, and South Africa’s newest World Heritage Site.The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape covers 160 000ha of dramatic mountainous desert. A unique feature of the site – both in South African and international terms – is that it is owned and managed by a community that until recently had very little to call its own. Characterised by extreme temperatures, the landscape affords a semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood for the Nama people, descendants of the Khoikhoi people who once occupied lands across southern Namibia and most of the present-day Western and Northern Cape provinces.Back to top The entrance to the luxury Palace of the Lost City hotel and the Sun City entertainment complex in North West. (Image: Hannelie Coetzee, For more free photos, visit the image library.)North WestMost well known for the Sun City gambling and casino resort and its neighbouring big-five Pilanesberg Game Reserve, North West’s first inhabitants were hunter-gatherers. They were displaced by Iron Age peoples from the north around 1 000 years ago, who settled in the far northern corner of the province.The province is mostly flat terrain broken by the rocky kloofs and streams of the Magaliesberg mountain range, dotted with holiday resorts and hiking trails.Sun City consists of four hotels, a golf course, a water park, and assorted entertainment venues. Built in the 1970s apartheid era, it offered white South Africans a place to gamble legally in Bophutatswana, a spurious independent “homeland”. In 1994 gambling was legalised and the resort’s fortunes dwindled but these days it stands as a decadent oddity in a vast, natural landscape that contrasts sharply with its glitzy attractions.The adjoining 55 000ha Pilanesberg Game Reserve offers excellent game viewing, with the big five visible along with hippo, giraffe and cheetah, and a large range of bird life.The tiny but quaint dorp of Groot Marico lies on the way to the capital of the province, Mahikeng (previously known as Mafikeng). Groot Marico is now a landmark after well-known writer Herman Charles Bosman based his delightful short stories on his short experience as a teacher in the town. An annual literary weekend in his name is attended by his fans.The capital Mahikeng, with a smattering of graceful buildings, became famous during the South African War of 1899-1902. The Siege of Mafikeng happened in 1900, when British Colonel Robert Baden-Powell (of Boy Scouts fame) defended the town against the Boers for 217 days, along with hundreds of local Barolong.The cruel tragedy of the siege was that British regiments were given armfuls of medals while those Barolong who survived despite meagre rations, were never recognised for their role in the battle.One of the country’s first black writers and a founder member of the ANC, Sol Plaatje, recorded his poignant observations of the siege in a diary.Back to top Clifton is probably Cape Town’s most famous – and popular – beach.(Image: Jeffrey Barbee, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The marina and luxury apartments and the V&A Waterfront, a mixed-use retail, entertainment, business and residential development set in a working harbour, and the most-visited tourist attraction in South Africa.(Image: Rodger Bosch, For more free photos, visit the image library.) The town of Oudtshoorn is the centre of ostrich farming in South Africa. (Image: Rodger Bosch, For more free photos, visit the image library.)Western CapeCape Town is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Its striking Table Mountain overlooks the city and one of the country’s World Heritage Sites, Robben Island, lies about 12 kilometres off the mainland.Used for centuries as a place to house unwanted people – prisoners of war, criminals, leprosy sufferers, mentally ill patients, a military base, apartheid prisoners, among them Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu – for many the island’s associations are of isolation and inhumane treatment. Paradoxically, it’s also a place of sanctuary for around 132 bird species, some of which are endangered. The African penguin, once close to extinction, breeds prolifically on the island. Around 23 species of mammals, including many types of buck, ostrich, lizards, geckos, snakes and tortoises, also live on the island.Cape Town itself has much to offer: 150km of beaches, hikes and walks, windsurfing, paragliding, cycling, great restaurants, unique flora, and the winelands.Established by the Dutch in 1652, the city is a reflection of the different cultures that settled below the mountain: European, Dutch and Malay. An active slave trade, with some 63 000 slaves imported from East Africa, Madagascar, India and Indonesia, has resulted in Cape Town’s