SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CitizenWire) — For those who seek meaning, connection, and want to make a difference as they travel, a San Francisco-based cultural and philanthropic tour company offers a unique Zulu “empowerment” volunteer tour into KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in September of 2010. This three-week trip, offered by The Cultural Explorer, gives volunteer travelers the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant Zulu culture while participating in a variety of service-oriented projects.
Travelers will be encouraged to design a project based on their own interests and skills. Some might want to refurbish a school or tutor students in math, science, English, and art. Other volunteers might want to work with children in an orphanage or teach in a creche (day care center). And others might want to teach marketable skills to the Zulu women, or assist rural businesswomen with marketing ideas.
Volunteer travelers will stay in a lovely local hotel in a small rural town in KwaZulu-Natal. There will be excursions daily into the numerous nearby Zulu villages — with opportunities to observe both traditional and contemporary life, and attend a Zulu wedding, birthday, or healing celebration. Volunteers will visit with local sangomas (traditional healers) and spend time with the only white sangoma in South Africa. Travelers will also enjoy lively dinners with local activists, politicians, educators, and entrepreneurs who are invested in making positive change in the Zulu community.
There will also be time to explore the picturesque town of Eshowe and surrounding areas. And travelers will discover that one of best places to mix and mingle with the locals is the hotel bar.
Volunteer travelers will also spend a weekend on safari in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest game park in South Africa. Also planned is a side trip into the city of Durban where there will be a chance to visit the beautiful beaches along the Indian Ocean.
The Zulu Empowerment trip starts in Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, with an in-depth history lesson and visits to the Apartheid museum, Origins Centre, the thriving township of Soweto, and downtown Johannesburg. Travelers will be treated to authentic African foods and music. The volunteer portion of the trip will be based in KwaZulu-Natal, about 7 hours south of Johannesburg, an area known for its large Zulu population and diverse terrain.
Pat Walker, founder of The Cultural Explorer, has spent several years cultivating contacts within the Zulu communities in KwaZulu-Natal. Travelers will meet with her personal contacts and colleagues.
“This is a one-of-a-kind volunteer trip,” she says. “We have teamed up with a local family-run organization that has been working in this area for several years. We find their projects to be authentic and they really do make a big difference in the lives of the Zulu community. We are pleased to make this volunteer trip available to adventurous travelers who want to go beyond the ordinary travel experience.”
Trip dates: Sept 4-25, 2010.
About the Zulu:
The Zulu are the largest South African ethnic group of an estimated 10-11 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Their language, Zulu, is a Bantu language. The Zulu Kingdom played a major role in South African history during the 19th and 20th centuries and the Zulu were known as fierce and determined warriors. Under apartheid, Zulu people were classed as third-class citizens and suffered from state-sanctioned discrimination. They remain today the most numerous ethnic group in South Africa, and now have equal rights along with all other citizens. The current president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, is a Zulu.
About The Cultural Explorer
The Cultural Explorer is a member of the African Travel Association (ATA). The company offers both group and individual trips, and specializes in authentic cultural, volunteer, and philanthropic travel experiences.
For more information, visit: http://theculturalexplorer.com/ .