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Let us develop the local communities through your visit to the Kruger park
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Cedric Offline
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Let us develop the local communities through your visit to the Kruger park
INTRODUCTION:

Developing a sustainable economy for our rural areas is very difficult, mainly due to the need to involve many different government departments and within these departments, many different disciplines.

For the past five years we have endeavoured to empower rural village communities, mainly through opening the doors for visitors to the Kruger Park, local and international, to use the villages outside the Kruger Park gates for their accommodation.

SA Tourism is starting to talk the language, but always, they will add the need to register and comply with standards. This very concept is the mechanism that protects the wealthy, predominantly white, from what they consider unfair competition.

My wife and I are in the process of selling our suburban home, and building in the Matiyani Village, 4km outside the Punda Maria gate. We have had discussions with our Chief Mhinga who has great plans for developing his village communities. In order for him to succeed, we need to bring all our efforts together.

Although the Matiyani Village is our main focus in this document, we also have the management and structures in the Welverdiend Village outside the Orpen Gate, and the Salubindza Village, outside the Numbi Gate,

This document is aimed at addressing the concepts that we, as a tour operator and new resident to the Village believe should be taking place.

1; ARTS AND CRAFTS:

We believe that the entire Matiyani Village could become a “Traditional Village’ that the visitors, both local and internationals will visit.

We have had many discussions with our neighbours, but we now need to support from the Department of Arts and Crafts, and the Kruger National Park.

Although we used an imported design for the walls of our home, it has given the community the idea that we can create an impressive approach to the Punda Maria gate, by encouraging the Matiyani residents to paint traditional Shangaan designs on the walls of homes situated on the main road and and first road parallel to the main road.

This, on its own will attract visitors to the area, and to use the Puna Maria area of the Kruger Park.

An example of the success that this type attraction to the traditional painted houses, can be seen at Elim in the Cape.

Matiyani:     Elim:    

To achieve this we would involve the community on these two streets, obtaining funds from the Department of Arts and Crafts, the Kruger National Park and the Department of Tourism. The Village Tourism Committee, (existing), will guide the participation of the participating families, the funding divided among the participants, with the main motivator, awards for the ‘best achiever.’

2: TOURISM:

Off this community involvement, participation, and the creation of the start of an exciting Traditional Village for both local and international visitors, we will have established the basis off which the Tourism Industry can, with confidence, start to market the concept that local and international visitors to the Kruger National Park, can find suitable ‘home-stay accommodation‘ with the Matiyani Village families.

A typical reluctance by the Tourism Industry that I hear when we propose this concept is that we first need to register the ‘home-stay participants’.
This we should avoid, you are already excluding 90% of the participants because of the ‘piece of paper’. In the three Villages we operate in, outside the Kruger Park, we do have our participants and structures in place to ensure that any visitor, when arriving, will be accommodated suitably.

Initially, we would suggest that the initial links go though our committees, and as the visitors start to move through these villages, by word and mouth the visitors will feel confidant that they will find accommodation no matter when they arrive.

Very soon, we will find the community developing around this accommodation activity, initially sharing as a co-op, and in time, competing with service to attract future returns.

As an experience, the visitors will have the opportunity of becoming part of the family,

The Kruger National Park offers the opportunity of leaving the park during the day, pass-out, allowing the visitor to do a morning drive, visit the community / Panaroma Route during the day, and do a Sunset Drive at night.
At these three gates we have a successful arrangement with the Kruger Park to collect visitors from the gate for the regular Kruger Park Guided Sunrise or Sunset drives. This allows local and international visitors to visit the Kruger Park, live in the Traditional Village, while using public transport. See recent visit by a 29 year-old French girls, traveling solo on the Kruger Park Safari.

Arts, Crafts & tourist type products: We have already had enquiries from manufacturers of leather and other types of products, who will introduce their products, including the manufacturing thereof, into these village communities.

These communities will quickly develop into providing attractions through the Sangoma’s, Traditional Dancers, School & Youth Groups, Soccer on Saturdays.

Off this base, we will soon have locals offering drives into the Park and other local tourist attractions.
We have three Village communities, just waiting for the Department of Tourism, Arts and Crafts, and the Kruger National Park to develop sustainable Responsible Travel examples that will lead the world.

http://www.tasteofafrica.co.za info@tasteofafrica.co.za

(This post was last modified: 11-15-2012 07:48 AM by Cedric.)
11-15-2012 07:45 AM
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