unique flavour.The Western Cape was originally occupied by San hunter-gatherers, then the pastoral Khoikhoi, before Europeans made it their home.Cape Town has many significant old buildings: the Castle of Good Hope, the country’s oldest building, as well as the Old Town House, Palm Tree Mosque, Long Street Baths, the South African Mission Meeting House Museum, St George’s Cathedral, the South African Museum, Koopmans-De Wet House, De Tuynhuys, the South African National Gallery, the Great Synagogue, and the Houses of Parliament.The suburb of Bo-Kaap houses the Muslim community, in brightly coloured 19th century Dutch and Georgian terraces. It’s a distinctive community, with its own Afrikaans dialect.The District Six Museum tells of the lively coloured community that lived in the suburb, dismantled in the name of apartheid in the 1970s.Other places of interest are the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the Gold of Africa Museum, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Newlands is the oldest and largest botanical garden in South Africa with over 22 000 indigenous plants. It attracts botanists and researchers from around the world.The dramatic Table Mountain has been a beacon to ships for centuries. The Table Mountain National Park stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point and includes the seas and coastline of the peninsula. There are 1 400 species of flora on the mountain, and fauna includes baboons, dassies or hyraxes, Himalayan tahrs and porcupines. The mountain is crisscrossed with hiking trails. It is one of the country’s natural World Heritage Sites.Constantia was Cape Town’s oldest wine farm, started by Simon van der Stel in 1685. These days it consists of four wine estates: Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Steenberg and Buitenverwachting.Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town are quaint villages dotted along False Bay, south of the city.Chapman’s Peak Drive hugs the spectacular coastline until Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, around 60 kilometres from the city centre. Some 2 256 species of fynbos are to be found in the reserve. Cape Point is not the most southerly point of Africa – Cape Agulhas, some 300km south of Cape Town, is where the Indian and the Atlantic oceans meet.One of the Western Cape’s biggest attractions is the winelands, with over a dozen wine routes and hundreds of estates, extending to the Karoo and into the Northern Cape. The wine regions closest to Cape Town are those surrounding Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Somerset West. Sweeping mountains, Cape Dutch architecture and green valleys characterise the towns and their surrounds.Other great Western Cape attractions include the hot springs in Montagu, the ostriches in Oudtshoorn, the nearby Cango Caves, Prince Albert and the Swartberg Pass, the extremely isolated valley of The Hell, the Karoo National Park, whale watching at Hermanus, the fishing village of Arniston, and the many charming towns of the Little Karoo.The Garden Route, billed as “South Africa’s paradise”, stretches 200 kilometres from Mossel Bay to the Storms River Mouth. The area was once a vast African forest, the remnants of which can be found around Knysna and in the Tsitsikamma National Park at the Storms River Mouth.It was at Mossel Bay in 1488 that the first Portuguese sailors, captained by Bartolomeu Dias, set foot on South African soil. The ancient Post Office Tree, where for centuries mariners left messages for passing ships, still stands in the town.Knysna has a unique beauty. Although the coastal town lacks beaches it is a beautiful place, with a vast lagoon gated to the ocean by steep promontories known as the Heads, a surrounding natural forest and local game reserve. It’s a charming and trendy town, offering coffee shops, craft galleries, street traders and oyster restaurants – and a spectacularly indulgent annual oyster festival. The town’s forest, formerly a magnificent woodland and home to Khoi clans and herds of elephants, is still lovely, with tall indigenous trees set among streams flowing to the sea.On the eastern edge of the Garden Route is the Tsitsikamma National Park, a place of forest, fynbos, rivers and the Storms River Mouth, a five-kilometre estuary stretching into spectacularly wild ocean. The park conserves inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish, including dolphins and porpoises, and a red data species of bird, the African black oystercatcher.The Storm’s River Mouth is also the starting point for South Africa’s most popular hiking route, the Otter Trail.For adrenalin freaks, a highlight of the region is the Bloukrans River bridge, which offers one of the highest professionally supervised bungee jumps in the world – a long and fast 216-metre drop.The west coast of the Cape contains the West Coast National Park, just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay. Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine beaches stretch endlessly and salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders. Up to 4 000 wild flowers can be seen in the park and surrounding areas.Other small harbour towns are Langebaan, Lambert’s Bay, Paternoster and St Helena Bay, where Vasco da Gama first set foot on the country’s shores.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]last_img read more

