Where It All Began

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Where It All Began is an exclusive private travel company specialising in ethical journeys to Southern Africa. We create bespoke personalised journeys with a strong focus on sustainability for both people and planet to match any budget. We’re local: we live, work and travel in Southern Africa all year round We’re experienced: we’ve been involved in travel and tourism in South Africa since 2003. We’re ethical: we only use local, independent, ethical and sustainably-run accommodation and services We’re fully accredited and insured (Fair Trade in Tourism, SATSA, Zurich)
Member since: 13 Mar 2018

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

WHAT KINDS OF LOCAL COMPANIES ARE YOUR SUPPLIERS?
We make use of small, owner-managed companies for our clients’ needs that are based in Cape Town, employ at senior level or are directed/owned by previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI). We also personally engage with these companies on an annual basis to establish where and how the communities they visit have been supported by their business. Typical examples include:

Hannival’s Tours – Chris Hannival is the owner and director of Hannival’s and is himself a PDI. Chris conducts all our local one-day tours to the Peninsula, Winelands, Overberg and many more. Chris grew up in District Six, the area of Cape Town that was slowly erased from the map by the apartheid-era government.
Martin’s Tours – Ron Martin owns and manages his own guiding company which focuses on the history of the ‘first people’ of South Africa, the San, KhoiSan and !Kung people.
Camissa Tours – owned and managed by PDIs Khonaye and Samantha, Camissa offers ethical tours of Cape Town’s disadvantaged areas
Coffeebeans Routes – multi-award winning and Fair Trade accredited company offering engaging and perspective-altering tours around Cape Town and Johannesburg
Uthando SA – umbrella organisation that creates visiting opportunities to grassroots organisations in some of Cape Town’s most deprived areas.
Around About Cars – small and independent car rental company with a nationwide reach. Owner-managed with a PDI director and an all-PDI staff.
Parker Cottage, Oude Werf, Vineyard Hotel and many others – we try to only use accommodation suppliers who are fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. We aim to use a minimum of 50% FTT accommodation suppliers and 50% of PDI businesses

Environmental responsibility

We spend a lot of time on the road (being a travel company, it’s important!) and this regard, we make use of public transport as far as possible, particularly the excellent train and bus network in South Africa.
At the office, we have a grey water recycling system, a rain water harvesting system, and a solar geyser. We also recycle all our waste (using Naude’s Recycling obviously!). We have a policy of only using a car or a bus if the journey is longer than 10km, using our bicycles and our heavy duty bike trailer (which can carry up to 80kg) for journeys under 10km.

Social responsibility

We are a registered business but we operate as a not-for-profit: this means that once our overheads have been covered for any given year, 100% of the profits for the company are donated to the following organisations.
St. Paul’s Primary School – a school in the Cape Town City Bowl that caters for disadvantaged children and has exceptional results.
Shine Centres – a literacy intervention project located in several schools in Cape Town
The Haven – a series of night shelters for the homeless and indigent across Cape Town
Zama Dance School – a grassroots dance school located in one of the most deprived areas of Cape Town
Naude’s Recycling – a community recycling initiative that gives sorting and collecting work to indigent people
Pack for a Purpose – we encourage our clients to donate some space in their luggage to bring items with them that are needed locally.

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