Sustainable Tourism

Planting the seeds

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It’s well known that German-speaking travellers love Africa: South Africa, Namibia and Botswana top the list of countries, with Cape Town, the Garden Route, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls amongst the most popular destinations for first-time visitors. Return clients often wish to have a more relaxed travel experience, choosing destinations not only according to country but an experience they want to explore more in depth.

However, places that are not rated are often the best, as the experience is so much more personal and often so much more diverse. It is very exciting to be able to offer new tours to Mozambique, which is comparatively little known but which we strongly believe has got the potential to become a new top destination in the years to come. With its endless beaches, clear waters, and endless coral reefs, it also makes for a snorkeling paradise. The Portuguese and Arab influences in culture and architecture make for a completely unique experience.

The fact is that people want more time. People want real experiences. Although the main places are key, it is the jewels along the wayside, the touching, smelling, hearing, seeing, and tasting that turns an experience into an exploration – but these jewels cannot be preserved without a sustainable approach.

Like an African pot, sustainability has three pillars: economic, social and environmental. As a proud member of Fair Trade Tourism South Africa, we hope that our efforts help our clients have a more positive outlook on travel and tourism as a whole. We also have a long way to go, but we are committed to empowerment, creating opportunities and minimizing our impact on the environment.

With so much at stake and the world becoming a global village, the effects of the economic malpractice, social abandonment and environmental disasters of the past have to be redressed. We are all visitors, wherever we go and whatever we do. Our actions reflect who we are. An old Xhosa proverb “Ubuntu” , also meaning “humanity”, can be translated into “I am because you are! If you were not there, I would not be there either!”

It’s amazing to think that we can still see animals roaming free, that there are parks training poachers to become conservationists, so that their families and the people may be custodians of the environment. Similarly, we can help visitors become custodians too.

With international demands outstripping what the environment can sustain, it becomes important to plant those seeds to strike a balance. We are all responsible.

Kim Geffen, Kimba Africa

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