Community Tourism is a fragile, utopian thing, that offers accessible, affordable tourism opportunities to people, allowing them get closer to a culture than commercial tourism could ever hope for.
For 5 years I’ve been hunting out the best community tourism projects in Africa - Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia.
I've found a small range of lodges, camps, hiking trails, ceremonial displays, medicinal tours, swamp walks and craft initiatives. The average price is €35 per day, which includes food, accommodation, guide and porter/donkey/transport. Ideally, up to 60% of the funds go directly to local development projects which are run directly by communities for the community – although often the percentage is a lot less than this.
Community Tourism in Africa
UGANDA - Community Tourism, Irish Times, 9th July 2011
"It's a friendly, affordable and a way to see some of the most beautiful places on earth. Community tourism is win-win, writes MANCHÁN MAGAN after a trip to Africa: THE TAXI drops you at the end of an umber-hued mud track. Ahead are the soaring interlocking spurs of the Rwenzori Mountains, the myth-shrouded Mountains of the Moon. All you can see are their massive blue bellies and shoulders soaring up into a veil of grey mist. They are called Mountains of the Moon because only at night do they reveal themselves, like great vampires baring themselves to the stars. Steam rises from the lush undergrowth that covers every inch of the valley in a rococo profusion of tropical verdancy . . .More
TANZANIA - Community Tourism, Irish Times, 19th Feb 2011"THE SERENGETI, the Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro. There you go, I’ve mentioned them. Now, can we move on and look at the real Tanzania beyond the tourist traps? I want to bring you to the highlands: the Usambara and Uluguru Mountains, to show you some examples of community tourism projects that offer affordable, ethical ways to have the holiday of a lifetime – ones that not only bring you places few people get to see, but that connect you to locals in a natural, enjoyable way, and benefit the most vulnerable communities . . ." More
James Jameson in the Congo, Irish Times, Oct 2009
"James Sligo was Henry Morton Stanley’s only Irish officer on his ill-fated expedition up the Congo River, the first to penetrate the heart of Africa, in 1887 . . ." More
Community Tourism, my interest in it, Irish Times, May 2009
"LAST MAY I found myself visiting a local community project in Zambia run by a safari lodge. Two open-topped safari jeeps full of tourists pulled up outside the community school to see the results of the funding provided by the guests and the lodge. It was impressive to see how the school had been able to employ extra teachers, add classes and buy equipment. We handed over the crayons, paints, books and balls . . ." More
Ghana - community tourism,safari and surf on a budget, Irish Times, March 2014
"I want to lay out some holiday options in Ghana, West Africa that are ideal for everyone, from young families to active retirees. They will cost about €45 a day for food, accommodation, transport and guid es. The hotels will be clean and smart, with air-conditioning where needed, and the best food in town. My only problem is that Ghana has four unmissable re gions and seeing them all in a fortnight would be a squeeze, so better to focus on three instead..." More
ETHIOPIA - Community Tourism, Irish Times, 11 Nov 2009
"Ethiopia’s highlanders live in a stunning basalt landscape of endless canyons and soaring volcanic peaks. It’s a destination that even family-holiday-averse teenagers will fall for. And an Irish Aid project means that staying here benefits locals directly, writes MANCHÁN MAGAN..... I MAY HAVE inadvertently unearthed the perfect holiday: affordable, unforgettable and in one of the most awesome, exotic and unexplored parts of the world. This is a trip that will enrich your life and that you will likely look back on from your deathbed with a smile . . . More