Disabled tourism is the focus of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa's Universal Accessibility mandate, assisting people with disabilities in finding suitable accommodation. You’ll find a wide range of facilities to accommodate those who are mobility, vision or communications impaired.
A trail for the blind in Worcester's botanical garden.
© South African Tourism
In line with the principles of South Africa’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Universal Accessibility Grading Scheme, an initiative of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), encourages the hospitality sector to address the challenges faced by the disabled.
Tourism establishments have not always understood the concept of Universal Access, but with South Africa’s tourism grading scheme, members of the industry can now comply with international requirements to accommodate those who are mobility, vision or communications impaired.
The TGCSA actively encourages tourism for the disabled in South Africa, which was the first country in Africa to introduce disability grading for the disabled tourism industry.
The Universal Accessibility Grading Scheme provides tourism establishments with guidelines on factors such as slip-resistant surfaces, size of door openings, lettering on signage, flashing lights on phones and voice amplification. Depending on compliance, hospitality establishments can achieve ratings on 4 levels, from Bronze to Platinum, assisting disabled visitors in planning their trip.
There are many South African establishments with excellent track records in this regard already, such as South African National Parks, where most of the camps and visitor destinations in all of the parks provide ramped access. In many cases accessible ablution facilities are provided and many of the parks boast selected accommodation units that have been adapted for use by the mobility and visually impaired.
Travel tips & Planning info