This month sees the beginning of a partnership between Masicorp and AWOL Tours, who operate cycling tours of Masiphumelele in association with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN). The relationship will see both organisations working together in the long-term to identify and support specific projects in the township. The AWOL tour currently visits educational sites such as the library and a pre-school as well as taking in wider aspects of community life, such as a visit to a traditional healer. The tour has proved to be very successful with international tourists and has received some excellent Tripadvisor reviews.
AWOL have generously agreed to donate R50 per paying guest on each of their tours, which will be used to support early childhood development projects in the community. This is in line with the company’s position as a leader in responsible tourism in South Africa. They have previously been awarded Fair Trade in Tourism status due to their work with local communities and their preference for training and employing local staff.
Earlier this year several of the Masicorp team joined AWOL bicycle guide, Zwai, to experience the tour. Zwai lives in Masiphumelele and has worked for AWOL for many years. It was immediately apparent that there are many synergies between what Masicorp and AWOL tours are doing in terms of community upliftment and in particular supporting early childhood development. The tours also often start or finish with a visit to Nonny’s Bakery for coffee and so support another Masicorp project. For a review of the visit by the Masicorp team please click HERE.
Township tourism does not always get a good press but the sensitive approach taken by AWOL tours is to be commended and we are delighted to be in partnership with such a respected tour operator. We look forward to a long working relationship and would absolutely recommend the tour to all visitors to the area, local or international.