Apple And Samsung Both Lost. So Did Buyers

first_imgTags:#Analysis#Android#Apple#mobile Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The fallout from Apple’s win over Samsung in a California patent court has been an extension of the rhetoric that took place within the court. Apple, smug after its billion-dollar settlement, claims the whole case was about values. Samsung still holds to the line that Apple’s design patents are frivolous and the real loser is the consumer. Neither side is wrong.As much as Apple and Samsung want everybody to believe that one is on the side of good while the other is completely evil, the reality is that that is just not true. It is possible to not be right while not precisely being wrong. Apple’s “Values”Apple’s CEO Tim Cook called the victory a triumph of values. “For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy,” Cook wrote in a memo leaked to 9to5 Mac. Cook is not wrong, but he is not correct. Apple is right to defend itself against copying. But, it is not like Apple was defending the invention of fire. It was defending design patents based on the size and shape of the iPad and iPhone as well as utility patents used in iOS.None of the patents that Apple fought tooth and nail over in the name of values are particularly innovative.The utility patents may have some functions specific to iOS, but the Android manufacturers have already figured a way around most of those because it was not the function that Apple patented so much as how the function is performed. Companies like HTC, Samsung and Motorola have been working on ways to circumvent those patents through design and functional updates to their devices, and Apple will have little grounds in court to sue the Android manufacturers over these same functions again.The patents themselves are just weapons against Samsung and other Android manufacturers.The settlement money is also of no concern to Apple. This is a company that is one of the most valuable in the history of the world, sitting on a $100 billion in liquid assets. But taking a billion dollars from Samsung was a reward in itself.Cook’s comments about values is public relations. Most journalists, analysts and tech enthusiasts have a better understanding of Apple’s motivations under the surface. Apple’s two biggest motivations were to set a precedent for all its upcoming patent cases and to slow the Android ecosystem’s growth. The more Apple can hobble Android, the more iPhones and iPads it can sell. With Apple’s extraordinarily high margins, there is a lot of money on the table.The effect on Samsung is marginal in the short term. This case was mostly about Samsung’s long product tail, with devices that had been on the market a year or more running software that has been completely overhauled to avoid these specific Apple patents. Samsung will likely appeal the judgment, mostly to avoid the precedent that the case sets. This is not the last time these two companies will meet in court over patents. Apple’s win makes it more likely that its similar patent cases against Samsung and other Android manufacturers will result in injunctions against Android devices. Samsung needs to negate that precedent.Samsung: “Loss for the American Consumer”After the announcement of the verdict, Samsung issued a statement:“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”It is difficult to believe both companies. Samsung says that Apple’s win is bad for innovation. Apple said it is good for innovation. Again, neither company is right, but neither is wrong.When Apple speaks of innovation, it is not talking about the broad scope of technology innovation. Apple is talking about its own innovation. Innovation that has been called into question many times over the years. Apple is seen as a company that makes technologies better and sexier and prices its devices higher than the competition to pad its margins. Samsung is essentially saying that Apple’s designs and its legal claims are frivolous. It is implying that if Apple can improve on technologies and not be found guilty of copying, then so can we.Samsung certainly has a high opinion