South Africa Tourism Awards Logo

South Africa Tourism Awards

Type: Tour operator & agents
Category: Eco & Sustainable

Motivation for award: There is a distinct tendency with attractions and tour operators/DMC’s to talk about sustainable tourism, but very few go beyond talking the talk and actually walk the walk. We believe that we are one of the very few operators who realise that, in order to be truly sustainable, you have to cover all facets of sustainability: Planet (through ecotourism), People (both through community tourism as well as the way we treat our staff) and Profit (making sure that local communities and entrepreneurs profit as much as possible from tourism, and ensuring that we actively participate in training and funding of local initiatives in order to ensure this). We want to act as an example for other tour operators and entrepreneurs and stimulate them to take the step from talking to walking. Winning the South African Tourism Award would both validate our position and philosophy, as well as act as a stimulant for other operators to take the step towards true sustainable tourism. And this is necessary: without sustainability, we are destroying our own future. No more lions and rhino’s, more impoverished communities that do not profit from tourism as well as pollution through general mass tourism are a certain way to losing our tourism potential as a country. Based on market research, there is more than enough potential for an experience, not price, orientated direct selling organisation in the market. To do so four things are necessary: 1. Build a client, not product, orientated website, specifically made for a phone/tablet. Fill this with special experiences, responsible experiences, that inspire. Don’t be complete, be inspiring. 2. Develop and implement maximal use of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and social media marketing. In combination these will have to lead clients to our website. 3. Speed of reaction, attractive presentation and personal contact are key to clients booking. 4. AND personal joy in our work is absolute condition to succeed! Thus, Tales from Africa Travel was born and launched in 2020. Our mission: Tales from Africa Travel will successfully create a direct selling site with special, sustainable and experience-oriented tours in southern Africa. Clients will always have to feel that they are dealing with a person and not with a company. Each tour will be tailor-made to each client’s wishes. Engaging with clients before, during and after the tour is a focus point. Where these experiences do not exist, we will participate in developing them. The vision of the company is: You are our client. You dreamt of wild and exotic Tales from Africa, are passionate about travel and want to experience the REAL Africa in a such a way that your visit benefits the locals and the nature. We love making sure that YOU get to experience in an enriching way the local people, communities, and the nature of southern Africa! Since there are many so-called sustainable working tour operators, but most of these are not 100% committed to sustainability, there is both the need for, and the opportunity of success therein, for a new company to fill this market niche. For the three areas of sustainability this is implemented in the following ways. PLANET: All carbon emissions on the tour, so also for accommodations, activities and meals, are minimised where possible and 100% compensated. Compensation is done by planting trees in South Africa through the Trees for Tourism Program, to ensure that compensation happens where the emissions happen – in a clear, transparent and accountable way. We also encourage clients to book safari’s in a way that benefits the wildlife and nature and minimises the impact on the environment, both in a passive and and in a more active way. Passively: by combining regular safaris with walking safaris, we reduce carbon emissions on tour and they have less impact on the environment than vehicles do. Where electric vehicles are introduced, we will give preference to those. Actively: we encourage clients to include one of the conservation safari programs in their itinerary, or to join and sponsor a rhino- or other wildlife conservation experience. By involving clients in this, they become advocates for wildlife protection in their own communities. PEOPLE: The company has a strong aim towards traditionally disadvantaged communities and developing community experiences within these communities to generate jobs and income through tourism. Community tourism aimed at experiences is in its infancy, so this will need a lot of investment in time and training from the company. For staff the company aims to employ community members who will be trained by the company and whose workspace will not be in a centralised office, but in the community from where they come. This will result in more job creation as well as skills development within these communities. PROFIT: Tales from Africa Travel’s goals are to create a yearly turnover of 30,000,000 ZAR within 5 years’ time and through direct employment an income for 15 to 25 South African staff. Through the booking of clients in community experiences, accommodations, restaurants and excursion providers who are owned by locals, a partial or indirect income in communities and ecotourism for hundreds of local staff will also be realised – without evading tax obligations or syphoning off money outside the country. This is to ensure that all incoming funds will eventually return into the economy of the country where the clients travel. The owners and board members of Tales from Africa Travel have a huge pedigree in sustainable tourism. They have worked at the first Travelife certified tour operator in Africa, and one of the first Fair Trade Tourism approved tour operators. Tales from Africa Travel is 100% BEE. Since knowledge is power, to ensure its success on a worldwide market, Tales from Africa Travel has entered into a strategic partnership with Live2Roam travel from Holland, which will act as consulting agency for market development, financial development, marketing and general knowledge of the sustainable travel and of the overseas market. Live2Roam will not acquire a share in Tales from Africa Travel, neither now or in the future, so it’s a genuine partnership for the good of both companies. All of the above can be concentrated into Tales from Africa’s motto: Real People, Real Experiences, Real Sustainable.

Region: Western Cape / All of South Africa

Tales from Africa Travel

Real sustainable experiences

“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Nelson Mandela

This quote by Nelson Mandela challenged us to realize our dream of founding a truly sustainable and responsible tour operator. We believe that tourism should leave more than footprints, should help nature, should help the people who live there. That tourism should inspire, teach and let visitors experience what Africa is really like. Not touristic Africa, but the real undiscovered continent that is Africa.

