Fair Trade Tourism has started 2017 with a bang thanks to the addition of Shamwari Game Reserve to its portfolio of South African tourism businesses.
Shamwari – one of South Africa’s most high-profile and innovative wildlife conservation areas – has marked its 25th anniversary this year by achieving Fair Trade Tourism certification for all eight of its tourism products. Set on 25,000ha of reclaimed farmland, Shamwari is renowned for its wildlife conservation initiatives and commitment to surrounding communities. In addition to offering a classic wildlife experience, the reserve incorporates the Ian Player Rhino Centre, the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and its own Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre with a team of veterinarians on hand.
Shamwari’s six five-star lodges, Eagle’s Crag, Bayethe Tented Lodge, Long Lee Manor, Riverdene Family Lodge, Lobengula Lodge and Sarili Lodge, its wilderness bush camp, Explorer Camp, and volunteer programme, Shamwari Conservation Experience, were all awarded Fair Trade Tourism certification last week.
Shamwari group general manager, Joe Cloete, says becoming Fair Trade Tourism certified was a logical next-step in the mission to raise awareness of its sustainable tourism initiatives.
“We are proud to be associated with Fair Trade Tourism’s globally recognised brand and to have met the stringent certification criteria,” says Mr Cloete. “We expect this certification will help us to attract conscientious travelers and create greater awareness about our conservation efforts and engagement with communities.”
Fair Trade Tourism acting managing director Jane Edge adds that a number of additional tourism establishments have been audited and are expected to achieve certification in the coming two months. “This includes our first group comprising community-owned lodges, as well as other lodges and city hotels, she says. “We are close to achieving a portfolio of 200 tourism products across eight countries in Africa,” adds Ms Edge.