of itself. By calling the verdict “a loss for the American consumer” it is saying that its products are so good that the U.S. consumer will suffer for the loss. It is the same tactic that Samsung has used in most of its court cases against Apple across the world. “This bully is bad for us, bad for you, bad for everybody.” Samsung itself is a bit of a bully. It has the manufacturing might to flood the mobile market with so many devices at so many price points that it is squeezing not just Apple, but the other Android manufacturers. Motorola’s market presence is almost non-existent at this point and HTC is flailing. Samsung, not Apple, is the biggest culprit behind Nokia’s fall from grace. Samsung’s shotgun strategy works and cannot (or, cannot without great difficulty) be replicated by any other Android manufacturer. Samsung’s own rhetoric is as hypocritical as Apple’s. While Samsung claims it did not copy Apple in the slightest way (and it has a case for that, despite the jury’s verdict), there is no question that some of Samsung’s smartphones do look very similar to the iPhone. The Winner? NobodyIn the end, the outcome was predictable. Can anyone say that Samsung could win a case with a Californian jury in the shadow of Cupertino? Samsung never really stood a chance. The battle of rhetoric does neither company justice. Apple comes off with a morality play that is almost laughable. Samsung sounds like a whining, arrogant twit that insists it did nothing wrong. With this decision, all Android manufacturers lose, not just Samsung. In the end, that is how the American consumer loses too.That means Google loses, too, right? That’s not necessarily the whole story. Apple could be doing Google a favor with its courtroom war.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img dan rowinski The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Nadal wins 6th title of year in Beijing; Garcia beats Halep

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary This was Nadal’s second China Open title in four trips to the final. He won his first in his Beijing debut in 2005.“In 2005, I never will believe that I will keep playing tennis in 2017,” Nadal said.Nadal leads Kyrgios 3-2 in career meetings, and 2-1 this season. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES “I was playing very high intensity the whole match, changing the directions and not making many mistakes,” Nadal said.Kyrgios offered Nadal eight break points in the first set with Nadal taking two service breaks.Kyrgios was angered by a line call in the first set and his complaints eventually cost him a penalty point at the start of the eighth game.Kyrgios didn’t make it onto the board in the second set until he was serving with Nadal already leading 5-0.“In the semifinal I played well, obviously beating Alex (Zverev),” Kyrgios said. “It’s a typical type of week for me: beat a player well, then pretty much no-show.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Garcia also won her final in straight sets.“She played amazing tennis,” Halep said of Garcia. “She deserved to win today. She was better.”For Halep, the loss was particularly disappointing as she was unable to back up her guaranteed debut in the No. 1 ranking on Monday. She secured the top spot on Saturday with her semifinal victory over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.Halep’s best opportunity to rebound against Garcia ended when she failed to make good on any of the nine break points she had at 3-3 in the second set.“For sure it definitely turned the second set,” Garcia said. “This game was definitely very important.”In the second-set tiebreaker, the unseeded Garcia jumped out to 4-1, and on a first match point at 6-3 with Halep serving, the Romanian netted a forehand. Garcia fell to her knees in celebration.She is enjoying an 11-match winning streak, having captured her first title of the season at Wuhan last week. This is the second time she’s won a career-best 11 straight matches.“It was such an amazing two weeks,” Garcia said. “It went so fast.”Garcia saved a match point in her three-set quarterfinal victory over third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.The last time Kyrgios played a No. 1 it was also against Nadal. In that 2014 fourth-round encounter at Wimbledon, the then 144th-ranked Kyrgios emerged a four-set winner.center_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next MOST READ Hamilton wins Japanese GP to move closer to F1 title Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during the men’s singles final match of the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, China. APRafael Nadal beat Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-2, 6-1 Sunday(Monday Manila time) in the China Open final to win his sixth ATP title of the year, and Caroline Garcia defeated soon-to-be-No. 1 Simona Halep 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the women’s event.Top-ranked Nadal, who was tied with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at five titles this season, picked up his 75th career singles trophy with the win in Beijing.