Open Africa
Open Africa

Our Impact

Richtersveld Route

Encapsulated by mountains, rivers and desert, the Richtersveld holds some of the country's greatest natural riches and truly indigenous cultures and is also home to some of South Africa's poorest communities.

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Mothers of Creation Route

Launched in 2005, the Mothers of Creation Route empowered 11 previously disadvantaged communities, particularly women, who have turned their land into alternative tourism services and products.

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Emerging enterprise mentorship programme

Rural entrepreneurs lack access to business mentorship, yet this has been proven an effective tool to grow small businesses. Open Africa launched a mentorship programme that is showing significant impact on the participating enterprises in six months.

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Youth development internship programme

Due to the high youth unemployment rate in rural areas of Africa, Open Africa launched an internship programme for these youth to gain hands-on experience and learn skills from established tourism-based businesses.

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Barbara Raats - A Kalahari success story

A few years ago Barbara Raats developed an idea to build grass huts (Bushman experience) and offer homestays to tourists. Her idea received a massive boost when Open Africa launched a programme along the Kalahari Red Dune Route in 2013.

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Business is cooking in Port Nolloth

Emma Seas began baking “roosterkoek” (traditional grilled bread) in 2005 to fund her daughter’s education. It's been an uphill battle for her to learn how to run a business but after 10 years she's become a household name for visitors to Port Nolloth.

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Youth development project brings energy to routes

Some rural areas in South Africa report unemployment rates as high as 70% and it is particularly serious among rural youth. There is a growing trend among these youth to leave for bigger cities in the hope of finding employment there. In 2013 a youth internship programme was piloted to address this issue.

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Kalahari communities benefit from five new packaged itineraries

Local entrepreneurs will derive benefit from five new packaged travel itineraries that have been developed by tourism businesses and interns along the Kalahari Red Dune Route in the Northern Cape. This was part of an enterprise development project, which aimed to develop entrepreneurship skills for youth and rural enterprises.

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Taking down barriers between government and the private sector

Open Africa held three networking sessions with stakeholders from four routes in the Northern Cape in 2015. Representatives from local and district municipalities, the province and national government were in attendance. With all spheres of government and the private sector under one roof, they came together to listen to each other and jointly develop plans for the future of tourism in the province.

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Inspiring Participation from the Broader Tourism Industry

In October 2015, Open Africa appointed nine Route Mentors as part of a programme funded by the European Union Delegation to South Africa. The Mentors are based in various geographic locations across South Africa, and will provide the necessary support and mentorship to get the route management structures working more effectively until they become sustainable.

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Staff Mavunda: A young woman empowered through an innovative tourism internship programme

When the opportunity to be placed as an intern along the Rixile Culture to Kruger Route presented itself, Staff jumped at it and has loved every minute of it. She’s gained valuable hands-on knowledge of tourism-based businesses and, most importantly, she’s noticeably grown in confidence and feels comfortable speaking in public.

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