Pakamisa Lodge is the latest business to join the family of Fair Trade Tourism – certified businesses.
Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) is an NGO that operates the world’s first and still only Fair Trade Tourism certification programme. The NGO’s certification programme, which is outsourced to FLO-Cert, is based on adherence to specific criteria including fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.
FTT encourages and monitors fair and responsible practices in tourism establishments and activities. Its purpose is to create opportunities for business owners and employees of tourism businesses in developing countries to enter and trade in markets governed by fair practice and transparency. Added to this, it aims to afford tourists travelling to developing countries the opportunity to travel responsibly and engage with the communities in which they travel.
Pakamisa means “to lift up” in Zulu and embodies the highest standards of luxury, comfort and relaxation.
Pakamisa Lodge demonstrates sustainable and responsible tourism practices through maintaining the pristine bushveld. This is Pakamisa Lodge’s primary focus and includes the following:
- Alien Vegetation Eradication
The greatest environmental threat to the habitat is the Lantana Camara invasion, an alien shrub introduced from South America in the 1800’s from the settlers. Pakamisa Lodge has invested an enormous amount of money and manpower in the ongoing removal of this plant and the results have been successful. Locals are employed to cut and poison several hectares of infestation. This project provides much needed work and income for local communities.
- Expanding and restoring natural habitat, transforming overgrazed land into fertile grazing areas for wildlife.
- Protection of wildlife, includingrare and protected animals such as klipspringer.
Pakamisa Lodge also follows the following ecotourism principles:
- Interaction between guests, staff and professional mentors,through which the transference of skills and knowledge is imparted.
- Previously disadvantaged communities are being exposed to eco-tourism practices and also gaining financial rewards therefrom.
Pakamisa Lodge is situated in its own, malaria-free private Game Reserve, amidst pristine African wilderness, perched high on the slopes of Pakamisa mountain and overlooking the rolling hills of Zululand in Kwazulu Natal.
Kathy Bergs, General Manager of FTT said, “The inclusion of Pakamisa Lodge into the Fair Trade Tourism family furthers our growth into KZN and provides a lovely geographic spread into the northeastern part of the province, particularly for travelers en route to Swaziland or the southern Kruger National Park. We are very excited to announce their FTT-certification”.