South Africa travel information
Although the high plateaux of the Veld cover some 40% of the country, South Africa's dramatic geographic contrasts make this an immensely attractive destination, from the balmy climate, floral and wine routes of the Cape to the harsh aridity of the Kalahari Desert in the west. One of the world's largest unspoiled ecosystems and conservation areas is to be found in the adjacent park reserves of the Kalahari Gemsbok and Botswana national parks, while among other famous wildlife areas is the vast Kruger National Park and surrounding private game reserves.
In depth wilderness experiences can include bush walks with game rangers, or guided horse trekking in the mountains, while South Africa's cultural richness and diversity can be explored through visits including the townships, village stays in Zululand, meetings with Shangaan people, and tours with the Besotho of Lesotho. Contrasting cultural heritage is to be found in the Cape, where country manor houses, rich vineyards and fine gardens exhibit the history and heritage of the Cape Dutch settlements.
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
FTTSA promotes the concept of Fair Trade in Tourism, and creatively and energetically markets fair and responsible tourism businesses through the "Fair Trade in Tourism" Trademark. The Trademark certifies South African Tourism businesses for fair wages, fair working conditions, employment equity, fair procurement, equitable distribution of benefits, community involvement and ethical business practice. FTTSA's vision is for a just, participatory and sustainable tourism industry in South Africa. FTTSA aims to encourage mainstream tourism businesses to adopt fair and responsible business practices and to provide incentives for them to do so. FTTSA is a non-profit marketing initiative, under the auspices of IUCN South Africa, that works towards equitable and sustainable tourism growth and development in South Africa.
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"Maoko, the black rhino bull, was not in a good mood. We were doing nothing more offensive than taking a few photographs of him when he decided enough was enough. We had rather foolishly parked between him and cover and, rather than go round our Land-Rover, he decided that we should move out of his way. He trotted idly in our direction before suddenly putting his head down and charging headlong at us. In the back of the vehicle I could clearly hear his angry snorts and thundering footfalls before, with engine racing, we left him behind. Honour satisfied, he wandered off into the bush. Quite why Maoko should be so cross is not obvious for he must be one of the safest black rhinos in Africa. Black rhinos are becoming increasingly rare but Maoko lives in the 75,000 hectares of Madikwe Game Reserve which is surrounded both by an electrified fence and a series of local communities for whom the reserve is something of a fairy tale come true, a real golden goose."
Read the rest of this South Africa safari story by Michael Woods in this South Africa article