Sitting in a game drive vehicle close to a rhino is an incredible feeling. But can you imagine setting off with a conservationist on foot, learning about their work as you track rhino in the wild? Or visiting a local village, but instead of simply stopping in at a school you help out in one of the classes – those shared smiles and laughter forming a genuine connection between you and the kids.
These are the moments that make up our ‘Travel with a Purpose’ programme. Experiences that move you from spectator to participant; that give you the chance to make a real difference while creating lasting memories and a deeper understanding of the places that you visit.
Coaching soccer and playing sport with the kids at Plumb Line School in the Eastern Cape.
How It Works:
Taking part in ‘Travel with a Purpose’ doesn’t mean sacrificing days on the beaches of Cape Town or lunches on the deck of a luxury lodge. Far from it! As travellers ourselves we love putting together holidays for our clients, and take great pride in showing you the very best that this continent has to offer.
So you’ll still see all the places on your bucket list. But over and above that, if you tell your Southern Africa Travel expert how you’d like to get involved, then she’ll then pick the projects that best match your preferences and build them into your itinerary - adding a richer, deeper layer to your holiday plans.
Get your hands dirty in the Future Trees programme at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
We have partnered with a number of organisations doing great work in uplifting the lives of local communities or conserving the environment. Some of the projects we work with let you drop in for a day while others require several weeks; again chat to your travel expert who’ll make recommendations based on the time you have available.
The 'Travel with a Purpose' projects fall into three main areas: volun-tourism, eco-tourism and edu-tourism.
Volun-tourism (Social Engagement):
Volun-tourism projects focus on interacting with local communities. You might visit a school in a rural area bordering the Sabi Sands or a youth project in the Cape Town townships. There are many ways to offer help and support within these projects: give the local soccer team a few training tips, read stories to a class of pre-school kids or share personal experiences from your home country.
Volunteers at Shamwari Game Reserve help their anti-poaching team.
Eco-tourism (Conservation efforts):
Some of our favourite luxury safari lodges are not only known for exceptional game viewing, they also give you the chance to get actively involved in their conservation efforts. Go on a bushwalk to monitor and track endangered animals, learn about their anti-poaching programmes or participate in hands-on animal care at a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Edu-tourism (Cross–cultural exchange):
Help to promote greater understanding and respect between countries by sharing your work experience and talents with individuals or organisations with similar interests. Depending on the skills you have we could connect you to a local university, medical clinic, woman’s shelter, smaller non-profit or youth educational programme.
Helping students at a rural school in South Africa.
Southern Africa is filled with phenomenal destinations. There’s no doubt that your safari with us will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. And now when you go home, amongst the photos of lion, elephant and wide open landscapes, you’ll have pictures of the people met and friendships made while giving back to the countries that you visited.
Contact us to find out more.