Welcome Back!

It has been 2 months since our last newsletter. How was your holiday?

Anyway, September is now knocking at the door, so back to school and back to business. Don’t feel too blue, we are offering you some green.

For one week in late October, Cape Town will become one of the greenest business cities on earth as the city joins the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

Hundreds of financers, investors, business leaders and property professionals from around the world and across Africa, joined by green groups, will gather at the Cape Town International Conference Centre from the 19th until the 23rd October for a series of events that will explore how a green approach to business can create jobs, protect the environment and build better, fairer communities with towns and cities that work.

Feel free to ask should you like some more info.

Being a supporter of it, we would like to direct your attention today to 5 running projects over Southern Africa that deserve to be highlighted.

So, this September, Think Green!

Sebastien Charrieras

Farm 215 is an excellent example of sustainable tourism and illustrates perfectly the new generation of eco-friendly accommodations in South Africa. Accredited by the Fair Trade Tourism association and winner of the Cape Fox Award 2007 for best management of land in the Western Cape they have rehabilitated an old farm to transform it into a pristine 800 hectares nature reserve hidden in the middle of the beautiful Cape Floral Kingdom.

Everything is done to preserve as much as possible the environment and limit the footprints left. The spacious Fynbos suites operate with solar power, waste and water recycling and bio degradable detergents. The delicious 3 course dinners are made with ingredients sourced in the local farms and organic products. The integrity of the natural ecosystem is protected; the water-ways are cleared from alien vegetation and re-forested with indigenous species to restore the original flow of the streams.

Farm 215 is a very good starting point for a horse trail ranging from 1 hour to a few days with African Horse Company whose horses gallop freely amongst the proteas and fynbos of the reserve.

Contact me for the detailed program.

In 2007, just over 9 million foreigners flew in to South Africa - an increase of 8.3% over 2006 and a massive step up from the 3.9 million visitors at the dawn of our democracy in 1994. With the next Football World Cup being hosted here in 2010, this figure looks certain to rise to over 10 million.

This is great news for our tourism industry. But it also should sound alarm bells for anyone concerned about the world we live in. One long-haul international flight adds a considerable amount to our individual carbon footprint.

My Tree In Africa offers you the opportunity to offset the environmental impact on our travel. For R 80 you can purchase a tree, which will then be planted in disadvantaged communities across the country by the organisation, Food and Trees for Africa.

And while planting one tree will not make your round trip carbon-neutral, it goes a long way towards offsetting your CO2 emissions and is the first important step towards responsible travel. By 2009, My Tree In Africa claims to distribute solar panels and solar stoves to these same communities.

In a country like ours, with our immense socio-economic challenges, it is vital that those of us who can make a difference, do so. Please ask your travel consultant how you can purchase a tree in Africa for only R80.00.

May you enjoy your visit to our beautiful country. And may you take away beautiful memories and leave behind only the smallest of footprints. Please visit www.trees.co.za to see the NGO responsible for planting these trees.