10 March 2014

Waddle for a Week 2014 – Day 1: Gansbaai to Stanford

Katja Rockstroh

On Monday 10 March 2014, 16 waddlers set off on another awareness campaign in support of the endangered African penguin. Where 100 years ago there were more than 1.5-million African penguins swimming around, today there are only 18 000 breeding pairs left to sustain the whole population. As African penguins are endemic to Southern Africa, you can only find them from southern Namibia all the way to Algoa Bay in South Africa.

Now in its fourth year, the Waddle for a Week campaign is the brainchild of Hayley McLellan from the Two Oceans Aquarium and Gabby Harris from uShaka Marine World. The walk starts in Gansbaai and ends at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, encompassing a total of about 120km ‘waddled’ over the course of six days.

It is a varied group this year, with staff and volunteers from the Two Oceans Aquarium, staff from uShaka Marine World, a volunteer from SANCCOB, a staff member from CapeNature, a staff member from Gansbaai Tourism, and independent waddlers who clearly have a passion for penguins and the environment.

As always, we are extremely lucky to receive incredible sponsorships.

Our first night’s accommodation was sponsored by Great White House and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, where half of our waddlers slept. Thank you for the comfortable sleep and the exceptional hospitality!

The second half of the team spent the night at Great White Shark self-catering accommodation. Thank you for the beautiful rooms and comfortable beds!

The team set off on the day from the Gansbaai Tourism offices, with the support of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. For the first time this year, our Two Oceans Aquarium mascot, Samantha, is also along for the waddle. She is very excited to meet her kin along the way and create awareness about the plight of the African penguin.

The team is supported the whole way, which would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of two vehicles for the week. We have the great pleasure of driving a Chrysler Grand Voyager (or Space Wagon, as it was quickly named) and a Dodge Journey. The Dodge is the primary vehicle giving the waddlers support along the way.

Part of being a waddler is to get people to hoot at you (for the penguins, of course). So please, if you are in the area that we are walking through and you see us on the side of the road, waddling away, please hoot at us.

Matthew Orolowitz, one of our Two Oceans Aquarium volunteers, used a vuvuzela to get people’s attention and hoots.

Like professionals, our team bravely conquered their first day, completing the first 20km and reaching Stanford.

Ana Marais, a second-time waddler and seal trainer at uShaka Marine World, was happy to have finished the first day.

We will be on the road again on Tuesday, this time from Stanford to Hermanus. Join us if you can. Otherwise, make your Penguin Promise on www.penguinpromises.com.

If you cannot join us during the week but would like to walk with us, Saturday 15 March is your chance. We will be waddling our last stretch of coastline from Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to our main sponsors:

 

 

 


Chrysler Jeep Dodge Newlands
Thank you also to:
Better Earth
Born in Africa
Badges Unlimited
Pepito Designs

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