KwaZulu Natal discovery tour, South Africa
Description of KwaZulu Natal discovery tour, South Africa
The eastern province of South Africa is not known as the ‘garden province’ for nothing and if you’ve got plans to experience some of Africa’s most verdant hillsides and peaceful rural towns then this 12 day tailor made tour is exactly what you’re looking for.
From Durban to the Drakensberg, this journey of discovery into KwaZulu Natal conjures up a superb selection of natural and cultural highlights with three days spent exploring in South Africa’s tallest mountain range always eagerly anticipated by outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife watchers alike.
The possibilities for walking tours in the Drakensberg are infinite with opportunities to discover more about contemporary Zulu culture adding to a well-rounded experience prior to heading to the northeast of KwaZulu Natal in search of historic heritage of a different nature.
From the British and the Boer to the indigenous Zulu tribes, the Battlefields region of KwaZulu Natal presents an eye opening encounter with South Africa’s political heritage with names like Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift, Spioenkop and Blood River bound to live long in the memory.
By visiting KwaZulu Natal you’ll not only be discovering the region’s wealth of natural and historic heritage but you’ll also be giving back to some of South Africa’s most impoverished communities.
This tailor made itinerary includes accommodation that has been hand-picked to place your hard earned holiday funds where they’re needed most and, in so doing, you’ll be contributing to the conservation of the environment and traditional communities for many more years to follow.
PlanetAs well as employing local staff and being run on sound ethical principles, each of the three properties chosen in this itinerary contribute to the local community and environment in their own individual ways.
Granny Mouse provides in-house education programmes which specifically target staff from the local surrounding area, giving the opportunity for staff to further their talents and education whilst working at the hotel.
At Granny Mouse, all waste is recycled in various ways. All garden waste is recycled into compost and a compost farm is being developed in one of the property’s fields, of which 50% is sold to support the livestock on the farm and 50% is being given to staff for vegetable gardens. At least 90% of the hotel’s fresh produce is sourced from local suppliers that are within a 30km radius of the hotel.
At Isibindi Lodge, the neighbouring cattle farm is owned by a trust and is managed by Denis who guides and teaches local farmers how to farm and develop the land. The lodge is constructed primarily from natural materials collected from the area. It has been built in such a way that it blends in with the natural environment and the carbon footprint is low. The owners have also successful run a project to re-introduce the ox-pecker bird back into the Isibindi Eco Reserve, which is a valuable contribution to the reserve’s diverse birdlife.
PeopleAt Granny Mouse 1% of all takings in the restaurant and bar are donated to the Umthombo Project, which supports rehabilitation of street children in Durban who originate from the local area. Indeed, one of its most successful campaigns was to help end the round-ups (also called forced removals, operations or sweeps) of street children in the city. The hotel also supports Khazimula Children’s Home and Umgeni Mental Hospital (to whom the hotel donates linens and towels). Specifically, the program serves children living at St. Vincent Children’s Home, an orphange in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.
Isibindi Lodge currently funds around 150 children’s school fees each year at local schools, including the Pro Nobis school, a school started by the owner, Denis, for mentally handicapped children in Dundee. This school is now regarded as one of the best training centres for handicapped children in Natal. The students remain there until the age of 18 after which they attend an adult centre also started by Dennis. Around 80% of the staff at Isibindia Lodge are employed from the surrounding community (many of whom were unemployed before the establishment of the lodge)
Montusi Mountain Lodge encourages support for the Khanyisela Project, a local scholarship programme for children from the nearby township.