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Kontrei Traveller


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Fynbos Reserve South Africa


In order for the integrity of the land to be seen better by the visitor, one needs to view the land using the special set of “Kontrei” glasses. Using the Kontrei glasses the land is viewed in terms of a diversity of regions, each with its distinct natural and then to be completed by cultural, characteristics. It refers to the synthetic relationship between geography and demography. The sensible, dynamic but authentic piece of earth thus born out of this relationship is known in the Afrikaans language as a “Kontrei”

A kontrei is a limited geographical area having distinct characteristics because of its natural and cultural integrity and dynamics.

A kontrei is named by local people irrespective of political boundaries. Sometimes different names exist for the same kontrei and it is fairly common for people expressing themselves as part of a smaller kontrei within a bigger one. By using Kontrei glasses, the visitor can see the land better in an “as is” format when speaks kontrei language referring to regions with names like:

The Fairest Cape, Western Cape; Green Midlands, Boland; The Lowveld, West Coast; Highveld, Namaqualand; Riemland, Klein Karoo and Bushmanland, Camdeboo.

The Kontrei Traveller Portfolio (KTP) offers the visitor a selection of hosts, each from a place in a different kontrei. The host is someone calling his/her place in a particular kontrei, MY home. They are best equipped to introduce the visitor to an authentic experience of their place and kontrei. The KTP member as part of the local community, runs a tourism business in and through his/her kontrei– MY business. All these KTP members are a special people because they produce their tourism products in such a way as to contribute to adding value to sustainability.


Our formal mission is:

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 4C’s is a direct result from the mission above.

- Visitor.- Customer; Tourism business.- Company.

- Environmental Resources.- Conservation Host Community- Community.

I argue that in sustainable Tourism the place comes first., C1- Conservation. Using the Community, C2, to produce for the Visitor, C3- Customer in order to have a sustainable business, C4- Company This is the sustainable or responsible way to follow. I argue that the unsustainable or irresponsible way is to put the Company first, to satisfy the Customer at the expense of the Community and the environmental resources - Conservation!!

The 4C model represents the following stakeholders:

- C1 Conservation: Responsible natural and cultural environmental resource management of my place/kontrei

- C2 Community: Optimal, fair host community procurement

- C3 Customer: Visitor enlightenment by sense of place experience

- C4 Company: Sustainable, economic, entrepreneurial enterprise.

When a tourist enterprise aims to be sustainable(C4), it can come about if at first care is taken of the environment(C1) where the business is located, secondly the local host community be involved(C2) and customers be satisfied(C3) In my model the entrepreneur or CEO takes responsibility for sustainable production and consumption in the company. If C4 can be managed in a sustainable way then C1, C2 and C3 is possible.


- The Kontrei Traveller Portfolio(KTP) is not a grading or labelling scheme.

- It is a practical tool with solid theoretical foundations to empower the entrepreneur in tourism who takes responsibility to continue improvement towards the purpose of sustainable tourism.

- The Product owner is supplied with strategic and management tools based on the 4C stakeholder model to be used with own content to improve performance in palatable steps towards the purpose of sustainable tourism. This dynamic content of the KTP member is used to communicate with the sustainable client using the website as primary distribution channel.

- This approach and practice is to be distinguished from other models where a tourist enterprise is gauged by applying criteria from outside – from the agency or an institution – in order to be labelled.

- The KTP is a practical application of the idea that economic activity takes place in and through the local environment. The economic activity is that of a particular tourism enterprise – my Place - being operated in my region – my Kontrei.

- The visitor will be a guest of kontrei tourism entrepreneurs who Think global but act local.

- The authentic contribution of the KTP member towards sustainability is continuously reported within the Kontrei Model ‘s framework, referring to the 10 point performance indicators


Kontrei Traveller supplies the model and training and controls the sustainable management reports of KTP members. Via www.kontrei.co.za as a  B2C portal, Kontrei Traveller is the  tour operator and  referral agent for the KTP members.


For a sustainable tourism experience, we use the eco-regional approach to understanding our earth. Using this approach, I admit that it is not possible to fully grasp and understand our earth. What is possible however, is to have an intimate understanding of one’s place and region by being involved in a variety of relationships over a period of time. By then reaching out intellectually to the world, I as an ordinary citizen, can find myself in a position where I can Think globally but Act locally within my befriended region(s) on earth.

The eco regional paradigm emphasizes that each earth region has its own unique, interdependent, regional integrity rooted in the natural environment of a place in the region or in the region itself. This gives rise to an equally unique regional culture because people find themselves at home in a specific region/place. People living in the region are having enlightening experiences whereby one becomes native to one’s place by living in harmony with both its special gifts and its restrictions. It challenges one to best understand the relationships network of one’s place and to execute whatever activities and social behavior to enrich the life of that place/region, conserve its life-supporting systems, establish and improve its ecosystems and eco quality of life. Simply stated it means that people become fully alive in and with a place. It involves applying for membership in an area as a means of opposing exploitation of the area.

Fundamental pointers of this paradigm for living a quality of life in one’s region is conservation, stability, optimal self-sufficiency, cooperation, complementarity and harmony in diversity.

Applying this to the Traveller, we conclude that:

If the eco regional paradigm guides the local people to understand and live in harmony with their place, it may also provide a valuable guideline for visitors to other areas than their own.

