February 3, 2017
Limpopo is a province of great diversity, offering a wealth of adventure, biosphere and cultural experiences.
Limpopo is a region of infinite scenic beauty with a great diversity of both natural and man-made attractions, rich cultural heritage and an abundance of wildlife and nature-based tourism opportunities. Adventure tourism in Limpopo is a thriving niche market, and the world is sitting up and taking notice. Certainly there’s nothing to beat having a business meeting or conference, followed by a range of fun activities to get the heartrate going. Adventure tours are an excellent option for business delegates visiting the various provinces in South Africa. Limpopo is known for its challenging Ivory Route 4x4 trail and numerous outdoor adventure activities in the bush. The province has the potential to benefit from the growing adventure tourism market, but more needs to be done to market the province, and indeed the country as a whole, as an adventure destination. The growth in adventure tourism is being driven by travellers’ desire for experience-based holidays. They want to be partakers rather than observers. Tourists are increasingly looking for authentic experiences, interactions with local communities and to connect with the heart and soul of the places they visit.
The perception exists that adventure tourism focuses on adrenalin-related activities but this should not be the case. There are many aspects to an adventurous itinerary and the broad sector caters for all market segments, from backpackers to affluent travellers. In addition to the growing demand for this type of experience, adventure tourism promotes geographical spread. Adventure activities are outside cities, therefore this travel sector promotes job creation in rural areas. Operators also point out that the sector has the potential to drive transformation. A great many adventure guides currently being trained are from previously disadvantaged groups. This is certainly happening more aggressively in the rural areas, where many adventure operations are based. It would be from these ranks (guides) that the future adventure operator owners will be born. Almost all current adventure company owners started off as guides. The growth of the adventure tour industry is being driven by entrepreneurs, young and old. A new community-based hiking trail has been opened in the Blouberg Mountain, bordering the beautiful Blouberg Nature Reserve. The trail was developed by four young, entrepreneurial interns who were appointed at Open Africa’s Seraki Blouberg Route as part of a youth development project, giving travellers the opportunity to explore this mountain in a new way.
A short day hike up to the rock pools is on offer, while those who are keen to spend more time exploring the mountain can hike three kilometres to the community-owned cultural camp on top of the mountain, where they can spend either one or two nights camping in rustic, self-catering chalets. Local non-profit organisation, Open Africa, has been working with communities in the area on a project funded by the Finnish Embassy’s Local Cooperation Fund and Barclays Africa. The project aims to develop entrepreneurship skills for youth and rural enterprises. Open Africa works with small businesses to establish rural tourism routes that offer travellers authentic experiences, while generating an income and jobs for local people.
Click here to read more about Limpopo - Land of Legends featured on the African Travel Market Magazine.
Image and Article Source: African Travel Market