Category Archives: eastern cape

Did you know?: The Dolos

The “dolos” is an unusually-shaped concrete block of up to 30 tons, invented in East London, South Africa, in 1963, and found in millions around the world where protection from the effects of rough seas, current and tides is required, i.e. at harbour walls, breakwaters, shore earthworks. So, to protect a kilometer of coastline, about 10 000 dolosse (plural of “dolos”) are required.

The name “dolos” finds its origin in the Afrikaans word ‘dobbel osse’ (knucklebone), which is believed to refer to ox knuckle-joint bones used either in divination practices by sangomas, or to the knuckle bones game used by African children many years ago.

Dolosse can be found in the harbours of Durban, Port Elizabeth, St Francis, and many others outside South Africa such as on the Humboldt, the breakwaters of California, New Jersey, Hawaii, the High Island Reservoir East Dam in Hong Kong etc. The biggest dolosse can be found at the Ngqura deep water harbour of Port Elizabeth, where 26500 dolosse weighing each 30 tons make the upper layer of the 2.5km-long breakwater.

Did you know – St Croix Island

St Croix Island is the largest of 3 islands located in Algoa Bay, some 3.9km from the shore of Port Elizabeth. The 12ha Island is rocky with very little vegetation. Two old stone buildings are still remaining, used in the past by guano collectors and currently as shelter by researchers.  A wooden cross replica can be seen, to remind us that the island was found by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, who planted one on the island which he called “Santa Cruz” (Saint Cross, Saint Croix) island. The rocky island also inspired the explorer to call the bay, “the bay of the Rock”, which later became the “bay lagune” in Portuguese as “Bahia de Lagoa”, to eventually become the “Algoa Bay” we know today.Wooden cross replica and african penguins St Croix Island is home to thousands of African penguins, the number of which has drastically declined in the last 5 years. This unexplained sudden decline from more than 70,000 penguins to less than 20,000 has been a great concern amongst ecologists and conservationists, and this has led to numerous studies and ongoing research with several TV footages (BBC, Arte, etc.).

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2011 (14-24 July)

The Billabong Pro J-Bay 2011 scheduled for 14-24 July will take place at the internationally renowned Supertubes surf break in Jeffreys Bay, 80km from Port Elizabeth.

This is the only African field and the 4th out of a series of 11 making up the 2011 ASP World Tour, which will crown the annual ASP World Surfing Champion, from amongst the world’s top 34 ranked professional surfers. 

Current ASP World Title Race rankings leader Adriano de Souza (BRA), defending champion and local favourite Jordy Smith (ZAF), 10X world champion Kelly Slater (USA), perennial favourites and previous event winners Taj Burrow and fellow Australians Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning and plenty more expound on why they are frothing to throw on a rashvest and go to work in the waves on the Southern tip of Africa. Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, just 80 kms from Port Elizabeth is a 300 metre stretch of coastline universally known as one of the world’s top 10 high performance surf breaks.

Kirkwood Wildsfees: 1-3 July

The Eastern Cape’s fastest growing festival is turning ten this year and is celebrating … wildstyle !!

Do not miss the 2011 ABSA Kirkwood Wildsfees, from 1st July to 3 July: it is raising the bar on its winning recipe of wild activities, including live performances by top South African artists, a wine, jazz and gourmet food lifestyle expo, Kids Zone fun, adrenaline rides, 300 specialist stalls, a massive beer tent, the Isuzu 4×4 Extreme Challenge, a premier game auction, agricultural and wildlife expos, and much more…

Continuing its commitment to nature conservation, the 2011 ABSA Kirkwood Wildsfees is hosting a sustainable energy expo for the first time.