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Exploring Inanda’s Hidden Gems With WOWZULU

‘Mr President, I have come to report to you that South Africa is now free.’ Nelson Mandela at the grave of John Langalibalele Dube, First President of the ANC, after voting at Ohlange in South Africa’s first Democratic Elections on  27 April 1994.  

Tasting MaMtshali’s UMQOMBOTHI

On Mandela Day, 18 July 2017, about 50 tourism stakeholders and bloggers headed into the Inanda Valley,  to get a sense of how community-based tourism development can ignite a local economy and create income for rural entrepreneurs here, in the cradle of South Africa’s democracy.  

WOWZULU Responsible Tourism, an initiative of rural development agency Africa!Ignite and partners, has discovered a wealth of ‘hidden gems’ in this vibrant semi-urban community: places to eat, drink, hear music, view art, engage with friendly locals to share stories, experience local culture, learn new skills or get active on the valley’s trails and waters.  

All this adds vibrancy and local colour to the Inanda Heritage Route with its proud historical sites, where the seeds of South Africa’s democracy were sown.

The WOWZULU Marketplace at the historic Ohlange Institute is the perfect starting point for any exploration of Inanda, as tourists’ gateway and warm welcome in the valley. This is where the Mandela Day ‘educational’ experience started, with story-telling and an opportunity to view local art and craft.

From there, we got a taste of the wealth of vibrant community life, history and natural attractions of the Inanda Valley: A tour of the JL Dube Heritage site under the guidance of the highly knowledgeable Mandla Nxumalo; a neighbourhood walk through a village along winding roads and hillsides;

Then a visit to a picturesque rural homestead of Ma Mtshali in the hills of Umzinyathi above the valley, to try their hand at beadwork and for an introduction to Zulu culture.

For our 67 minutes of community service on this Mandela Day, we handed over 67 vegetable seedlings to Ma Mtshali as the start of a sustainable food garden

Ended the day off for lunch at Ohlange Rocks Junction with its vast views across the coastline below.

I Shared My Love For Inanda With Cheapflights

Inanda Dam Image: Game Plan Media

If you follow me on social media you will know about my obsession and the passion I have for my hood, Inanda. Being born and bred here has taught me so many things about life and I could never get tired learning about the history.

So when Cheapflights contacted me and four other Durban creatives to tell them about our favourite spots, I didn’t have to think too hard.

Image: Getaway Magazine

Checkout the article Top things to do in Durban according to our experts to learn why I chose the Inanda Dam as my favourite spot and to learn a little bit more about Inanda and activities you can do when visiting.

Travelling through the green pastures

These days it seems if you are not growing and eating your own vegetables, recycling and living a life with minimal impact to the environment you are not the coolest kid on the block.

Many are aware that sustainability and climate change have been and still are enormously important issues which are affecting our planet in a treacherous way. The terms ‘Going Green’, ‘Eco-friendly’ and ‘Green Living’ have become so ingrained in our minds that it has shifted the way in which we do things.

The way people travel, consume, explore and purchase have changed over the years and even many companies are realising this and making changes in the way they do business in order to protect our environment and increase customer satisfaction. According to CCC Maldives ecotourism has been growing by 20-34% per year, and understandably so.

Honestly, I do not think that there is any greater feeling than going on holiday to a beautiful destination and knowing that you have contributed a bit to conserving these immaculate places whether it be rainforests or indescribable continents like Antarctica which is deteriorating due to global warming.

The following post will highlight the trends and tips of eco-travel and green living which many are often unaware of when travelling.

Green Trends

Extensive travel research was conducted and there were many interesting insights of eco trends that were identified. There has been an increased interest amongst travellers to visit vanishing destinations. Yes, I said VANISHING! Due to global warming popular destinations like the Dead Sea in Egypt, or the romantic city of Venice and the tropical under waters of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia will no longer be around in the upcoming years.

Travellers have also shown more and more interested in the idea of travelling to eco-destinations which allow travellers to see not only the most extreme, but the most beautiful wonders of the world. The stunning country of Costa Rica is definitely a destination on the list which showcases beautiful coastlines and well-protected natural attractions like volcanoes and rainforests whilst staying in luxurious eco-friendly accommodation.

