Amazing holidays and making a difference at the same time

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Amazing holidays and making a difference at the same time
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When exploring Cape Town during your trip, you might be most interested in visiting those tourist destinations known worldwide. However, try setting aside time to take the road less travelled. Take a breather from the 10 million expected tourists gathering around Cape Town’s more well-known attractions and really engage with South Africans.
Current campaigns are urging South Africans to support and develop domestic tourism. At a recent event, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, asked South Africans to engage with tourists. She spoke of the citizen activation campaign which “aims to stimulate civic pride and a welcoming spirit among Capetonians in the run up to, during and beyond the international football extravaganza”.

With the locals taking on this kind of attitude, you’ll soon feel right at home!

So how do you enjoy the beauty of Cape Town while getting involved at a more personal level? Try voluntourism; travelling and helping the community simultaneously. Through this kind of experience, you might explore parts of Cape Town that you never would have known existed otherwise.

There are two different paths to take with this – one is community-based and the other is conservation-based.

Community-based voluntourism gives you, the tourist, the opportunity to support local businesses and crafters while getting more involved with the community. From reading with children and playing sports with them to fixing mountain bikes and building houses, there are many ways you can get involved.

If you’re more interested in simply enjoying the colourful arts and crafts of South Africa, there are opportunities to do so all over Cape Town. Take the township tour to Khayelitsha, where you can enjoy the view from Look-Out Hill and visit the arts and science centre. At the Khayelitsha Craft Market at the St Michael’s and All Angels Anglican Church, you can make your contribution to the local community by investing in hand-made curios. You’ll also spot craft markets around some of the major shopping malls, such as Cavendish and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The Greenmarket Square provides an African atmosphere with drums, beadwork and carvings. Also in Greenpoint, you will find the Cape Quarter, where you can browse around while enjoying the Cape Malay architecture.

If you’re someone who prefers getting involved with environmental organisations and interacting with animals, conservation-based voluntourism might be something you’d be interested in doing. There are many opportunities for you to do this while enjoying the beauty of the Mother City.

The FIFA World Cup Green Goal gives visitors and South Africans alike, the perfect opportunity to get into the eco-friendly spirit. Cape Town is currently celebrating Green Week, but South Africans are being encouraged to practise environmental-friendly behaviour for more than just a week. In 2006, Germany incorporated an initiative known as Green Goal into the FIFA World Cup. South Africa aims to expand on this initiative. Host city Cape Town Green Goal 2010 has two main objectives: the greening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup event footprint, and leaving a positive environmental legacy. For more information on how the government aims to achieve these objectives, visit Cape Town’s official website

Check out the following websites which suggest various ways to get involved in voluntourism:

Backpack and Africa Travel Centre
All Africa Volunteers
Cross-Cultural Solutions
Dyer Island Cruises
Habitat for Humanity South Africa
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