Luxury railway holiday in South Africa

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Many of Africa's protected wildlife areas were once the domain of trophy hunters. Camps and basic infrastructure were set up to accommodate wealthy hunters and the revenue accrued assured that the areas were protected from cattle farming and habituation. Traditionally, trophy hunting was the only means available to acquire the vast sums of money needed to keep the wildlife lands from being developed.

Thankfully, not any more.

Think of safaris today and one conjures up an image of excited khaki-clad tourists in a traditional game vehicle, stopping to photograph animals and learn about the bush from their guide.

Because of the increase in interest from travellers around the world to go on an African safari, far more of the local communities around these wildlife areas are actively involved in the protection of their natural heritage.

Many communities close to wildlife reserves benefit from secondary employment directly from tourism in these protected wildlife areas – souvenir sales, the supply of fresh produce to lodges and camps to name but a few. Instead of trophy hunting keeping reserves open and wildlife able to roam freely, safari tourism is doing this. Safari tourism saves Africa's wildlife by creating much needed local employment and revenue to the extent that governments find these areas worth preserving.

We provide clients with information about environmentally-friendly tourism and choices that can be made while still enjoying a bucket-list holiday – leave sea shells on the beach, don't visit 'petting' parks or go on a shark cage diving. The guides that we work with teach guests the problems associated with feeding wild animals and other important environmental concerns in each specific area of travel.

We love working with Mosaic Nature Reserve. The Cape Floral Kingdom has the greatest diversity of plant life per geographic area on earth, but 17% are critically rare or endangered. One-third of the fynbos that once existed has already been lost to agriculture, development, and the invasion of several alien plant species. This destruction of natural habitat has also greatly diminished the numbers of mammals, insects and birds in the Cape region. As many as 29% of the mammal species are also endangered. Part of the Mosaic mission that we support is to eliminate these invasive plants, restoring habitat for our indigenous plants, animals and birds, and to promote the conservation of this land’s extraordinary natural resources. Mosaic are active members in the non-profit conservancy in the Western Cape, the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.

The Impacts of this Trip

We recognises that employment created through tourism helps to stop poaching, raises education and skill levels, and uplifts local communities in and near the tourism hotspots. Our company policy is to use local suppliers that employ staff directly from the communities around them. We use local guides because they are the most knowledgeable specialists in the area, and by employing them, the local community in turn benefits.

On its journey across the length of South Africa, Rovos Rail stops at the National Heritage Site of Matjiesfontein. Matjiesfontein is a small Karoo town in the middle of nowhere without much industry. The inhabitants of the town are entirely dependent on tourism for jobs and education. By travelling on this itinerary on Rovos Rail, each traveller assists the town-folk with their livelihood. It is for this reason that Rovos Rail makes a long scheduled stop in Matjiesfontein to allow guests the opportunity to purchase home-made food and curios, and spend time with local Matjiesfontein guides.

We work with Mosaic Nature Reserve because of their ongoing involvement in the upliftment of the Stanford community near them. Like many places in South Africa, the needs of disadvantaged people in Stanford are as urgent as food, water and shelter, to education, employment, health care, mentorship and healthy familial relationships. Community transformation can happen when everyone gives what they can: time, talents, or finances. Positive change and healing begins with investing ourselves in people. Staff at Mosaic are employed from the local communities in Stanford.

Our guests are therefore directly supporting ecotourism, by providing jobs and education and helping to restore hope and livelihoods.


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