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EEnjoy a green incentive in South Africa: whether it’s experiencing thrilling eco-friendly adventures, exploring South Africa’s rich cultural heritage, enjoying delicious organic fare or getting involved in conservation and responsible tourism projects, there are plenty of options.
The environment is top of mind for many incentive travellers, and the choice of green incentives in South Africa will more than cover your wish-list.
From green adventures and team-building experiences to sustainable, non-invasive accommodation options and meeting facilities, South Africa offers amongst the best environmentally friendly experiences on the planet.
These green incentive tourism options include abseiling rocky outcrops, discovering San rock art in the Drakensberg or Cederberg Mountains, exploring Soweto’s historical attractions by bicycle, building a classroom or house in one of South Africa’s vulnerable communities (a great team-building activity), taking a Cape winelands mountain-bike wine-tasting adventure, going spoor tracking in the wild, or learning Zulu dancing in a Zulu cultural village – to name but a few.
Many game lodges and other accommodation establishments in South Africa have introduced environmental initiatives to minimise their environmental impact and offer green meeting, team-building and incentive options. These can be combined with stays in eco-friendly accommodation establishments that take their environmental responsibilities seriously and have implemented environmental management practices.
Three South African lodges were named among the world’s top 50 eco-lodges in National Geographic Adventure magazine in 2009. These lodges are ideal green-incentive destinations at which you can witness environmental practices at work – from wildlife conservation to the lodge’s involvement with the local community, which derives economic benefit from its association with the lodge.
Cape Town, a popular destination for international incentives, has launched a green map which shows the city’s green spaces, nature reserves, organic eateries, farmers’ markets, recycling drop-off points, sustainable living projects, eco-products and other green choices. In Cape Town there are also eco-friendly transport solutions – including plenty of places you can hire bicycles to get around.
For the less energetic but still environmentally conscious, there’s The Green Cab. The Green Cab’s vehicles run on liquefied petroleum gas and bio-diesel, which reduces harmful emissions by 87% and enable clients to reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying green incentives in South Africa. The company is now expanding into electric vehicles in a big way, making it even more eco-friendly.
Among the many environmentally friendly adventure activities you can enjoy are eco-hikes, guided walks, mountain climbing, wildlife experiences, birding, mountain biking, wild dog tracking, tree canopying, scuba diving, cycle tours, horse riding, touring historical sites and more. South Africa’s biodiversity can also be explored, although it may take you several trips to get through it all… but rest assured, you’ll always be welcome.
The Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards – run by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) since 2002 and about to be re-launched in 2019 after a hiatus – recognise tourism and hospitality businesses that make a sustained and measurable contribution to responsible tourism.
Going beyond awards alone, Imvelo is a Fedhasa programme that is being powered by the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme. Imvelo will be doing workshops for businesses to understand what responsible, sustainable tourism is, and how each business can get involved.
Imvelo is supported by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme of the Heritage Environmental Management Company, which provides businesses with effective environmental management and certification solutions.
Heritage is one of 3 ‘green’ certification organisations in South Africa. The others are:
- The Green Leaf Environmental Standard: assesses hotels, game lodges and country estates in the tourism sector. It aims to reduce the effects of consumption on our environment and improve environmental management and awareness in an eco-friendly manner.
- Fair Trade Tourism (FTT): promotes sustainable tourism development and offers Fair Trade certification. Business travellers who stay in FTT-certified establishments, now available in 8 southern African countries, are assured their travel is benefiting local communities and economies, and that the tourism business is operating ethically in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)53 781 9331
Phinda Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Lodges Sales and Reservations
Tel: +27 (0)11 809-4300
The Green Cab
Tel: +27 (0)82 298 2085
Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa
- Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards
- Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
- Phinda Private Game Reserve
- Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve
- The Green Cab