In the town of:
A nice daytrip from Stellenbosch and you may take your own picnic with you
Soekershof, Autumn 2006
First of all the media release we distributed last week to selected media in SA and abroad. The first results could already be found this morning on the internet. In August/September the first magazine publications (Germany, SA, UK, Austria and Holland -as far as we know already) will appear.
Here it is:
At last: the Soekershof Solar Umbrellas are for sale.
After an extensive test period of two busy seasons Soekershof Walkabout in Robertson, Western
Cape, South Africa launches a range of handcrafted Solar Umbrellas on the market.
There are three models: a butterfly, an elephant and a bird. Materials used are (re-used) galvanised wire, flexible pipe and fabrics. The umbrellas are available in different handpainted colour (-combinations). They are windproof and can be nestled on your shoulder while manoeuvring the umbrellas manually in the desired sunprotective direction.
The Soekershof Solar Umbrellas are developed by Soekershof Walkabout in a joint venture with
resident wire-artist Messina Mussindo and his sister Tsjitsji.
Price: R 300.00 each and exclusively available for visitors of Soekershof Walkabout. No mailorders.
A picture of the umbrella can be seen in the navigation bar of the renewed Soekershof website (beta version) which we also launched last week. The revamped website distinguishes itself from the previous one by a.o. its navigation module, news section, summaries in Afrikaans and German (for proper translations we thank GuBas de Hoek in Robertson; Theronda Bruwer in Bonnievale and Johanna van Wyk in Robertson) and more actual photographs (still quite a few to be added) from Stephanie Heesakker (Belgium) and Peter Slingsby (www.themaps.co.za). During the next few weeks the site will be completed with additional pictures and a 'weird but passionate' insect.........
Also outside the office is quite some movement going on. Except for weeding Maart, Dawid and Alfred are creating new gardens and (partly) redoing or extending new ones. The total surface of the succulent gardens is now in acces of 9500 sqm. In a few years these gardens will be al together approx. 15,000 sqm and the collection of succulents in the open sky extended from the present 2400+ to >3000 different species from all over the world. Thanks to a temporary surplus of employees of one of our neighbours we were able to perform some extra jobs as felling a few blue gum trees, landscaping infrastructure of the Japanese Garden and revamping the Philosophers Garden (thanks Stephan & Co).
As you can find out on our website we cannot complain about media exposure; the publications of the Dutch Succulent Society, the British Plant Growers Guilt and the American Horticultural Society mean (for us) that we gain some recognition from experts in the botanical world (which is a world on its own). Also Ernst van Jaarsveld (Kirstenbosch, Cape Town) recently mentioned Soekershof in his weekly collumn in the Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger.
Being certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa (http://www.fairtourismsa.org.za) also means additional exposure. FTTSA represented all their 21 present certified establishments succesfully at the Indaba in Durban and recently 5 Swiss touroperators decided only to market these certified tourism businesses in their South Africa portfolios. One of our good neighbours (Rosendal, Winery and Welness Centre -see 'useful links' of http://soekershof.com) has been extensively promoting the whole Klaas Voogds area during the Indaba, regardsless competitors or not. This effort seems to result in an extra influx of (overseas) visitors to our area towards the end of this year. Klaas Voogds is a fairly unique self-sufficient oase on 10 square kilometres where guests can stay for several days and enjoy all kinds of activities and relaxation.
Last, but not at least: we've formulated a so called 'Mission Statement'. See bottom of this e-mail.
P.S. Our latest press release can, since a few minutes ago, also been read at: http://www.gardeningeden.co.za/news-gardening.html and
Herman van Bon & Yvonne de Wit
Mazes & Botanical Gardens
Primary Unusual Destination
Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa
Klaas Voogds West, P.O. Box 291, Robertson 6705, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)23 626 4134
Soekershof Walkabout is a sacred enterprise, based on an appreciation of nature, humor, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants who participate -employees and visitors alike.