Phaphama Initiatives

‘TALK Tourism’ is a division of ‘Phaphama Initiatives’ and organises township tours and home stay immersions in Soweto and rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal. Learning about contemporary urban and rural African culture and learning a little of an African language is integral to every tour. TALK Tourism is part of a broader peace-building programme that aims to bring people together across geographical, social and linguistic barriers, and that aims to provide visitors with an authentic experience of South Africa today.

As a genuine community-based tourism initiative, we commit ourselves to contributing 60% of visitors’ fees to locals, while the remaining amount supports our other peace-building work in schools, communities and prisons. We are also committed to creating inspiring opportunities for indigenous communities in Africa to share their lives with people from different cultures, in ways that generate employment, uphold personal and cultural dignity, and are mutually enriching.

All Phaphama’s tours and immersions are tailor-made to suit the interests of our visitors. For information and quotes please contact Judy Connors or Lindi Tshabalala at the email link below.

We are able to offer a 10% discount to Tourism Concern Members

Phaphama Initiatives promotes an appreciation of the diversity that exists in South Africa through the learning of African languages and cultures during visits or immersions, enabling people to build constructive relationships with one another. This generates income for local communities and empowers them to recognise the value in their own cultures and languages.

For Phaphama, genuine community-based tourism means that local people are central to it, taking responsibility and benefitting from all aspects of the visit; setting it up, carrying it out, ensuring the safety and comfort of the guest and even following up with the traveller who has now become a friend. And in the process of generating income, communities that have traditionally been marginalized regain a sense of dignity and pride, while visitors go home with a new, enriched way of looking at life. 

We only work in previously disadvantaged areas of South Africa i.e townships and rural areas. 60% of visitors’ fees goes directly to locals, while the remaining amount supports our other peace-building work in schools and communities, also in disadvantaged areas i.e. our conflict transformation, gender reconciliation and youth mentorship work. Our local focus includes:

  • Local families provide accommodation and food for the guests staying in their homes.
  • Only traditional entertainment is provided.
  • Transport is sourced with local companies.
  • African language helpers/workshop facilitators/tour guides are contracted from within the local community. Further training in Phaphama’s other programmes is also offered to these employees for further self-development.
  • The Community Police Forum is contracted to ensure the safety of visitors to the community.
  • Food is bought from local supermarkets and street vendors.
  • Local dressmakers make traditional clothes for visitors on request.

Phaphama expects visitors to respect the physical environment in which they live no more than they would ask of a visitor to their own town: no littering or graffiti, respect the community’s and national laws, minimize waste, especially of water and electricity, and pollution etc. When living with a host family in a local community, they also visit some sites and organizations on foot, rather than by driving. Phaphama’s tourism experience is designed to enrich both the local communities and the visitors. Phaphama also works with a partner to promote cycle tours of the areas we work in. 



About the author

Leave a Reply