KwaZulu Natal walking holiday in South Africa
How KwaZulu Natal walking holiday in South Africa makes a difference
Our responsible touring and environmental awareness policy applies to everyone travelling with us and allows us to experience the lands we are visiting but also have a positive influence on the communities and ultimately the natural environment of Southern Africa. Our tour leaders inform our clients in the implementation of these policies, many of which will seem like common sense.
Some of the initiatives we have in place:
- Cooking on gas when feasible so that we don’t have to burn firewood which depletes limited resources (particularly in desert environments),
- Requesting clients to purchase small wooden carvings curio instead of large pieces, again to conserve the forests around the carving markets,
- Ensuring that we take all of our rubbish out of wilderness areas and use proper waste disposal facilities on all tours (and in the workshop).
- Asking clients to limit the amount of bottled drinking water they purchase, and drink the local drinking water in order to limit the amount of plastic bottles that are needlessly used.
We operate a number of tours into the National Parks of South Africa for underprivileged children from the SOS children’s village based in Johannesburg, South Africa. SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental and social development organisation. Its activities focus on neglected and abandoned children and orphans, as well as disadvantaged families. We try to run these tours as often as possible during the course of a year. We believe that the youth are Africa’s future and that environmental education is important. We secure sponsorship from a travel company based in the U.K, donations from clients, and income generated from our own tours to take the children to National Parks. This opportunity allows them to see for themselves wildlife, nature conservation at work, and also show them the many unique employment opportunities that are available in the conservation or tourism industry.
Environmental responsibility – e.g. details of: recycling, protecting wildlife / national parks, etc
Accommodation and Campsites:
- We try to book accommodation that is locally owned and involved in local responsible tourism initiatives. As at November 2007 we’re in the process of auditing all establishments we book to determine levels of commitment to community upliftment projects in their area.
- Campsites used are either locally owned, or a percentage of their income goes towards, schooling, or nature conservation & community projects.
- All entrance fees go directly to the maintenance of National Parks of places of interest
- Entrance fees help with nature conservation practices and anti-poaching activities.
These local initiatives help to maintain local cultures and also sustain the ideals of wildlife conservation. Tourism, goodwill and conservation all work together and we aim to maintain the delicate balance at all times!
Employment of local guides wherever possible – this provides direct revenues into the communities in the areas we visit, thus ensuring that local people gain benefits from our visits to their areas.
The employment of local guide adds value to our clients visit because they can gain specific local knowledge and expertise from the people who actually live permanently in the area they are visiting. These people live in these areas and have exceptional local knowledge about the wildlife & culture in those areas. By supporting and employing these people we are helping to ensure that their wildlife areas, scenic beauty and historical significance, and cultural integrity generate value for the community and are therefore appreciated and protected from development and exploitation. These interactions give our clients the chance to meet local people and see how tourism is benefiting Africa.
Below are a few examples of where we use local guides:
- Mkuzi village KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
- Okavango Delta polers trust, Botswana
- Botswana local national park guides, Botswana
- South Luangwa local walking and night game drive guides, Zambia
- Lower Zambezi river safari and rafting river guides, Zambia
- Hlane walking guides, Swailand
- San rock art guides, Brandberg Namibia
- San game walk guides, Kalahari Botswana
- Chobe River cruise guides, Botswana
- Cape Maclear local activity guides, Malawi
- Benguerra Island local dhow guides, Mozambique
We support the local community outside Mkuzi Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal by employing local guides for a village visit. This provides a truly authentic experience but also fosters a better relationship between the park, it’s visitors and the surrounding community (gain direct value from our visits as well as a portion of our camping fees)
- Zulu traditional village in St Lucia, a World Heritage site.
- Xhosa village on South Africa’s Wild Coast. As above this provides a truly authentic Xhosa cultural experience but also fosters a better relationship between local communities, tourists and tourism establishments.
- Himba village in Namibia, where these traditionally nomadic people are trying to keep a hold on some of their customs and cultures by deriving financial income from tourism.
- Cape Maclear in Malawi, where we use local boatmen to provide our snorkelling excursions
KwaZulu Natal walking holiday in South Africa