For the many travellers interested in visiting these intriguing green destinations I would say that it would be a great idea to try and find affordable fights to these endangered destinations before it is too late. There are great online travel agencies that you can keep updated with at any time they are known for offering great flight specials and competitions which could have you winning free flight tickets. Travel agency Travelstart for instance has a fantastic flight specials page which offers great deals that are constantly being updated, there is no reason not to see at least one of these destinations in your lifetime.

Green has definitely become the new black, and for those of you who have never heard of the term ‘green travel’ before this article, it does not refer to you going on holiday just to stay in a tree house or you consuming vegetables that you grew over your holiday. Going green simply means that you can still enjoy your vacation but in a different and more eco-friendly way, for example you could sign up for the many walking tours on offer when visiting a new city instead of using too many taxis for your commute whilst exploring new attractions.

Green travel tips

Many people are shocked at the countless ways in which their everyday habits and routines can impact the environment and most of the time when we are on holiday we end up forgetting about things like saving electricity or water and recycling.

Below is a list of the numerous ways we can all contribute to conserving our planet whilst simply indulging in the beautiful pleasures the world has to offer.

You can save by…

  • Using the Carbon Footprint Calculator while on holiday, this will give you several options to minimize/ balance your carbon footprint.
  • Staying in green accommodation, with thousands of places around the world that offer distinctive green accommodation you can vacation in true green style.
  • Fact: plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade so take a re-useable shopping bag with you when you go to local markets or shops.
  • The more a plane weighs the more carbon emissions it produces basically very kilo counts when flying so pack smart.
  • Trying to travel without any stops / less stops so taking direct flights would be perfect.
  • Taking showers instead of baths is also a way to save water.
  • Buying locally made products rather than those that have been imported
  • When scuba diving don’t touch or step on the coral or stir up sediment as it can damage the reef’s fragile ecosystem.

Click here and find out more amazing ways for being green and travelling clean that would be useful for any traveller. 

By adopting an eco-friendly mind-set on your travels, you will be contributing to help protect not

Seychelles and South African tourism boards sign MoU for better cooperation

Better cooperation and exchanges are expected in the field of tourism between Seychelles and South Africa after the two countries’ respective tourism boards signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the INDABA trade fair last week in Durban.

The MOU was signed on behalf of Seychelles by the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St Ange and Sthembiso Dlamini, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the South African Tourism Board.

Several talks and discussions were held between the two bodies in the past year, leading up to the realisation of this agreement which now covers numerous areas of prolific cooperation between them.

In the presence of several representatives of both tourism boards, the agreement was signed and toasted to as both Minister St Ange and Ms Dlamini said they look forward to further strengthen ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries.

The agreement promotes promotional efforts and collaboration in developing the tourism industry of both countries as they seek to: jointly position Seychelles and South Africa as touristic destinations and increase their market profiles as preferred destinations; collaborate on marketing activities, tourism campaigns and travel trade promotions aimed at increasing the market share of both countries; provide access to each other’s pool of marketing intelligence especially to increase the marketing efficiencies of both countries; collaborate on efforts to increase the countries’ exposure in the global market and improve communication between the two parties in order to foster a closer working relationship.

Minister St Ange, who has been instrumental in pushing for such an agreement between the two bodies, reiterated of why he felt ‘Africa should work with Africa’, if the continent is to move forward and be a more attractive product on the international tourist market.

“South Africa has been and remains a strong source market for Seychelles and it is a country with which we share excellent relations. But there are more we can do for each other and this agreement will lead the way to better cooperation and exchanges between the two parties, which will help to position both destinations at a new level on the international tourist market,” he said.

Ms Dlamini also spoke of the need to work together in order to develop a common approach to developing the two countries’ tourism plan and strategies.

“Collaboration is central to all we eandevour to do as SA Tourism to grow and support the tourism industry in the country, and on the continent. We are very excited that our initial discussions with the Seychelles have borne fruit in the form of this MOU. We are looking forward to future engagement to realise our shared vision of taking our destinations to new levels of success.”

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