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City The 15th-ranked Garcia, who lost to Halep the two previous times they played, won her second consecutive WTA title. The Frenchwoman will make her top-10 debut when the new rankings come out on Monday.The 31-year-old Nadal’s six trophies this year include a record 10th title at the French Open and a third at the U.S. Open. The last time the Spaniard won at least six titles in a year was in 2013 when he captured 10 trophies for the season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutKyrgios started Sunday struggling with his serve and never found a confident range throughout the match. His first-serve percentage mostly languished under the 50 percent mark.In contrast, Nadal always looked in charge and saved all four break points he faced. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View commentslast_img read more

Boy Sablan out as UST coach

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRodil “Boy” Sablan has resigned as head coach of University of Santo Tomas.Sources close to the situation confirmed that Sablan tendered his resignation on Monday following a disappointing two-year run with the Growling Tigers.ADVERTISEMENT Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Sablan, together with his coaching staff composed of Gerry Esplana, Bobby Jose, Tylon Darjuan, Juben Ledesma, and Gina Francisco, will all be making their exits effective November 30, but their contracts will still be honored until the end of May next year.The unheralded Sablan amassed a woeful 4-24 record in his tenure with the Growling Tigers and barely avoided a winless season after finishing with a 1-13 slate this past UAAP Season 80, the school’s worst UAAP record ever.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutUST also suffered a 17-game losing streak bridging Seasons 79 and 80 under his watch.INQUIRER tried to get the side of Sablan, but the bench tactician is still mum on the situation. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Another source closely monitoring the situation bared that the school has already formed a search committee even before the UAAP season ended and has started gathering applications from interested parties who want to take the helm at the Growling Tigers.Alumni have been pushing for the return of Pido Jarencio back in España, but the coach who led the school to its last title back in 2006 was recently reinstated as the GlobalPort head coach.ABS-CBN Sports reported the development first.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES No replay of DLSU-Adamson game amid controversy, says UAAP View commentslast_img read more


first_imgHere is a report on all Womens Championship/Shield/Plate matches throughout the quarter finals, semi finals, play-offs and grand finals. This report will be updated as the matches progress. WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISIONS (1st-8th place): Quarter finals: The Womens Championship finals kicked off with QSST showing why they’re ranked number one, an impressive 12-1 victory ending the hopes of TouchWest. NSWCHS showed they’re contenders but may struggle against the QSST side with a hard fought 4-2 win over the Brisbane Cobras, a team QSST beat 12-2 in the pool matches. SQBD piled on the scores in the second half to end the interstate challenge and stop the ACT from going on any further, showing they may just be title contenders. In the closest match of the Womens Championship quarter finals CQ held of the NSWCCC 3-2 with a miracle score in the corner giving them the win. QSST will now face CQ in their semi final, while SQBD will meet NSWCHS. Semi finals: Both NSWCHS and QSST survived scares in their respective semi finals. CQ surprised QSST to be constantly with them throughout the match and QSST looked a little tentative in their toughest match of the tournament so far. NSWCHS led 4-2 at half time but were unable to score from then on, sneaking through to the grand final with a 4-3 win. Play-offs: The ACT came from behind at half time to take the 7th position after scoring three touchdowns in the second half for a 4-3 win over a TouchWest side who have had a great tournament. The Brisbane Cobras secured 5th position with a 9-6 win over NSWCCC. SQBD staked their claim as the strongest non-schools side in 2004, winning the play-off for third against CQ 4-2. Grand finals: