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Some of the reasons why people go on holiday are to experience a new culture, learn about how other people make a living, and sometimes also learn about history, social, economic and local issues. South Africa offers a rich historical experience and South Africans treasure their diverse cultural heritage – and are only too happy to share it with visitors. Image

Uthando is a South African is a  based, internationally award-winning Fair Trade in Tourism-certified responsible tourism initiative, linking tourism and development and thus offering the visitor far more than merely a “township tour”. Uthando’s tours are authentic, meaningful,
non-invasive, respectful and very importantly beneficial to local communities.

Ever heard of the saying, “kill two birds with one stone”? Oh well, it is now also possible to kill three birds with just one stone… Let us look at it this way: you are on holiday, learning about cultural diversity while you are also giving back to the community – amazing!!! I always feel better about myself when I make others feel better about themselves… And I also know that what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us but what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal… I am also a firm believer in community service as a brilliant way of putting your mark on the world and experiencing diversity to enhance your mind and spirit.

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The Uthando Tours cover an extensive discussion on South African history, the legacy of Apartheid, political, social, economic, cultural and local issues. As Uthando is a non-profit company focused on community upliftment, the core of the trips is taking people to visit interesting community development projects. They work with, support and visit many different types of projects – for example, care/early learning centres, urban agricultural and environmental programmes, youth development/after school programmes where children are taught to dance, play music, sports etc, an old age project, animal care projects and much more. Visits depend on what projects are available on the day and tours are normally arranged the day before depending on availability of the projects.

Uthando Tours also offer a tree planting excursion with the international award-winning Imageorganisation Greenpop which is an amazing experience. Greenpop selects schools and educational institutions as sites for the planting of trees. A contract is signed in which the school undertakes to maintain the trees. The school choir greets the visitors (of course a rousing and emotional experience for them). The Headmaster welcomes the visitors and Greenpop give an overview of the tree planting activity. All learners and visitors participate in a “bonding experience” facilitated by a Greenpop Tree Planting Manager – it is a really fun and interactive session. There is a presentation on how to plant the trees properly. Visitors and learners divide into little teams to then plant their trees which they then also water. The whole group gathers for lunch in the school hall with the choir singing message of thanks to Uthando, Greenpop, the visitors and the school, and a final photo of everyone is taken. Greenpop monitor and evaluate the progress of the trees with regular visits, and trees can be viewed by satellite from any country. In just 2 years Greenpop has planted 17,876 trees, in 234 locations, affecting 100,500 people. This is a true transformation of communities that need it.

The Uthando Tours run daily scheduled tours as well as tailor-made private tours (for groups of any size) to suit particular interests – whether it be urban agriculture, animal welfare, youth development through the medium of art, dance, choir singing, classical music, drumming or sport, special needs education, assistance to refugees, the environment, economic empowerment through skills development, arts and crafts, township theatre, prisoner rehabilitation, care and protection for children, women and the elderly.

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Allow us to make your African dream a memorable one, by putting together a package for your next holiday with LOVE…

Contact SW Africa on info@swafrica.co.za for more information. Check out our website: swafricadmc.com.dedi642.your-server.de.

Stanley Shongwe