Developing CraftArt businesses in the Makuleke Community

The Makuleke community is in the Pafuri region, between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern section of the Kruger National Park. This is a poor area with limited economic potential beyond tourism, reflected in high unemployment rates and limited enterprise opportunity.

Through a partnership between the Makuleke community and Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge, and with matched funding provided by the Tourism Conservation Fund, the partnership supports 15 artisans to establish and run a commercial CraftArt business equipped to produce and sell high quality products in high value craft outlets in lodges and retailers across the wildlife-tourism economy.

They are now also servicing the refurbishment needs of these lodges.

Traditional African Homestays Initiative

TAHS-SA is a specialist provider of training to rural communities which have the potential to open their homes to tourists and provide authentic tourism and related cultural experiences.

Through a participatory process, partner communities learn over time and through their own experiences and initiatives, to adapt their indigenous knowledge and cultural practices to develop unique tourism products – from village homestays to authentic experiences.

This initiative, a partnership between TAHS-SA, Abang Africa Travel and the Tourism Conservation Fund, contributes to training and orienting homestay hosts, community guides, activity hosts, artists and the broader community.

Ginindsa Beauty College & Spa

This enterprise was established by a village entrepreneur to resolve the problem of inadequately trained and uncertified local spa/beauty therapists certified to work in the lodge industry, and to overcome the perennial shortage of skilled spa therapists across the industry.

Funding from the Tourism Conservation Fund and Kapama Game Reserve is being used to capitalise a revolving bursary fund which will finance the training and certification of local recruits and will facilitate their placement in lodges across the area.

This overcomes the financing and skill barriers that have historically prevented local villagers from accessing these lucrative employment opportunities in the lodge economy.

Lowveld Refrigerated Transport

The initiative overcomes a major constraint which inhibits the establishment and growth of supplies from a variety of local suppliers in the Nkuhlu community adjoining the southern KNP and three lodges operating in and around the KNP.

In partnership with Rhino Walking Safaris and the More Group, TCF has helped finance the purchase of a bakkie and trailer (and, in time, a refrigerated trailer), along with the necessary business development support by a trusted local villager to establish a formal transport operation. This will help diversify the lodges’ supply chain to include several small rural suppliers, thus catalysing a market for a variety of supplies and, in time, services for the numerous small farmers other entrepreneurs who have been historically been excluded from the lodge market due, in part, to the high cost of transport.

Mr Alfred Sambo: Agricultural Development

The purpose of this initiative is to ignite dormant potential in currently under-utilised land, owned by local farmers along the Sabie River.

Through a mentorship programme, infrastructure support and a connection to the viable market of the surrounding lodges, TCF, in partnership with Londolozi Game Reserve, is enabling one farmer to consistently supply quality produce on 1 hectare of his land.

This will establish the basis for a much bigger linkage programme that will be scaled across the local farming community. The businesses thus created are integrally linked to the ongoing viability of the park, creating the basis for a shared experience of the value generated by the park and therefore a shared commitment to its preservation.