Eco Tourism

SWC supports a number of community based eco-tourism development initiatives along the Wild Coast. This includes training hiking guides, establishing guided hikes, helping local people set up community based 'homestays' and networking with other eco-tourism development organisations to promote responsible eco-tourism.

During the Simbhademe programme local people defined the word 'development' for themselves and identified the type of 'development' that they desire. Their vision of their homeland is one of pristine natural beauty with soundly functioning eco-systems contributing to their well-being through community-based eco-tourism with a web of supporting livelihoods projects.

During a European Union tourism grant programme (2000 - 2004) along the extent of the Wild Coast, the Amadiba area (the area of the 6 participating Simbhademe villages) was one of the most successful nodes. This programme disintegrated for a number of reasons some being:

  • top-down imposition
  • interference from those promoting mining in the area
  • bad choice of leaders
  • embezzlement of funds by a gambling addict
Nevertheless the people of the area have a direct experience of eco-tourism and the manner in which it affects the area. They choose to try again having learned from the past.