KwaZulu Natal discovery tour, South Africa

“12 day self-drive itinerary in the Drakensberg and battlefields region staying for 3 nights at a time in hand-picked country houses and mountain lodges. ”

Highlights

Durban | Midlands Meander | Royal Natal National Park | Montusi Mountain | Bushman Cave | historic Battlefields region | Rorke's Drift | Isibindi Eco-Reserve | Optional activities include: horse riding, birdwatching, mountain biking, and hot air ballooning |

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: KwaZulu Natal discovery tour, South Africa

Environment

As well as employing local staff and being run on sound ethical principles, each of the three properties chosen in this itinerary contribute to the local community and environment in their own individual ways.

Granny Mouse provides in-house education programmes which specifically target staff from the local surrounding area, giving the opportunity for staff to further their talents and education whilst working at the hotel.

At Granny Mouse, all waste is recycled in various ways. All garden waste is recycled into compost and a compost farm is being developed in one of the propertys fields, of which 50% is sold to support the livestock on the farm and 50% is being given to staff for vegetable gardens. At least 90% of the hotels fresh produce is sourced from local suppliers that are within a 30km radius of the hotel.

At Isibindi Lodge, the neighbouring cattle farm is owned by a trust and is managed by Denis who guides and teaches local farmers how to farm and develop the land. The lodge is constructed primarily from natural materials collected from the area. It has been built in such a way that it blends in with the natural environment and the carbon footprint is low. The owners have also successful run a project to re-introduce the ox-pecker bird back into the Isibindi Eco Reserve, which is a valuable contribution to the reserves diverse birdlife.

Community

At Granny Mouse 1% of all takings in the restaurant and bar are donated to the Umthombo Project, which supports rehabilitation of street children in Durban who originate from the local area. Indeed, one of its most successful campaigns was to help end the round-ups (also called forced removals, operations or sweeps) of street children in the city. The hotel also supports Khazimula Childrens Home and Umgeni Mental Hospital (to whom the hotel donates linens and towels). Specifically, the program serves children living at St. Vincent Childrens Home, an orphange in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

Isibindi Lodge currently funds around 150 childrens school fees each year at local schools, including the Pro Nobis school, a school started by the owner, Denis, for mentally handicapped children in Dundee. This school is now regarded as one of the best training centres for handicapped children in Natal. The students remain there until the age of 18 after which they attend an adult centre also started by Dennis. Around 80% of the staff at Isibindia Lodge are employed from the surrounding community (many of whom were unemployed before the establishment of the lodge)

Montusi Mountain Lodge encourages support for the Khanyisela Project, a local scholarship programme for children from the nearby township.

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