The match up between QSST and NSWCHS in the Womens grand final was highly anticipated. With NSWCHS taking the 2003 title, Queensland were out to claim it back and opened the scoring with Emily Hopkin’s great step allowing Gemma Etheridge to cross and score. An intercept from NSW’s Tegan Considine brought the crowd to their feet, which then lifted even more as Queensland’s Teneille Shaw chased 25 metres to touch Considine. With neither team able to score for the remaining time in the first half, it was Nicole McHugh who brought NSW back to even with a touchdown to open the second half. This was as close to winning as NSW would get though, with Queensland’s captain Courtney Hipperson scoring to give them a 2-1 lead. Belinda Hammett dived across the line for a 3-1 advantage to Queensland before the NSW side could bring it back to 3-2 with nine minutes still to play. NSW looked as though they were still in with a chance as the Queensland girls failed to make the most of their opportunities and extend their lead. When Delwyn Tupuhi and Hipperson both added to the Queensland tally, a 5-2 lead was too much for the NSW girls. With five minutes to go the NSW side also lost experienced Australian representative Kirstie Jenkins to an injury and the game was all but over. For Queensland coach Peter Bell, the win was a reward for how hard his players have worked. “They’ve put in a lot of training for this and they’re a great group of girls,” Bell said. Captain Courtney Hipperson agreed. “It feels awesome, we’ve had great teamwork and really bonded as a team, we knew we were good enough to win this and we came here to do that,” Hipperson said. Placings: 1. QSST 2. NSWCHS 3. SQBD 4. CQ 5. Cobras 6. NSWCCC 7. ACT 8. TouchWest WOMENS SHIELD DIVISIONS (9th- 14th place): Quarter finals: Both of the Womens Shield Quarter final matches were decided by drop-offs with NSWCIS continuing their most successful Championships ever, winning 5-4 over NQ. The Mets also won a close 4-3 encounter over fellow Sydney side the Scorpions. Semi finals: The Southern Suns ended the dream run of NSWCIS in their semi final, a 5-4 heartbreaker denying the NSWCIS girls a place in the grand final. While no doubt disappointed, they can be proud of being the highest achieving NSWCIS Womens team ever. SunCoast also won their way through to the Shield grand final with a comfortable 7-3 win over the Sydney Mets. Play-offs: In the Womens Shield play-off for 13th position, the Sydney Scorpions and NQ were deadlocked 1-1 at half time and a single touchdown in the second half gave the Scorpions a 2-1 win. NSWCIS also finished on a high, taking 11th place with a 4-3 win over the Mets. Grand finals: SunCoast won the Womens Shield title with a tight 4-3 win over the Suns. The match was full of diving touches and great runs. Placings: 9. SunCoast 10. Suns 11. NSWCIS 12. Mets 13. Scorpions 14. NQ WOMENS PLATE DIVISIONS (15th-20th place): Quarter finals: The Tasmanian Women were kept scoreless again, as the Hunter Western Hornets scored an easy 7-1 victory in their quarter final; it certainly hasn’t been an easy induction back into the National Championships for the Tasmanian girls. NT made their way through to the Womens Plate semi finals with a controversial win over SA, a scoring dispute was finally sorted out with the promise of video footage if the referees needed it; the final result 6-5 to the NT girls. Semi finals: SWQ and the Hunter-Western Hornets progressed to the grand final for the Womens Plate division, after wins over the NT and Sydney Rebels respectively. SWQ defeated NT 6-1 and the Hornets had a comfortable 8-2 win over an injury-hit Rebels. Play-offs: SA denied Tasmania their first win of the tournament and recorded their own first win in the play-off for 19/20 after a 3-2 win in a drop-off. Ultimately, a positive end for both sides with a tough game to finish. The Sydney Rebels finished on a high, winning the 17/18 play-off 6-5 against the NT in a drop-off. Grand finals: The Hornets, struggling with injuries, had a comfortable 7-4 win in the Womens Plate final over SWQ. Placings: 15. Hornets 16. SWQ 17. Rebels 18. NT 19. South Australia 20. Tasmania By Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img read more

Scorpions sting Mets to win first women’s open title

