8 May 2012 by Julienne du Toit

Fair play along the southern Cape

The southern Cape coastline between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town is a perfect adventure zone. Then again, it’s hardly surprising, since mountains, forests, riverine chasms and beaches are all concertina’d together here. What is surprising is how many responsible tourism adventure operators there are.

Shark diving close to Gans Bay

Ages ago, on the back of a shark-diving boat, I met an Englishman who came out to South Africa every year to spend his hard-earned pounds on sending his adrenalin levels into overdrive.

From here, he said, his mouth practically watering, he was heading off to the Bloukrans Bridge for the world’s longest bungy jump. And he’d heard something about a cable slide through the indigenous forests at Storms River Village nearby. Then off to Madagascar to see the world’s largest butterfly. Or was it a moth?


										An adrenalin-fueled (yet responsible) forest canopy tour at Stormsriver Adventures.

I was in the southern Cape again last week and was once again struck by how many adventure activities there are. But even more impressive is that fact that so many are certified as responsible tourism operations, mostly through Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa.

You could see Bryde whales, southern right whales in season, literally thousands of common dolphins, and Cape fur seals. Perhaps even an orca if you’re lucky, or a rare humpback dolphin family.

You can go on aforesaid high speed cable-slide through the indigenous forests of the Tsitsikamma area with Stormsriver Adventures. You can go out with Ocean Blue Adventures from Plettenberg Bay where you could see Bryde whales, southern right whales in season, literally thousands of common dolphins, and Cape fur seals. Perhaps even an orca if you’re lucky, or a rare humpback dolphin family.


										Lots of sealife around Plettenberg Bay and Dyer Island off Gans Bay (or Gansbaai).

Southern Right Charters is a similar company based in the whale-watching town of Hermanus, an hour from Cape Town.

In fact, there are several excellent responsible tourism operators in the field of marine wildlife. One of the best is Dyer Island Cruises, operating out of Gans Bay and showcasing the area’s southern right whales, dolphins, pelagic birdlife, penguins, and much more. It has a sister company, called Marine Dynamics, which does shark-diving.

If you’re keen on shark-diving, there are plenty of responsible tourism options, including White Shark Projects, also in Gans Bay, and African Shark Eco-Charters, which operates in False Bay (home of Air Jaws).

And once you’re in Cape Town (which is the only city in the world with aspirations to become a responsible tourism destination in its own right) there’s plenty more to choose from.

On my to-do list I have the Cape Malay Cooking Safari by the Andulela Experience, and the Alternative Winelands Tour by the Dreamcatcher Foundation. Next time...


										See a shark, either in the water or above it.

Category: Responsible Tourism


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