Uthando South Africa has won numerous and prestigious local and international awards since inception of the company in 2008. The awards have been graciously and gratefully received by Uthando, but infact they recognize not only the passion, hard work and dedication of TEAM UTHANDO but also the many people that contribute in so many different ways to the success of the organization through their individual efforts and talents. Thus the awards recognize not only Uthando but also this extended family of passionate and talented people from South Africa and all around that help make Uthando such a vibrant and colourful success.

2018 Award Winner: Cape Town Tourism Future Forward Thinkers for Community Benefit

Wednesday 24 October 2018  James Fernie (Founding Director, Uthando South Africa), receiving the award from South Africa Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom (right) and Enver Mally (left), Chairperson of the Cape Tourism Board.

The award recognizes Uthando for leveraging tourism to provide direct benefits to community organisations through funding and capacitation. They have raised funds for four early childhood development buildings since 2009 and fundraising is in progress for another two. They raise funds by offering tours to the community development projects it supports. While it focuses on making the experience fun for guests, it also safeguards the community through its guest code of conduct.

Lilizela Cultural Tour Guide Award for Xolani Maseko

Congratulations to Xolani Maseko for receiving 3rd runner up in the Cultural Tour Guide category for the 2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards. In November 2017 Xolani will have been with Uthando for 5 years, and in that time he has become an invaluable part of “Team Uthando”.

An Ashley Award for Uthando – Nonceba Family Counselling Centre

Uthando is deeply moved and heartened to be recognized by the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre with an Ashley Award, in memory of young Ashley Kaimowitz. In a country deeply scared by truly horrific statistics of abuse of women and children, the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre in Khayelitsha is a beacon of light and inspiration for the victims of such abuse. Uthando is extremely proud to be associated with such a beautiful and necessary centre. The Ashley Award recognizes, celebrates, creates and guides people to perform deeds to help communities.

Joint Winner “We Are Africa” Innovation Awards 2017 – Engage Africa

African Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 – Winner Best Tour Operator for Impact in Urban Areas

Xolani Maseko (Uthando) receiving the award from Heidi van der Watt (far left) from Responsible Tourism Awards

Dear African Responsible Tourism winner

Let us first say – congratulations! Your African Responsible Tourism award is very well-deserved. Secondly, thank you for going to all the effort you made to attend the awards ceremony and make it the festive occasion that it was.



The Lilizela Awards 2016 – Cultral Tour Guide Category

The Lilizela Awards 2016
Receiving the award from Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom and acting head of SA Tourism

I am extremely excited to announce that at South Africa’s premium travel awards ceremony, the Lilizela Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday the 16th of October 2016, out of 9 finalists (one from each province) I won “National Best Cultural Tour Guide 2016”.  I am truly humbled, but the award also belong to a large number of community heroes.

There are SO MANY people to thank in the tourism industry and friends who helped make Uthando a reality in 2007, and who have helped in such a myriad of ways to expand the scope of our work and programmes. THANK YOU to all of you !

Tour guiding has afforded me (and now also my colleague Xolani Maseko) the incredible opportunity to tell our unique and quintessential South African story to an international audience. It is a profound joy and pleasure to share our history collective experience over so many years with so many people who are deeply interested in learning about it.  Our South African history is tragic, brutal and complex BUT also incredible, remarkable, inspiring and largely unique in the world.  It is a story that truly resonates with so many and it is a singular honour to be in a position to share it.

The heart of Uthando however is the introduction of tourists and tourism businesses to the remarkable, inspiring, courageous and simply beautiful people who are running a myriad of amazing community projects under immensely challenging conditions. It gives Xolani and I such JOY to introduce these community heroes, and through this introduction, to shine a light on their work and efforts while at the same time seeking ways to help them primarily through income generation but also many other forms of assistance.

The Lilizela Award is a recognition of these efforts, and the award actually belongs to ALL of the amazing community heroes that make the Uthando experience so profound, meaningful and beneficial to all concerned. THANK YOU.

2016 James Fernie, Western Cape Winner, Lilizela Tourism Awards, Best Cultural Tour Guide

2012,2013,2014,2015,2016 Certificate of Excellence – Trip Advisor


2015    Best Charitable Organisation in Africa – The Good Safari Guide 2015


2014    Best Charitable Organisation in Africa – The Good Safari Guide 2014


2013    Winner – Cape Town Tourism Responsible Tourism Award

Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde casting his vote at Indaba in Durban
James Fernie accepting the award at Indaba in Durban

2013    James Fernie Finalist on the “Who’s Who” in African Diaspora World Tourism Awards

2012    Winner – Skal International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award – Category Cities-Villages


James Fernie accepting the Skal Award in December 2012




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