Introducing Khoisan Salt to our South Africa Tour

At the same time as guaranteeing our next departure to South Africa we are delighted to announce a new fair trade group to the Meet the People experience.

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Khoisan Salt are behind the delicious flakes of Sea Salt in Traidcraft’s Eat Your Hat Milk Chocolate and will be welcoming us for a behind the scenes insight into their salt harvesting in October.

Traidcraft Sea SAlt Chocolate

With the welfare and development of employees at the core of their values, Khoisan employs people exclusively from the local community and we’ll learn how fair trade initiatives help them to support their team.

Khoisan

The enthusiastic team will be introducing us to the techniques they use in hand-harvesting salt crystals to produce natural, unrefined sea salt.

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We can appreciate the significance of working in harmony with the environment as we later visit the nearby West Coast National Park, home to around 250 species of birds and where we hope to spot zebra alongside the ostrich, flamingoes and penguins.

Khoisan Flamingoes

Following visits to farmers on the edge of the Kalahari and the unique ecosystems of the highveld, this is a great opportunity to understand the importance of fair trade in a coastal region before we head on to the lush vineyards of the Western Cape.

Tommy and Poppie

South Africa is a big and truly beautiful country with a unique history. Visits to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope let us appreciate some of the incredible natural beauty whilst meeting fair trade producers, learning from development projects in Cape Town and taking a trip to Robben Island, help us to better understand life in this complex country.

Table Mountain and Cape Town, South Africa

Would you like to join us in South Africa? There are still 6 places available on this year’s tour and details of our tour in 2020 are available online. For more information visit www.meetthepeopletours.co.uk/SouthAfrica

To receive a detailed day by day itinerary or for up to date availability contact Hannah or Lizzie on info@skedaddle.com or by phone at 0191 2651110 

Carrie meets fair trade Swaziland

In June, Carrie from the Marketing Team at Traidcraft joined the Meet the People tour to Swaziland (now Eswatini). Often described as Africa-in-a-nutshell, Swaziland not only boasts incredible wildlife and spectacular scenery but also a thriving network of fair-trade producers. Carrie observed this phenomenal culture for herself and here she describes her experience meeting the people behind the traditional handicrafts of this tiny African kingdom.

‘Creative Swaziland. One of the smallest countries in the southern hemisphere but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in experiences.’ This was the description I read before the trip. “Sure, they all say that. Right?”

Swaziland

The experiences began on day one when we crossed the border from Johannesburg into Swaziland. The flat landscape immediately grew into mountainous valleys with rural charm. Every winding turn revealed more breath-taking views than the last and on our first night we were soothed to sleep by the sound of Phophonyane’s gushing waterfalls. Our accommodation throughout the trip was unique and diverse – we resided in comfortable tents, beehive huts and huts with no walls! Each had their own extraordinary appeal. We stayed inside safari parks amongst animals, watched warthogs warm by the fire, met rhinos, ate authentic food, star gazed and watched traditional dancing. One day-trip lead us to a rural village where we learned some conversational phrases to chat to the locals and were invited to listen to great stories, inside our guide’s homestead, about the culture of Swaziland.

RhinoThe unforgettable experiences were never ending, but the real purpose of my visit to Swaziland was to learn the stories behind the products and get a better understanding about fair trade and its effects in developing countries. It was incredible to see some of the products being made on some of our visits. We encountered great quality and imagination, exceptional skills, ingenuity, courage and determination.

IMG_0988 2On Day 3, the visit to Tintsaba was inspirational. To see the Sisal plant being stripped, washed, spun, dyed and woven into beautiful jewellery and homeware was fascinating. Over 800 women work for Tintsaba, often from their own homes whilst caring for their families. We learned how mohair is brushed, rolled and spun into yarn to make gorgeous fabrics at Coral Stephens; products that will last a lifetime and amazing skills that are being taught to younger generations.

Gone RuralOn Day 5 we visited Ngwenya Glass, who are renowned for their sustainable credentials. They considered every aspect of their business and reused or recycled everything they could. We met Black Mamba’s partner group, Guba, who teach permaculture and sustainable farming in village communities. All of the herbs and spices that are used in the sauces are grown by graduates of the Guba training courses. On Day 9 we met Gone Rural, who provide work to hundreds of women in the surrounding areas. They drive to and from each community collecting and swapping raw grass for dyed grass, for women to then weave into homewares for a fair price.

Guba

“It’s fascinating to see the incredible products made in Swaziland. The producers are so inventive, intuitive and efficient with the resources they have. I feel privileged to have met them. Swaziland, I hope to see you again.”

Carrie, Senior Graphic Designer at Traidcraft

If you’re interested in experiencing Creative Swaziland for yourself click here for more information or please call our office on 0191 265 1110 or email hannah@skedaddle.com

Phophonyane