The WCA has partners from many different backgrounds and many different areas in the world. This time we like to share the experiences of Helga du Preez the chairperson of Sodurba in Durban, South Africa. Sodurba has been a partner of the WCA for the past 2 years.
“Sodurba Community Tourism Organisation (CTO) falls under eThekwini Durban Tourism and forms part of 9 other CTO’s across the city. Sodurba is a registered PBO and was started in 2012. We are responsible for sustainable tourism within the South Durban Basin.
We met the WCA team in 2017 at the World Whale Conference held in Durban, where we hosted the delegates for 2 days .We joined the WCA because we support what they stand for and what they are trying to achieve. We fully support responsible Whale Watching and responsible Tourism.
We were also very interested in applying for the Whale Heritage Site Accreditation as we believe in what the WHS stands for. We also wanted to be part of the wonderful alliance that offers responsible tourism and promote our Whale Heritage Site. Our stakeholder is WildOceans, a project of Wild Trust and WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa)
Within the WCA we have been active at the ‘World Cetacean Alliance Conference’ in 2017 and our biggest achievement together with the WCA, was establishing Whale Heritage Site Accreditation for the Bluff and the surrounding area.
In the future we would like to build on our Whale Heritage Site Accreditation and make it an international site for tourists to visit. Making it an international tourist destination. The Bluff Whaling Station used to be the biggest in the world and we would like to see it turned into a Museum, showcasing our success story – from hunting the whales to protecting, admiring and celebrating them.
This is a massive project that will need financial support and private investors. The project has been approved – in general, by the Council of eThekwini. Now all the necessary departments and stakeholders need to get onboard.
We also would like to see international recognition for our “Welcoming of the Whales” Festival. A festival that was “born” during the Durban Whale Conference in 2017 – the first ever for Kwa-Zulu Natal and Durban. Our first festival was small and intimate with approximately 1000 visitors. Each year the festival has grown under our motto “Bigger and Better”. The 2019 Festival saw more than 6000 visitors on a single day. We already have big plans for our 2020 festival!
We would highly recommend partners to join the WCA in working together to create awareness for protection of our oceans and marine life, including responsible whale watching within our area.”
If you would like to support the work of the WCA you can do so by donating here, volunteering or becoming a partner yourself. For more information send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our contact form