Uthando (Love) South Africa offers authentic, uplifting, fun, inspirational, interactive and meaningful tours for FIT (individual) travellers as well as groups of any size visiting the community projects with which Uthando is working and supporting.
The Uthando Tour covers an extensive discussion on South African history, the legacy of Apartheid as well as indepth information on the political, social, economic, cultural and local issues confronting South Africa today. The core focus of the tour however is visiting interesting, innovative and inspiring community development projects and the incredible people driving these projects. We shine a light on the good work being done by so many good people, and at the same time help these wonderful individuals to continue with their efforts.
The tours run as daily scheduled tours or private tours for groups of any size. On any given tour 3 or 4 diverse community projects are visited. Projects visited include urban agriculture; animal welfare; youth development through the medium of art, dance, choir singing, classical music, drumming or sport; special needs education; assistance to refugees; the environment; economic empowerment through skills development; arts and crafts; prisoner rehabilitation; care and protection for children, women and the elderly and much more. People can request to visit a specific project or projects but this is subject to availability and logistical possibility.
Uthando only runs one tour per day. We are not a mass market tour company and thus booking is subject to availability. Our tours run Monday to Saturday and generally in the morning.
Cost : Please contact Uthando regarding updated costs.
Security : The townships are as safe as anywhere else in South Africa. SA does unfortunately experience high crime levels thus vigilance and caution are advised. To minimise any risk, it is better to leave any unnecessary valuables like expensive jewellery, wallets with credit cards, expensive mobile phones etc in the hotel. Certainly you can bring some money for any purchases of handmade products in the township. There are many operators taking tourists everyday into the townships without incident, but that doesn’t mean that we should not be vigilant to ensure the safety and security of our guests.
Uthando has been certified by FAIR TRADE IN TOURISM since 2011 meaning that our tours are conducted in a manner that is deeply respectful and sensitive to the manner in which we engage local communities. Please read below our Guest Code of Conduct.
Responsible Tourism Declaration
Uthando subscribes to the principles as set out in the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, which defined Responsible Tourism as follows :
- minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;
- generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
- involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
- makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
- provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
- provides access for physically challenged people; and
- is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence
Guest Code of Conduct
Uthando is fully committed to ensuring the guest experience is as fulfilling, meaningful and educational as possible, whilst also benefitting and respecting local communities being visited.
Below are guidelines which promote this philosophy and policy :
- Local communities are benefitting from Uthando visits. Guests must enjoy the tour knowing that their presence is welcomed, appreciated and valued by the local communities.
- Guides provide guests with information on local greetings and customs at the outset of the tour, in order that they may engage with locals in a respectful manner.
- Guides provide as much information as possible on local customs, culture and traditions, thus ensuring a comprehensive overview on the communities being visited.
- Donations are not be given during the tour.
- Guests wishing to make donations can obtain information in this regard from the guide at the conclusion of the tour.
- No sweets, clothes or any other items are to be given to children directly, but rather to the director of the relevant project.
- Uthando does not encourage children to develop a culture of begging, reliance or expecting handouts from tourists. Please refrain from picking children up.
- Guests are encouraged to be respectful when taking photographs. Taking photographs of people other than at the projects may be viewed as rude and inappropriate. Guides to make clear what is acceptable in respect of photography during the course of the tour. If there is any doubt regarding taking of photographs guides to be consulted during the tour.
- Guests are to remain at the project site unless accompanied by the guide. Walking off unaccompanied could pose a security risk to guests and Uthando.
- Guests to avoid excessive displays of wealth (eg expensive jewellery), and they are encouraged to wear casual, modest and understated clothing.
- Guests are to leave excessive amounts of money, credit cards, expensive mobile phones, passports and other valuable personal items at their hotel.
- If applicable, guests are to dispose of litter in a responsible manner, preferably taking it with them.