Open Africa is a social enterprise with a 17 year track record of socio-economic development under the patronage of Nelson Mandela. Our vision is to sustain livelihoods and enhance conservation across Africa by offering authentic, life-enriching journeys to all involved - communities, travellers, partners and the Earth.
Currently 60 routes have been developed in six countries in Africa, with 2,626 participating businesses which employ 30,640 people, each potentially influencing a further five family members. 80% of the results to date have been in South Africa where two-thirds of the beneficiaries are previously disadvantaged. For every job created in tourism there is scope for at least 1.2 more local jobs.
Open Africa is headed up by founder and Ashoka Fellow, Noel de Villiers. He describes the safari lodge partnership as follows:
“This is Open Africa’s first venture into using our track record and assets to develop a ‘commercial business’ in sync with the existing socio-economic development side, as Open Africa transforms into a self-sustaining social enterprise. To date we have been 100% dependent on donor partners, but will now start generating our own revenue, enabling us to greatly expand our reach and impact, for the benefit of Africa.”
“At Open Africa we talk about life enriching journeys. Everybody wins... In this case lodges gain reputational value, enhanced online profile and increased business through the Open Africa website and network. Open Africa and its cause benefits from commission on referred bookings, generating sustainable revenue to further its vision. The mother continent benefits as more people visit Africa and communities and travellers connect – travellers sustain rural communities’ livelihoods, and communities enrich the lives of the travellers. Nature is conserved in the process.”