Last Word


March 8, 2023

Adopt a Turtle

Last year, we became aware of the Two Oceans Turtle Rescue Program, a marine conservation initiative that could do with much-needed support. Given that the cause dovetails with our ethos of protecting and nurturing the oceans, we are excited to share that we've adopted a loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtle hatchling. His name is Spike! And we are proud to announce that he has been released into the wild.

Adopt a Turtle

Guided by the diligent and dedicated team at the Two Oceans Aquarium, we have embarked on this journey earnestly, driven by a desire to conserve our country's endangered marine life. We want to inform you of this critical initiative ahead of National Turtle Adoption Day (November 27th, 2022) and encourage you to show your support by adopting a turtle if you feel moved by this cause. Classified an endangered species, turtles are mainly under threat due to habitat loss. Other factors include pollution, overfishing and climate change.

Kelsey Le Voy, Last Word's Social Media and Community Manager, spearheaded our involvement. Kelsey says, "Working alongside local initiatives to support and share awareness about their incredible work is an important part of our Beyond Boutique® cause and a focus of Last Word Intimate Hotels & Safari Camps. After visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium with my son, I was amazed at the creativity and dedication they apply to each project for various animals right here off the shores of South Africa. I knew they would be a great fit for us! Their team works every day, rain or shine, to ensure that each turtle is cared for and given the best chance at returning to the ocean, an admirable and shining example of how to treat each other and our planet with kindness.

"We are working with the Two Oceans Foundation to help bring awareness to our guests and trade partners around the plight of turtles. Our adopted loggerhead turtle Spike, formerly known as 'hatchling #89', is now and forever a part of our Last Word story. So far, we've learned tons about Spike's loggerhead sea turtle species from Martine Viljoen, Sea Turtle Aquarist at the Aquarium Foundation. From his rescue throughout his hand-reared start and eventual progression into his wild watery home, the ocean, we are intensely interested in his day-to-day life," says Nicky Coenen, Last Word's Group General Manager.

Martine forms part of the all-female sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release team. For example, Spike weighs as little as 30 grams as a hatchling and how the turtle team lovingly prepares his specific diet of gel food. Also, his carers' feeding technique teaches him the active pursuit of diving for his food to prepare him for the survival skills needed in the wild. Loggerhead turtles can weigh up to 135 kilograms at maturity.

Upon release, his specially fitted tracking device allows continued tracking of Spike's progress beyond the aquarium rehabilitation facility. Martine and her team can monitor his movements in the big blue and keep us in the loop regarding his progress.Writing to us during the turtle adoption, Martine told us, "A very important question I have often been asked: why it is necessary to rescue these turtles? And the answer is simple; fewer than two in a thousand turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood.

As these species are threatened, improving their survival chances is a key way to ensure the survival of their species. And you have played such a pivotal role through your adoption in supporting our work towards getting your special hatchling release ready! Our usual hatchling release timing occurs in December/ January depending on a number of factors, from weather conditions to individual hatchling health being signed off by our vets.

Nicky continues, "The ocean has always played a memorable part in the Last Word story, Last Word Long Beach being the location of my historic family home. I grew up with the sand between my toes, wading in the cold Atlantic Ocean, the salty South Easter breeze ruffling my hair. It's an integral part of who I am. Taking care of this life force is a shared responsibility we all feel strongly about here at Last Word. Making sure our current and next generation understands the importance of the oceans is hugely important to me."

Please click here if you'd like to learn more about the Two Oceans Aquarium's Turtle Rescue Program. If you want to adopt a hatchling, you can link in with the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation here.


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August 28, 2023

World Rhino Day Walk

In honour of World Rhino Day, the lodges of the Madikwe Game Reserve would like to create awareness and are proud to present the seventh annual Rhino Walk. The event is being held to raise funds to help combat rhino poaching in Madikwe Game Reserve.

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There is something about being in the wild that feels different. Maybe you’ll discover your roots or on the other hand become more responsible for nature and its survival

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