Africa Showcase UK

Ubuntu Experiences recently travelled to the the UK to connect with travel agents and tour operators looking for more inspiring places to stay and things to do in Africa.

This roadshow was organised by On Show Solutions and is proving a great format for Ubuntu Experiences to increase the number of B2B contacts in Europe. Earlier this year we attended a similar event in the Nordics. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting to ensure your tourism product is top of mind.

Are you a South African tourism business and need some help opening new doors in Europe? Ubuntu Experiences is happy to welcome new responsible tourism businesses to the collective. Email Emilie for more details on how to join.


Fair Trade Tourism certification for IMV


Marine volunteering program International Marine Volunteers (IMV) recently became Fair Trade Tourism certified. This means IMV has now achieved the same level of responsible tourism best practise as sister companies Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises.

Fair Trade Tourism has strict criteria for responsible volunteering and has revised and added criteria for volunteer interactions with animals and vulnerable people. This comes at a time when the debate on what constitutes a responsible volunteering program is hotting up worldwide. South Africa is once again taking the lead in developing guidance for both travellers and travel companies.

Owner of the companies, Wilfred Chivell, is proud that his group of companies has received this recognition. “We have supported the Fair Trade Tourism philosophy since 2008 and we work hard towards meeting the strict criteria. We believe that Your Choice Makes a Difference and by choosing a Fair Trade Tourism certified company clients be assured that the company is having a positive impact on both people and planet.”

Read more on the Marine Dynamics blog.

Fancy volunteering in Gansbaai and help protect the Marine Big 5?



Meet Wilfred Chivell – bringing tourism and conservation together

Wilfred Chivell_1_214x274_crop_100

Big, bluff and burly, Chivell is someone who knows all about imminent extinction – he lost everything he had in 1998. A native of Gansbaai, the little fishing town on the other side of Hermanus in the Western Cape, Chivell had built up a successful little business empire after a chequered career that took him from a stint in the police to diamond diving on the West Coast and discovering that he had no taste for the bright lights of Cape Town.

Coming home with R2 000 in his pocket and assisted by one man, he mixed cement for builders. By 1998, he had five companies and employed 200 people.

Read more about how this tenacious visionary man brought tourism and conservation together in Gansbaai in this insightful article by IOL.

You can also read more about the Responsible Tourism Award he recently won at WTM Africa in Cape Town.


Taking it slow at Sefapane River Lodge

Sefapane Lodge & Safaris
Sefapane Lodge & Safaris

Ubuntu Experiences welcomes member Sefapane Lodge & Safaris.

“Well known for having built up the beautiful  Sefapane Lodge in Phalaborwa since taking it over in 1998, Joris Bertens has been a significant figure in the promotion of South Africa’s Limpopo province and is known as an astute businessman and energetic entrepreneur.

Sefapane River Lodge seems different to his other projects, though; it’s more personal, and as we talk over dinner on the deck, I sense it expresses something about this man and the things that are close to his heart.”

Read more here.


Wine award for Three Tree Hill Lodge

TTHL wins Platinum Diners Club List Award 2016

Three Trees at Spioenkop has been awarded a Platinum Diners Club Wine List Award for their excellent choice in the best of South African wines. Their list has a great variety & diversity of wines that compliment their product. Organic, Fair Trade and Bio-dynamic wines in each variety add to their unique list.

South Africa is a sensational destination for food and wine lovers. Ubuntu Experiences all offer delicious pan-African meals and pour the very best South African wines which is why we will be attending the Taste and Travel Fair in Rotterdam.

During presentations you will learn more about local food and wine sourcing, growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as using clever energy saving gadgets to prepare food for guests. Responsible tourism at its very best!


Sustainability steeped in history at Spioenkop


Three Tree Hill Lodge (also known as Three Trees at Spioenkop) is an homage to this bygone colonial era, with its original farmhouse now a stylish lounge and dining room, spilling out onto a shady stoep where breakfasts are eaten while Simon enchants guests with his seemingly bottomless knowledge of the history of the area.

A stroll around the lounge and dining room after breakfast adds to Simon’s period dramas, as the faces from those dark days stare out of hundreds of antique portraits, photographs and etchings from the newspapers of the age. Books on the war and its chief protagonists on both sides are everywhere, as are mementos and curiosities from this bygone era, from old field glasses to rifles.


Guest suites are dotted in amongst trees on the side of the hill, which overlooks Spioenkop and its adjacent game reserve where Simon takes guests on game walks. Near the crest of the hill is the lodge’s private villa, Churchill’s, built in 2012 to mimic the colonial style, while integrating a completely green energy and water system, keeping its footprint as environmentally friendly as possible.

Read more in Africa Geographic.


All smiles at Three Tree Hill Lodge


Ubuntu Experiences member Three Tree Hill Lodge in Kwa Zulu Natal is the perfect employer and confirms that happy staff means happy guests. The staff are proud to be working for a Fair Trade Tourism employer and know exactly what it means to them.

Empowerment is one of the many outstanding ethics at Three Trees, which is Fair Trade Tourism certified. “We take good care of our staff,” says Simon Blackburn who owns and runs the lodge with his wife Cheryl. “Our people are our biggest asset, and if they are happy, then our guests are happy, so we do everything we can to encourage staff to be entrepreneurial and further their careers with us,” he adds.

Read more in Africa Geographic.


Seeing the Big 5 with Elvis at Umlani Bushcamp

Elvis Umlani Bushcamp

Umlani Bushcamp has great staff but ranger Elvis really is something special. He’ll make sure you see the Big 5. My family all loved him too. My sister even took this majestic photo of King Elvis but to get a better idea of the lengths he will go to, read this great blog from a very happy guest.


A Good Holiday at Umlani Bushcamp

Umlani Bushcamp
Umlani Bushcamp

‘Umlani brings me close to nature and close to the earth. Their simple and non-intrusive camp inspires me to take another look at what I can change in my life to be kinder to the environment. If they can do it in the middle of the bush, why shouldn’t I do it in the city? But most importantly, being at Umlani reminds me to slow down and appreciate the small things in life; the sun breaking the horizon, the sound of birds waking up, the beauty of Africa, and the chance to spend time with loved ones without letting life distract the encounter.’

Katarina Mancama has her own blog called My Slow Journey but also contributes to The Good Holiday blog. She describes the guest experience at Umlani Bushcamp perfectly. She also takes great photographs!