first_imgWomen’s open:NSW Scorpions 7 def NSW Mets 6.It has been described the best game of the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League.NSW Scorpions ended NSW Mets’ domination in the women’s division by claiming the Elite Eight title in a thriller.A touchdown to Yasmin Meakes with 15 seconds left on the clock gave the Scorpions a 7-6 victory.Three touchdowns were scored in the final minute as the two combatants threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other.The win maintained the Scorpions’ perfect record at the 2014 tournament.It also gave them their first NTL women’s open title.Scorpions’ captain Elesha Dougal said it was an incredible achievement for her team.“People said at the start [of the tournament], ‘errr, I don’t know how they will go’ but we have just proved them all wrong,” Dougal said.“I am so proud of the girls. It was the hardest game we’ve played in and I knew it would be; so credit to our team and credit to Mets. They pushed us.“We believed in ourselves so a full credit to the girls and the coaching staff.”In a match that was tit-for-tat until the final whistle, the Mets opened the scoring first through Botille Veitte-Walsh.Both teams attacked each other’s scoreline but could not get the touchdown.A bit of Kylie Hilder magic put Laura Peattie over for a touchdown to level the scores.The Scorpions hit the lead through Yasmin Meakes but it was cancelled out by Claire Moran’s touchdown in the corner.In the final two minutes, Mets scored twice and Scorpions once, which made the score 4-3 in favour of the two-time champions.Shortly after the break another Hilder pass put Sarah Peattie over the line and levelled the scores again.Scorpions hit the lead when Lizzy Hewitt found the scoreline and immediately after, Mets were disallowed a touchdown due to a forward pass.But it soon did not matter as Kristin Boss scored to level the scores.The final minute had the crowd on the edge of their seats.Scorpions thought they had won it when Rachelle Davis buried her way over the line to score.But Mets’ captain Claire Tandek scored immediately and a drop-off was highly likely.The Scorpions had one last shot and they made it count when Meakes scored the decisive touchdown in the corner with 15 seconds to go.The referees conferred on the field and they were happy for the touchdown to count.Touchdowns: Scorpions 7 (Yasmin Meakes 3, Sarah Peattie, Laura Peattie, Lizzy Hewitt, Rachelle Davis); Mets 6 (Botille Veitte-Walsh 2, Claire Moran, Kirstie Jenkins, Sarah Peattie, Kristin Boss).Player of the final was Danielle Davis (Scorpions) and the player of the series was Tamika Upton (Queensland Country Outlaws).Women’s open final timeline:3rd minute Mets 1-0 Scorpions – Botille Veitte-Walsh touchdown.9th minute 1-all – Laura Peattie touchdown.13th minute Scorpions 2-1 – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.14th minute 2-all – Claire Moran touchdown.18th minute Mets 3-2 – Botille Veitte-Walsh touchdown.19th minute 3-all – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.19th minute Mets 4-3 – Kirstie Jenkins touchdown.Half-time – Mets 4-3.23rd minute 4-all – Sarah Peattie touchdown.32nd minute Scorpions 5-4 – Lizzy Hewitt touchdown.36th minute 5-all – Kristin Boss touchdown.39th minute Scorpions 6-5 – Rachelle Davis touchdown.40th minute 6-all – Claire Tandek touchdown.40th minute Scorpions 7-6 – Yasmin Meakes touchdown.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League in the following MediaFacebook – – (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2014)Instagram – – LinksWomen’s open final By BEN HARRISlast_img read more

10 months agoMan City eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Riceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City are eyeing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.The Sun says City boss Pep Guardiola knows he needs to find a young successor for Fernandinho, who turns 34 before the end of the season.And West Ham’s highly-rated teenager Rice is the player who has caught his eye – despite only signing a new long-term contract with the club last month.Rice has emerged as one of the country’s most promising young players this season after becoming the main man in the Hammers midfield.The way he has dominated Premier League matches despite only being 19 years old has caught the attention of Guardiola and his coaching staff at the Etihad. last_img read more

DHT Reports Profit in First Quarter

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: DHT Holdings Crude oil tanker company DHT Holdings delivered a net income of USD 17.7 million in Q1 2019, rebounding from a USD 9.2 million net loss it suffered in the same period a year earlier.Shipping revenues increased to USD 132.3 million in the first quarter of 2019 from USD 79.9 million seen in the corresponding three-month period last year.As explained, the change was due to higher tanker rates in addition to an increase in the company’s fleet.DHT Holdings’ VLCCs achieved time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings of USD 35,800 per day in the first quarter of 2019 of which the company’s VLCCs on time-charter earned USD 33,900 per day and VLCCs operating in the spot market achieved USD 35,800 per day.Thus far in the second quarter of 2019, 61% of the available VLCC spot days have been booked at an average rate of USD 29,800 per day, DHT informed.In March 2019, the company prepaid USD 35 million under the Nordea credit facility. The prepayment was made under the revolving credit facility tranche and may be re-borrowed.As of May 8, 2019, DHT has a fleet of 27 VLCCs with a total deadweight tonnage of 8,360,850.last_img read more


