Tourism in South Africa Essay

Ethno Tourism in South Africa     

There are different types of tourism. One of the very popular and interesting tourism types in South Africa is ethno tourism. It is a specialized type of tourism, that can be described as an excursion, the main focus of which is to explore the human communities and their traditions rather than nature. Ethno tourism in South Africa not only gives the tourists the opportunity to see the life of ethnic groups, but also to participate in their everyday activities in order to give the tourists a better understanding of the people who belong to these ethnic groups.

South Africa attracts tourists from all over the world by its unique ethnical places and communities. Ethno tourism includes different types of touristic visits to South Africa. Safari tour is the type of ethno tourism, because during this tour tourists have the opportunity to see the traditions and behaviour of a variety of African communities. First tourists came on a Safari tour in 1970s, and since then the tours have been very successful. These tours are so popular because they give the tourist an opportunity to witness the cultural life of local people.

South Africa is a popular country among tourists. Around 900 000 tourists arrive to South Africa per month. Different kinds of tourism are popular in South Africa, such as traditional tourism, eco-tourism, sports tourism, ethno tourism, and business tourism. Ethno tourism is one of the most interesting kinds of tourism that can be experienced in South Africa. Ethno tourism is related to eco-tourism, but it is different.

While eco-tourism concentrates on the exploration of the natural places of the world, ethno tourism is the kind of tourism through which a person can witness people who live in specific communities without many things that we think are the most important things in the world. These people live a life our ancestors used to live a thousand years ago. There is no signs of modern civilization in their villages. Each of these communities I unique and cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the world. An ethno tourist is brought to the village of an ethnic group. This village is usually situated in the area that is not developed, the roads that lead to the village are rough, it is really hard to get there. Ethno tourism gives a person a chance to communicate with people from the ethnic groups and understand that life can be simple but it can still be rewarding and people can be happy living without signs of modern civilization.

Ethno tourism in a very exciting experience. However, it can be very dangerous. There are several issues regarding the ethno tourism, that are under discussion nowadays. Some of the issues are: there is a possibility, that a tourist visitor can bring a virus or bacteria that is new to the community, and there is a possibility that the community will not be able to fight this virus off, thus the community might be destroyed because of the ethno tourism. Ethno tourism can also result in the destruction of the community because even something so simple as introduction of the new words in the community can have damaging results on the life of the community and its lifestyle.

Ethno tourism is popular in many countries around the world. In the South Africa it so popular, because despite the fact that big South African cities are filled with modern buildings, there are still so many different native huts that can be seen in the small communities and villages.

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The main attraction of South Africa to ethno tourists is the fact that here some people are still living in their special and original communities and are guided by their unique traditions. In South Africa ethnic groups are still living in the type of community they used to live years ago. South Africa appears to be so interesting for travellers, because it has so many cultures combined in one country. The black population of Africa is divided into four smaller groups, they are: Venda, Shangaan-Tsonga, Sotho, and Nguni.

Touristic trips to Shangaan-Tsongs villages are very popular among tourists because the ethnic group has a very interesting history. One of the villages can be found near the Kruger National Park. Other very famous villages can be found near the Drakensberg Mountains. Some villages can also be found in the Northern Province. One Shangaan Cultural Village is situated between the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon. The tour gives a unique opportunity to experience a traditional way of life of local people of the village. The village even has an interesting festival Chief’s Kraal Evening Festival. It gives opportunity to dance, eat local food, and listen to the amusing stories about the life of the people of Shangana.

The ethno tour gives ordinary tourists and extraordinary opportunity to experience the unique activities and beliefs of the ethnic groups of South Africa. Some of the interesting facts that tourists can learn about people during the ethno tourism in South Africa is that people of the village are good fishermen, they use fishing as a sport and as a source of the food gathering. They are true warriors at heart, they can protect the one they love. These people are fierce and proud of themselves and their roots and background. The village people believe in a Supreme Being. However, they also believe in a power of ancestors. These people have sacred burial grounds that mean a lot to them. They have their own religious beliefs that are absolutely unique. Local people have an interesting art that can be seen only in South Africa. Their social system can be characterized as based on the community, and oriented on peace.

South Africa has different ethnic groups like Shangana and other. Ethno tourism is a way for the authorities to popularize goodwill. Ethno tourism can help achieve good relationships among the races found in South Africa.

The most thriving place for ethno tourism in South Africa is Blouberg in Limpopo Province. The ethnic communities are very well protected here from all the issues regarding ethno tourism. Tourists are often brought into the community, but communities continue to thrive because they are protected by the authorities. There are approximately a hundred villages, which are situated closely to each other near the Blouberg Mountains. The ethnic group un the Limpopo consist of Bahananwa, Batolkwa, and Vha Vhenda minority groups. These groups live in Limpopo since 19th century. The events of civilization had absolutely no impact on these minority groups, because these people value their lifestyle and traditions above everything else. These people care for their community, environment, and they have a very interesting history which ethno tourists are encouraged to hear during the communication with the community members.

Ethnic groups are seen as the valuable part of the society, and as the attraction for tourists from all over the world. During the ethno tour to this community, one can learn that people can feel happiness, and live a full life without money. Tourists can experience activities that serve as the source of strength for the community members, such as rock climbing, neighbourly concern, and agriculture. It is a unique experience that can only be achieved through the ethno tourism, and this experience will have a lasting positive effect on your life.

The tourism industry in South Africa is constantly growing. Cultural tourism experienced the biggest growth among other sectors of tourism industry (n. a. 2003). However, tourism industry is a sensitive business, because it depends on a lot of factors, and can be influenced by different forces. This industry is important for South Africa, because it makes important contributions, such as employment, strengthening the cultural values, and bringing cultural and national boundaries. It also promotes communities and helps them survive.

To fully enjoy the ethno tourism in South Africa one must not only travel around the country to see the interesting sights, but also one must learn some interesting facts about the people from the ethnic groups that live in the places the tourist visits.

To sum up, ethno tourism in South Africa is an absolutely unique adventure. It is an all-in travel that combines different experiences and cannot be compared to anything else. A tourist is not only able to see the ethnic groups in their village, but one is also given an opportunity to interact with the local people and to participate in their everyday activities. This helps the tourist to better understand the ethnic group members and to learn more about them. Thus, ethno tourism is the most popular type of cultural tourism in South Africa.

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