Some of South Africa’s most diverse and innovative tourism products have sought out Fair Trade Tourism certification, from city hotels, game lodges, guesthouses and backpackers; to activities like shark-cage diving, para-gliding and zip-lining; attractions such as wildlife sanctuaries, and immersive experiences such as cultural and township tours.

Oyster Bay Lodge

To date, 25 South African products have become certified in 2017, each one distinctive in its category while representing exemplary responsible practice. Newly certified in the eastern Cape are Oyster Bay Lodge, which protects a 235-hectare Coastal Reserve outside Cape St Francis, and award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve with its seven five-star lodges and behind-the-scenes Conservation Experience. In the Western Cape, newly certified products include Coffeebeans Routes, which offers jazz and art tours among its innovative real city offerings, the cutting-edge Hotel Verde, acknowledged as Africa’s greenest hotel, Parker Cottage, a Victorian heritage guesthouse in Tamboerskloof, Moonglow, a four-star guesthouse in Simon’s Town, and Cascade Country Manor, a sought-after wedding venue outside Paarl. Twelve community-owned camps and lodges run by TransFrontier Parks Destinations are also newly certified.

Shamwari Game Reserve

All these businesses have one thing in common – a commitment to best-practice sustainability that embraces fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. What’s more they tend to offer fresh insight into an authentic Africa, untainted by western packaging, that more and more travellers are hungry to explore.

Ian Harris

Say Ian Harris, co-founder of CoffeeBeans “Our clients meet musicians, artists, poets, businesswomen and spiritual leaders – they plug in to the depth and diversity of perspective that makes up urban Africa. Stories are our currency, the equalisers that help to shift the balance of power.