Giving Back

We support local tourism initiatives as much as possible. In South Africa, with unemployment and poverty being so prevalent, it would be irresponsible to not help those who have natural entrepreneurial skills to carve out a career and a living for themselves, especially in the tourism industry. So we actively support this kind of entrepreneurial spirit by sending groups on educational and enjoyable tours to learn about local culture and how people live in the townships for example. In this way guests can contribute to something that they believe in and see the realities of the contributions they are making. They can also meet the locals and interact in a meaningful way.Where possible we build responsible tourism opportunities into our itineraries, which can assist local communities by providing income and positive cultural exchanges, thereby creating the chance for education and poverty alleviation. We also encourage travelers to take part in tours where they can plant trees, thus reducing their carbon footprint.
Below is a list of our partners in the responsible tourism projects we support.

Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN)

We encourage our guests to visit the townships, like Masiphumelele, where they can take a unique tour and witness contemporary life in South Africa from a bicycle. Here they can learn more about what BEN does and have the opportunity to donate bikes to those in need via BEN’s bicycle distribution program. In this way guests are able contribute to poverty alleviation via the medium of cycling, thus allowing poor people access to health services, opportunity, employment, skills and education. BEN has also created jobs by training up bicycle mechanics who are then set up in BEN Bicycle Project Workshops in various townships, where they are able to sell second hand bikes and parts to locals. For more about BEN, see website: www.benbikes.org.za

Adventure Without Limits (AWOL)

We continue to send many tourists through the townships on the AWOL Masiphumelele bicycling township tour, (a Fair Trade accredited and award winning tour) where they can experience the real pace of life and interact with locals. AWOL’s community-based bicycle tour is a new take on township tours which provides the tourist with many more opportunities to interact with the community than they would have from an air conditioned bus. A local guide leads the tour round the township, visiting interesting places and explaining some local customs. Highlights of the tour include a visit to a pre-school, a sangoma (traditional healer) and a local home for tea. This tour is run in conjunction with BEN, who facilitate the importation of discarded second hand bicycles to South Africa where they have helped to set up and provide ongoing support to locally owned bicycle workshops, training and employing members of the local community who renovate the bikes for the Community Bicycle Tours.

For more about AWOL, see website: www.withoutlimits.co.za

Ocean Blue Adventures

Ocean Blue is the original company in South Africa to conduct professional conservation orientated whale and dolphin marine eco-tours. In co-operation with the Qolweni Community Development Trust the emphasis of all their operations is placed on conservation through community development, education and research. Ocean Blue Adventures’ aim is to give a holistic and real marine experience to all their guests, to raising awareness of marine mammal conservation and the direct need to realistically conserve our oceans. Each Ocean tour has an educational angle, where guests can learn about endangered oceans and environment, and they also offer guests the opportunity of planting indigenous trees to offset their carbon footprint. The commuitny development program is an amazing story and simply has to be experienced. Tours of the Qolweni township are quite special, and include visits to tin shanty homes, the local store, a backpackers lodge and the fully privately funded pre-school, where all the teachers are paid for by the funds raised from these tours.

For more info, go to: www.oceanadventures.co.za

Uthando

Uthando (meaning – Love) South Africa South Africa is a non-profit organisation while also being a truly unique Responsible Tourism Initiative based in Cape Town, South Africa. The mission of Uthando South Africa is to provide a platform and infrastructure to raise funds from individuals, groups and organisations who have an interest in the region. The money generated supports a broad range of grass roots, community based, sustainable, innovative and empowerment projects with substantial and enduring value to the most destitute and marginalized communities in South Africa. In addition Uthando aims to provide tourists with an authentic introduction to the social problems confronting so many South Africans, and the innovative and truly inspirational ways in which these problems are being handled.

For more about Uthando, go to: www.uthandosa.org


african safari specialists