BUILDING CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Uthando (Love) South Africa is an award-winning Fair Trade in Tourism certified non-profit organization creating a unique link between tourism and community development projects. Our tours offer meaningful, authentic, engaging, respectful visits to a broad range of innovative and inspiring community projects. All the while, bringing enormous benefits to the local communities we support.

During our non-voyeuristic project visits, we shine a light on the remarkable and courageous community activists driving social change in their communities. Our tours reflect a heartfelt desire to showcase the best of South Africa, the positive, impactful, and very often untold stories of triumph over adversity.

The tours take place in the expansive townships or informal settlements located in the eastern part of the city known as the Cape Flats. Our expert guides provide an in-depth overview of the history of South Africa and particularly the role that apartheid and institutionalized discrimination and inequality played in creating these communities. Once in the townships, the guide will discuss in detail the challenges confronting the locals concerning healthcare, education, social, political, and economic challenges.

The tours run as daily scheduled tours or private tours for groups of any size. On any given trip, we visit three or four diverse community projects to learn about their work. 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 booking is subject to availability. Our tours run Monday to Friday, generally in the morning.

Cost: Please contact Uthando regarding updated prices.

Security: The townships are as safe as anywhere else in South Africa. The country does, unfortunately, experience high crime levels; be vigilant and exercise caution. Be savvy and leave any unnecessary valuables like expensive jewelry, wallets with credit cards, expensive mobile phones, etc. in the hotel. Indeed, you can bring some money for any purchases of handmade products in the township. The safety and security of our guests are of paramount importance to us.
Uthando has been certified by Fair Trade in Tourism since 2011, meaning that our tours are profoundly respectful and sensitive to how we engage local communities. Please read below our Guest Code of Conduct.

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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 that the guest experience is as fulfilling, meaningful, and educational as possible, while also respecting local communities we visit.

Below are guidelines which promote this philosophy and policy:

  • Local communities are benefiting 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, so that they may engage with locals respectfully.
  • Guides give as much information as possible on local customs, culture, and traditions, thus ensuring a comprehensive overview of the communities visited.
  • Donations are not allowed during the tour.
  • Guests wishing to make donations can obtain information in this regard from the guide after 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 deve