The winners of the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2019 have been announced and Cape West Coast based tourism destination !Khwa ttu has taken the title in the Best Responsible Cultural or Heritage Experience category.
Announced at World Travel Market Africa 2019, the African Responsible Tourism Awards celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism on the African continent – those who are making a positive impact on local cultures, communities and biodiversity. Finalists and winners of this prestigious award have a passion that extends far beyond the commercial – but also focuses on the well-being of local people and communities and the longevity of their environments.
The !Khwa ttu San Cultural & Education Centre situated an hour from Cape Town’s CBD on the West Coast’s R27 main route, is a non-profit tourist destination which celebrates the San culture and spirit – both the past and present – by educating the general public about the world of the San, providing training to the San, restoring and protecting the cultural heritage of the San, and promoting the long-term financial sustainability of San development in Southern Africa.
In 1998, the Working Group for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) agreed that the San needed assistance in training their own people to deal with tourism and how to showcase the San culture to the world. In 1999 the farm land was purchased to create this dream. The original buildings on the farm were converted and the agricultural land was restored into a nature reserve.
Fast forward 20 years and !Khwa ttu – meaning ‘water hole’ in San – is open to the public and houses a world-unique and state-of-the-art San Heritage Centre with interactive displays and presentations that depict the lives of the San. San guides tell the unfiltered stories of their people – coupled with audio and film to really bring the stories to life and immerse visitors in the ways of the San. Live talks and interactive demonstrations are also offered.
The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre is a great deal more than a collection of artefacts and historical photos. It’s a pioneering initiative that embraces the principle of community curation, led by a team of academics and San consultants from across Southern Africa – it is an important tool in preserving the San history, culture and stories.
In addition to the San Heritage Centre, visitors to !Khwa ttu can expect a restaurant, art gallery, gift shop, Dream Museum, San guided nature walks, mountain bike trails, hikes, trail runs, and accommodation.
“I am extremely proud to have accepted this Gold Award on behalf of !Khwa ttu,” says Michael Daiber, General Manager of !Khwa ttu. “All nominees, finalists and winners should be proud to be part of the Responsible Tourism Awards as it means they have been recognised as leaders in increasing positive economic, social and environmental impacts and have also reduced negatives ones.”
!Khwa ttu is only 70km from Cape Town located on the West Coast Way Culture Route and is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. For more information and online bookings visit https://www.khwattu.org/ Make a booking by calling 022 492 2998 and follow !Khwa ttu on social media on twitter, Facebook and Instagram @KhwattuSan.
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. Explore a unique collection of 101 road trip stops along themed routes by planning a self-drive trip or guided tour for a nature and adventure-filled Cape West Coast vacation. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route, the West Coast Way Wild Route – as well as the newly launched Cape Way Route – all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
For more information on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.