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South Africa Ecotourism Holidays & Vacations

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Ecotourism South Africa

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South Africa is the most southern region of Africa. It has contrasting landscapes ranging from the rainforests along the garden route coastlines, to the flat dry karoo interior, to the craggy Drakensberg in the east, to the flower fields of Namaqualand.

You can spot the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino in the many wildlife parks. The wetlands and marine reserves team with sea creatures including sharks and the best land based whale watching in the world. Learn about the diverse history, culture and traditions of the people of the 'rainbow nation.' No other African country has as rich a variety of parks, reserves and wilderness areas and it has the best managed national parks in Africa.

Tourism in South Africa has changed from the past where tourists come to hunt game to “photographic safari.” Ecotourism is helping to conserve biodiversity and alleviate poverty in South Africa through the creation of local jobs in these areas. Through ecotourism, the local people living in poverty are able to have a say in how they would like to develop the park that is going to protect the land they live in.

Find an eco tour in South Africa. A list of eco tour operators, travel agents and accommodation providers either based in or that can organise trips to South Africa. Each listing includes a full page description so click for more information.

Travel Agents, Tour Operators & Eco Accommodation in South Africa

Leopard Track Safaris
Run by Allen Hallett who is a fully licensed professional guide. Allen is passionate about Africa’s Wildlife, having spent most of the last 35 years guiding people through the Wilderness areas of Zululand and Botswana. Over the years he has gathered an impressive amount of knowledge and information on the flora and fauna that occurs in our natural areas. You should come and sample some memorable evenings under our African sky around our campfire listening to the night sounds. Those memories still will stay with you forever.

Kontrei Traveller
In South and Southern Africa,We market and manage a sustainable travel experience for a visitor to a natural and/or cultural environment, whereby through interaction and participation the visitor will be enlightened. All Tourism businesses involved, should use environmental resources in a sustainable way resulting in economic viable enterprises with economic benefits to the host community.

The Earth Organization - Eco Safari in South Africa
The Earth Organization’s many activities include providing outstanding, intimate Eco-Safari Adventures to the award-winning, exclusive private game reserve called Thula Thula (pronounced Toola Toola). World Luxury Hotel Awards Finalist for 2008, Thula Thula is situated on the historic, former private hunting grounds of King Shaka, the legendary warrior who created the Zulu empire.

ecoAfrica Travel
Explore Africa's untamed wilderness in the company of reliable, responsible hosts. Compare our select range and choose the itinerary that suits you best, or create your own - we take care of the rest.

Drakenstein Lion Park
A unique Wildlife experience only 30 minutes from Cape Town. The park is responsible for rescuing lions in distress, both locally and overseas. The Park provides lifetime care to all the animals it rescues.

Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve
A 10-day working conservation holiday in Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve - South Africa. Organised by The Wildlife For All Trust, a British registered charity.

Travel agents that can arrange tailor made eco holidays to South Africa:

Provide trips to Africa combining popular destinations with more remote locations, avoiding at all cost resorts manufactured for mass-tourism. Eco-trips are tailor-made to show you the best of Africa.

Tribes Travel
Tribes, the Fair Trade Travel company, offers quality small group and tailor made holidays worldwide. Whether you want a luxury safari, a Galapagos cruise or to hike the Inca trail, Tribes can help.

A Closer Look Travel
Specializes in booking eco travel, community (real cultural connection) travel and volunteer travel. We have one of the largest databases (about 3,300) of worldwide sustainable travel opportunities in the US.

Explore Worldwide
Explore pioneers small, group adventure holidays around the world. Explore's responsible tourism policy is the cornerstone of the company's approach to tour operating.

i-to-i Meaningful Travel
i-to-i is the world leader in ethical volunteer and gap year travel. We send 5,000 people a year to work with 500 important community development, teaching, and conservation projects in over 30 countries across 5 continents.

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Ecotourism South Africa Articles & Resources

Below you can find a collection of resources related to ecotourism issues in South Africa.

Articles on ecotourdirectory.com:

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Travel with Respect

South Africans are generally polite, friendly and accommodating to tourists.Public behaviour is very similar to what you might find in Europe. Heterosexual displays of affection in public is not frowned upon unless you overdo it. Homosexual displays of affection will probably generate unwelcome attention, especially around children. Men generally greet with a firm handshake, while woman will do the continental kiss on the cheek .Except for designated beaches, nude sunbathing is illegal. Bikinis for ladies and swimming trunks for men (speedos if you really must, but be prepared to be laughed at and don't be surprised if people say Yebo Yah when walking past you, in reference to a Vodacom TV advert a couple of years ago) are acceptable. Eating places are casual except when otherwise indicated.Eating is generally done the British way with the fork in their left hand and the tines pointed downward. Burgers, pizzas, bunny chows and any other fast foods are eaten by hand. It is generally also acceptable to steal a piece of boerewors from the braai with your hands. Depending of what cultural group you find yourself with, these rules might change. Indians often eat breyani dishes with their hands, a white person from British descent might insist on eating his pizza with a knife and fork or a black person might eat pap-and-stew with a spoon. Be adaptable, but don't be afraid to also do your own thing; if really unacceptable, people will generally tell you so rather than take offence.South Africans are proud of their country and what they have achieved. Although they themselves are quick to point out and complain to each other about the problems and shortcoming that still exist, they will harshly defend against any outsider from doing so.

Information from wikitravel.org*

Travel Safe

South Africa has a high rate of violent crime (the world's highest for rape, and second-highest for murder), which calls for extra precautions. Do not accept offers from friendly strangers. Do not wear jewellery or expensive watches. Do not use iPods/mp3 players. Do not wear a tummy bag with all your valuables. Distribute your valuables in inside pockets and other pockets. Do not carry large sums of money. Do not walk by night in deserted places. Don't make it obvious you are a tourist - conceal your camera and binoculars. Do not leave your valuables in plain sight when driving in your car, as "smash and grab" attacks do sometimes occur at intersections, and keep your car doors locked, and windows closed. Know where to go so that you don't have to reveal you're lost or need a map -- simply all the obvious "I am a tourist" signs.Visiting the townships is possible, but don't do it alone unless you really know where you're going. Some townships are safe while others can be extremely dangerous. It's best to go with an experienced guide. Some tour companies offer guided visits to the townships, and this is perfectly safe.South Africa has very few earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, terrorist incidents or contagious diseases (with the notable exception of HIV).Please also note that taking an evening stroll, or walking to venues after dark can be very risky! It simply is NOT part of the culture there, as it is in Europe, North America or Australia. It is best to take a taxi (a meter cab - not a minibus taxi) or private vehicle for an "evening out". The same applies to picking up hitchhikers or offering assistance at broken-down car scenes.

Information from wikitravel.org*


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* ecotourdirectory.com is not responsible for the travel advice and travel with respect sections on this page. We would strongly advise that before traveling to South Africa you consult your countries embassy for the lastest guidance.

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