Case Study: African Ivory Route

Period: 2013 – 2017

R890,000 – African Ivory Route Micro Enterprise Development spend

R100,000 – Baleni Sacred Salt
TFPD Foundation assisted the local Tsonga women to market their salt, achieving double the price they did three years ago and gain international recognition through the Slow Food Foundation

R460,000 – Catering services
Local women provide catering services for guests at certain camps & for the Intrepid Travel groups in the village of Bokum. This is new and on-going business not previously available to these women

R165,000 – Taverns
Overlander groups include a tour of the village with dinner at the home of a local family and a visit to one or more local taverns creating new economic activity in the village and stimulating additional local business activity for the taverns

R50,000 – Laundry services – Various villages close to camps
Local women provide laundry services at many of the camps. Prior to TFPD management guests brought their own linen. This is a new business opportunity generated by TFPD’s changed approach

R115,000 – Maintenance and other services
Members of the local community are recruited to provide various services from camp repairs and maintenance, road maintenance, bush cutting etc.

Baleni Salt Sales:  Spend – R100,000

Using ancient skills, Tsonga women at Baleni harvest a pure salt which has been used over the millennia. In the 21st century, the easy availability of cheap, salt has made traditional hand-harvesting financially unattractive. In 2012 the TFPD Foundation started working with the local community to renew the value of the salt, and increase its market. Today, the salt is used by select Michelin chefs for specialty foods, and sold in attractive packaging made by local crafters. The benefit to the producers has come from increased volumes, and that the producer price has more than doubled, at the insistence of the TFPD Foundation. This is to increase the attractiveness of learning this ancient tradition for the next generation. From only 5 active salt harvesters in 2012, there are now over 30 women earning an income.  Nowhere is this value better demonstrated than Mama Maria, one of the most active salt harvesters, building an extension onto her home with the incremental income she is earning.

Catering & Tavern visits in Blouberg village:  Spend – R400,000

A request by Intrepid Overlanders for cultural interactions lead to the development of a tourism offering that benefits both the visitors and the village. Weekly visitors now meet at a tavern where they are entertained by local dancers. This activity has increased the local community engagement at the taverns, well in excess of the visitor contribution. Now on days, even when the visitors don’t arrive, the party still happens. After sampling the local brew, visitors then move on to a home where they have a traditional home-cooked meal. A rotating group of ladies offer this service. Mrs Mano, one of the group, is financing her daughter’s university education with her earnings.