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Ontario government introduces legislation to scrap capandtrade program

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government expects to spend up to $5 million to compensate companies that bought into the province’s cap-and-trade system, the provincial environment minister said Wednesday before moving to repeal the carbon pricing program.Rod Phillips introduced a bill that, if passed, will lay out the legal framework to wind down cap and trade, as well as the criteria for companies seeking to be reimbursed for costs incurred through the program.While the program’s 272 participants bought close to $3 billion in allowances, Phillips said only those that purchased more than they used while the program was still active, and were not able to recover those costs from consumers, will be eligible for compensation.The proposed legislation would also protect the province from any potential litigation over the decision, the government said.Critics were quick to call the move disruptive for business, saying it will likely be challenged in court despite the immunity built into the bill. But Phillips said he believes it will be well received.“The feedback I’ve been getting from the business community is quite positive about this government and so I don’t have worries about that. This is a very fair framework around compensation,” he said.The cap-and-trade system aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit. If they exceed those limits, they must buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that come in under their limits.Scrapping the system was one of Premier Doug Ford’s key promises during the province’s spring election campaign, and one of the priorities he vowed to address in this month’s rare summer sitting of the legislature.The Tory government has already taken steps to unravel the program, including revoking the regulation that lays out its operation. That has led to the cancellation of a number of green initiatives that were funded through cap-and-trade revenues, such as rebates for energy-efficient renovations and a fund for school repairs.Opposition parties had expressed concerns that the government could be on the hook for billions of dollars to compensate permit holders, and that the Tories have yet to explain how they will make up for the lost revenue.Others, including the federal environment minister, had also raised the alarm about what they perceived as Ontario’s lack of a plan to tackle climate change.The New Democrats and the Green party said the bill introduced Wednesday did not assuage their fears, even though it requires the government to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to publish a climate change plan. Phillips said the specifics of both would be determined at a later date.“Ontario needs a real climate plan that puts a price on pollution, puts money in people’s pockets and supports jobs in the clean economy. Instead we are getting a war on the modern world and no indication from the PC government that climate change is on their radar,” Green Leader Mike Schreiner said in a statement.NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns said taxpayers are likely to end up paying more because of potential legal battles over the bill, as well as the price of a carbon tax the federal government has vowed to impose on provinces that do not have their own carbon pricing systems by next year.“I guess we’ll see whether or not the $5 million is realistic but I think the bigger question is, for a lot of Ontarians, they’re going to see higher carbon prices in the coming years because the federal government’s program is going to cut in,” he said.The provincial government said dismantling cap and trade would save each household an average of $260 next year, but acknowledged that would largely be cancelled out by the federal carbon tax, which is set to increase over time.Ford has said he would join Saskatchewan’s court challenge of the federal government’s ability to impose a carbon price upon the provinces — a legal fight for which his party has budgeted $30 million over four years.Ontario’s fiscal watchdog said Tuesday it will look into how much the cancellation of cap and trade will end up costing the province.last_img read more