It stands to reason that being hosted and guided by local charm is a prerequisite for having an interactive, enlightening travel experience as our way of contributing to the traveller’s satisfaction

We will travel guilt free

South and Southern Africa have many poor people. By travelling in South and Southern Africa your traveller money can make a substantial contribution if the local companies you support, operate according to the stakeholder business model. Kontrei Traveller and all members of The Kontrei Traveller Portfolio are applying the 4C stakeholder business model. This refers to:

In terms of the purpose of sustainable development and sustainable consumption in general and in the specific tourism sector of the economy, the 4C elements, show the following structure :
• C1 - Conservation: Responsible management of the natural and cultural resources
• C2 - Community: Optimum, fair, involvement of host community
• C3 - Customer: Sense of place experiences by visitors
• C4 - Company: Sustainable, economic, entrepreneurial business

In the Kontrei Traveller sustainable tourism operation, the entrepreneur(C4) accepts the responsibility for sustainable production and sustainable consumption in the privately owned enterprise. In sustainable tourism the place comes first. This results in the most practical and affordable application of the 4 C’s in the sequence: C1, C2 and C3 to arrive at C4 as a result. When Supporting Kontrei Traveller and the Kontrei Traveller Portfolio, this means that local capital was raised for starting the company-C4- and when profits are generated, profit is not only allocated to the shareholders. Profit is optimized and shareholders are satisfied with less money because they dedicate themselves to sustainability rather than myopic economic growth only. They retain money to sustain the company BUT give back to the other stakeholders by sharing profit with staff and the local host community –C2- and re invest in the conservation of renewable environmental resources –C1. This is deliberately done to provide the customer stakeholder – C3 – with a sustainable product to be consumed again and again.

The traveller who wants to travel guilt free, can do so by buying into these local products because the money earned by Kontrei Traveller and The Kontrei Traveller Portfolio members are fairly allocated to Conservation of the environment –C1 and the Local Host Communities C2. By supporting locally produced goods and services like foods, transport, shops, souvenirs and accommodation the local economy benefits due to the ripple effect thus broadening the base of economic activity and making a humble but substantial contribution to the poor people at the base of the Pyramid.

Water Conservation

In South and Southern Africa available fresh water is limited due to low rainfall and intermittent periods of drought. We also experience growth in population, a trek to the cities and an increase in agricultural, mining and industrial development. Even without visitors coming, there is increased pressure on our water resources. We therefore appeal to our distinguished visitors to help conserve this precious resource by:

• Taking showers instead of indulge in a big bath
• Use biodegradable soap and detergents
• Cooperate in towel and linen replacement requests
• Innovate your own methods of using water sparingly
• Do not leave taps running
• Report leaks and dripping taps

Energy Conservation

South Africa was recently hit by the failure of the state owned electrical power supplier to supply enough electricity to the growing national demand.
Electricity cuts and power failures are now a frequent phenomenon with which the private households and the economy as a whole have to cope with.
It is a real threat to the production capacity of the South African economy.

Visitors must expect to be affected by this shortage of electricity and as far as we can see this will be a long term problem.

Your hosts will ask your cooperation in saving electricity. Please cooperate but also contribute by:

• SOS - Switching off something
• Close windows and draw curtains to reduce solar heating
• Set air conditioners in rooms and vehicles to minimum comfort levels
• Refrain from opening the fridge unnecessarily as this will allow the cold air to escape forcing your fridge to compensate.
• Use cold water when washing your hands as most soaps are still effective when used with cold water

Be a sustainable consumer by minimizing your environmental impact

On a Kontrei Traveller tour we see our own operation as applying for membership in an area where we tour as a means of opposing exploitation of the area.

We do not demand because we have paid. We rather ask to be hosted, guided by local knowledge and charm, to interact and participate in the attractions from the area in order to be enlightened. On tour we will use local TourismSA registered guides cooperating with local guides to maximize knowledge transfer. We will minimize the vehicle’s Carbon and Sulphur offsets by having the vehicles regularly serviced and using low sulphur diesel fuel. We will insist on adhering to ethical guidelines for sustainable consumption supplied by the Kontrei Traveller Portfolio members.
Some examples are:

From a KTP member having a Private Nature Reserve. Please see

1. No fires or gas cooking is allowed at the individual houses. Cooking in the communal kitchen
2. Do not leave burning candles unattended in the house.
3. Furniture and bedding may not be removed and used outside the houses.
4. Do not feed any wildlife.
5. No pets are allowed in the Reserve.
6. Please do not pick any flowers or remove any parts of plants.
7. No firearms are allowed in the Reserve.
8. Load music is a definite no-no!
9. Mountain bikes are not allowed in the Reserve.
10. NEVER leave your group or go on any walk-about without informing your guide.
11. STAY WELL CLEAR of all the cliff overhangs, especially when you visit the vicinity of the splash pool.
12. If for any reason you happen to be driving a vehicle in the Reserve, it is important that you do not drive off the existing roads.

From a KTP member offering a Marine game drive. Please see

Ethical guidelines for the sustainable consumer
• No smoking on board
• No alcohol allowed on boats and visitors must be sober on launching
• All litter to be placed in marked containers on board
• No animals should be touched
• Strictly obey all safety regulations

All Kontrei Traveller Portfolio members have such ethical guidelines for visitors. When they host travellers we gladly accept these rules for the sake of a quality experience in sustainability

Solid waste treatment

From a sustainable tourism point of view, the traveller’s accountability in treating the solid waste he/she produces while on tour, comes as a matter of fact.

Pristine conservation areas do not have sophisticated solid waste treatment facilities. We therefore ask your cooperation for:

• Minimum use of sachets on tables and in rooms. We urge KTP members not to use sachets and individually wrapped products
• Anti-littering by using waste containers on sites we visit and in the transport vehicles
• Visitors on day excursions take own solid waste back for proper treatment
• Collecting solid waste on tour will be brought back via the containers on our tour vehicles to the departure point’s facilities





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