Community Tourism Development Project

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.

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The Darling Stagger Slack Packing Trail

Earlier this month (July 2011) the Cape West Coast Trails were launched within the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR). The CWCBR, with the West Coast National Park at its centre, is one of the 6 UNESCO recognised Biosphere Reserves in South Africa.

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African Relish - the art of preserving

Paul and I were recently invited to join one of African Relish’s weekend cookery courses. Wanting to visit the Karoo town of Prince Albert for quite a while and being intrigued by the African Relish set up, we set off for the 400 odd kilometer journey along the N1. Not the most varied route, but I find the monotony of the Karoo fascinating – endless space and emptiness. Born and bred in the small area that we call Holland space is a luxury.

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Makazi’s - this guesthouse is making a difference

sisonke singenza amalukho - together we can make a difference”

We took a drive out the other day along the stunning coastal road from Muizenberg to Monwabisi Park in Khayelitsha, to visit the remarkable and unique Makazi’s Guesthouse. This little hidden gem is located in one of Cape Town’s sprawling informal settlements, and just a few hundred metres from the False Bay coast (in fact, you can see the ocean from the second story bedroom windows). Makazi’s forms part of the Indlovu Project, a community development initiative of the Shaster Foundation. The project was started in 2005 by Di Womersley and Buyiswa Tonono in order to offer care and empowerment opportunities to the residents of Monwabisi Park, and in the long run establish a sustainable eco-village in the township. The community centre consists of a clinic, a youth centre, an education centre, a skills development workshop, a large community hall that also doubles as a cinema, a small shop and a creche. In order to make the project self-sustainable, a volunteer organisation and Makazi’s Guesthouse was established to bring not only income, but also skilled volunteers into the community.

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Local living in Knysna

“You cannot call a quick drive through the township a cultural experience – you have to participate and not just be a spectator”

So say Knysna Tourism in their promotional material for the ‘living local’ programme in this area of the Garden Route. Liesel and I decided to find out for ourselves and drove the long distance from Cape Town to meet the people of Knysna and find out what their community tourism experiences are all about.

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Wine, walking and wide open spaces

I was fortunate enough to be invited to sample the Green Mountain Trail recently and despite some wet weather was delighted to have discovered this unique activity. The trail is a collaboration between various accommodation owners, local guides and the regions wine farms. The combination of guided trails through spectacular mountain scenery and evening wine tastings with local winemakers works perfectly. What makes the trail even more interesting is the excellent conservation and community involvement that is implemented along each stage of the route.

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Community Tourism at Bulungula

I recently had the privilege to join a press trip to the remote Wild Coast to visit some of the FTTSA accredited community tourism projects in the area. One of the establishments we visited was Bulungula Lodge, situated on a remote stretch of the Eastern Cape coast, overlooking a deserted beach and surrounded by rolling hills and coastal forest. Read more

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Favourite Five - Post World Cup Rest & Relaxation

Every now and again, the Uluntu team sit down to discuss and share new experiences, destinations, places of interests, and anything fun and exciting that we came across during recent site visits, educationals, holidays or weekend getaways (yes, we LOVE to sneak out of the office as often as we can to visit and experience a new guest house, lodge, restaurant or tour). We have decided to share some of our favourite places with you, so please keep visiting our blog in future to see what we have been up to.

Today’s Favourite Five - The best destinations to visit to recover from post World Cup fatigue (and boy do we need to rest our tired feet after many miles on the Cape Town Fan Walk, and soothe our sore throats after hours of cheering in support of our favourite teams).

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Whales, wines and sustainability

Last weekend, Paul and I travelled to the Walker Bay area to see if the annual Southern Right Whales’ influx had started yet. However cliché it might sound, to me it is still one of the most magical and exciting experiences to witness these gentle giants resting and feeding in the sheltered waters of Walker & False Bay after an epic 2000 km long journey, pregnant mums waiting for their babies to be born in the next few months and adults waiting to find that perfect partner to mate with. The Cape is unbelievably privileged to have this take place on their doorstep every year. Read more

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News about the projects we are currently working on and other interesting news about the South African tourism industry, sites we have visited and events we have attended.

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