Our Africa is the Africa of endless horizons, stunning landscapes and the richest wildlife ecosystems on Earth. It’s where we dream of the last frontier, of unique places and remote regions where only a lucky few dare to tread. We believe that luxury is not only found in your lodge but especially through our exclusive, bespoke experiences.

It is also the Africa of wildly different people, people who will receive you with open arms in their homes, their villages and towns and who will share their lifestyle with you. It’s the Africa where tourists help maintain the environment, help locals grow, develop, and are welcomed as honoured guests, not as money-machines. It’s the Africa where your visit has a positive impact on the environment and helps maintain it for future generations.

We are a Travelife Partner, are Fair Trade Tourism Approved, using Responsible providers, offering Zero Carbon Travel and where respect for wildlife is paramount. Travelling with Tales from Africa Travel is real sustainable tourism, not token sustainability, or greenwash, but by offering you bespoke off-the-beaten-track experiences. We will show you that travelling sustainably leads to more meaningful experiences which make a real difference in these communities and ecosystems.

The facts about the Tales:
• Over 60 combined years’ experience in sustainable tourism
• 100% BBEE and 50% female ownership and management
• Travelife Partner and Fair Trade Tourism Approved accreditation per 1 September 2020
• All staff are trained in Travelife standards and TheCode (against children in sex-tourism) practices.
• We are signee of the Blood Lion’s pledge,, and the SATSA animal interaction charter. See website:
• Proven personal participation in developing community experiences in Makushu, Mashishimale, Somkhanda and Goedverwacht.
• We minimalize Carbon emissions in our office practices through (a.o.) a working-from-home policy and full Carbon-offsetting of our own full footprint.
• We believe in Fair Trade business practices, a fair business model for all involved – in other words, rates that work for both of us. Not low budget, but sustainable value for money.
• Primary coverage of South Africa; secondary Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda, eSwatini and Lesotho. Tanzania and Madagascar are in the pipeline
• Solo travel, couples, families and small groups for all ages and genders.

What will you as a traveller get?
• Unique itineraries that combine highlights with off-the-beaten track experiences, combining:
o Ecotourism
o community tourism
o walking tours
o cycling tours
o train tours
o wellness tours
o 4×4 rooftop-tent camper tours
o motorbike tours
o other adventure activities
• mostly 4- and 5-star, small guesthouses, lodges, tented camps and hotels, where possible Fair Trade Tourism or similar certified.
• Real community experiences by real local people – no so-called cultural villages.
• Choice in any style of travel: self-drive, chauffeur-driven, fully guided, fly-in safari’s and/or fully catered fly-camps.
• Speed: first answer and, if possible, first quote within one working day.
• Tailor-made quotes with extensive description of itinerary, accommodations and activities through WETU.
• Personal contact: one dedicated person for all your requests and handling of the tour from beginning to end.
• Personalized full service with lots of surprises along the way – f.i. a bushbraai (bbq), extra tour, behind the scenes tour etc.
• Direct bookers receive a branded welcome-gift full of sustainable goodies.
• Travel on a zero-carbon base: all activities, overnights, transport etc. will be fully carbon off-set through a reforestation project in South Africa.
• 24/7 emergency service.
• Fully vaccinated staff and full COVID-19 Industry Protocols compliance as per WTTC Safe Travel guidelines.

So, let us share the magic, the wonder that is Africa, let us share our Tales from Africa with you. Through sustainable, exciting and well-organized experiences that are guaranteed to give your travellers memories of a lifetime. As Madiba, Nelson Mandela, said: “A good heart and a good head are a formidable combination”.

Vote and request your R1000 travel voucher

* The system only allows you to vote once for an entry. You may however comment multiple times per entry. We thank your playing your part and contributing to the South Africa Tourism Awards though voting and submitting comments.

* As a thank you we will send you a R1000 travel voucher to enjoy. We  ask you to share these awards with your friends and request them to vote too. By voting they too will receive a R1000 travel voucher. 


Marian Visser – 02.04.2022
Just fine people with nice and onest travels

Michael English – 21.02.2022
Tales from Africa is truly committed to sustainable tourism which gives back to local communities.

Thea Schukken – 20.02.2022
We visited unique and beautiful destinations. Highly recommended!

Ludolph Wentholt – 20.02.2022
Very reliable organization with dedicated staff and customer made travel arrangements

Bob Settels – 20.02.2022
Gewoon de beste!

Cynthia Werkman – 20.02.2022
ze maken voor jou de mooiste en duurzame reizen of je nu van cultuur of natuur houdt

Aldona Minderop – 20.02.2022
Great operator with very special tours!

Frits Wentholt – 20.02.2022
It’s just great!

Berna van Rooijen – 20.02.2022
Wow! They do go the extra mile! Connecting you with the real side of southern Africa. Culture and nature! Definitely worth while to check out id you want to do your travel differently and with an impact.

Henko Wentholt – 19.02.2022
The best persons to talk to if you are looking for bespoke sustainable tourism, whether ecotourism, community tourism or conservation safaris!

Harry Miller – 17.02.2022
I have never used this service but I absolutely love the sustainability aspects. Next time I am looking for a trip I will call you

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