Community Initiatives FTTSA / NDA Development Project - A couple of weeks ago we met with the beneficiaries of the “Strengthening Community Tourism for Sustainable Local Economic Development” project. This 24-month project was designed to strengthen six community tourism initiatives in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, funded by the National Development Agency (NDA) of South Africa, and supported and facilitated by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) and Abang Africa.
The mentoring project focuses mainly on product development, and improving access to markets by working with local tour operators to promote their products to international travelers.
Three clusters of community tourism enterprises will participate in the project. Each cluster is situated within an existing tourism corridor:
More information about the project available here
As part of the mentoring project, after a successful Indaba visit and fulfilment of monthly self-assessments, the beneficiaries visited Cape Town to meet with tour operators, hotels and various organisations to learn more about the industry and all its aspects.
We met with product representatives from each of the three clusters, Nomandla Xakatha – CoffeeBay Backpackers, Buyiswa Gora - Kwam e Makana, Sophia van Wyck – Mothers of Creation, and Bongani Mablala – Pondoland hiking trail.
Pondoland Hiking Trail
Three or five day Slack-packing / Hiking or Mountain Biking trails were developed by Drifters www.drifters.co.za in conjunction with local communities on the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape.
This pristine coastline with its endless beaches, warm Indian Ocean, natural estuaries, rolling hills dotted with traditional Xhosa villages, shipwrecks, whales, and a warm climate, offers what can only be described as one of the region’s finest nature trails. Facilities include four tented Adventure Camps, managed by camp managers from the local Xhosa community.
Coffee Bay Backpackers (FTTSA accredited)
Coffee Shack Backpackers (or Coffee Bay Backpackers) is located in the rural coastal town of Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Coffee Shack has successfully created an unforgettable travel experience for visitors, enhanced by the natural surroundings and the chance to interact meaningfully with local Xhosa people. Coffee Shack is 30% owned by the Tshezi community, in the form of a community trust. This provides a source of income for many people in the area - employees & their families, as well as entertainers, fishermen, farmers and beneficiaries of social initiatives such as scholarships and the Pato School project.
Kwam e-Makana Township Home Stays
The Kwam eMakana (My Place) homestays in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, is a group of homestays operated by local woman, offering basic accommodation and traditional meals in the homes of local families during the annual Grahamstown Arts Festival. The Kwam network further includes branded taxis and for getting around, and taverns for sampling local beer and interacting with community members.
Mothers of Creation Route
This Rural Tourism Route developed by Open Africa, incorporates 11 rural communities in the popular Garden Route & Klein Karoo areas of the Southern Cape. The route, inspired by creative rural women, includes various attractions and activities, craft projects, traditional restaurants and home-stays. This initiative was developed by Open Africa http://www.openafrica.org/route/Mothers-of-Creation-Route and inspired by rural women, who invite you to appreciate the natural beauty of the lovely countryside surrounding them. By supporting this initiative you have the opportunity to experience their way of living and to contribute responsibly to local rural communities along the Garden Route.
We are currently working on itineraries that will include some of these experiences. Please contact us for more information.