KwaZulu-Natal gets new rural tourism route

Posted on 29 May 2024 By Savanna Douglas


The South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) in KwaZulu-Natal has opened a new rural tourism route in the region.

The new rural tourism route, named The Emalangeni Experience, starts in the coastal town of Pennington and extends into the rural Emalangeni area in Umdoni.

Dotted along the KZN’s new rural route are a range of activities available, including tours of historic sites like Botha House, nature hikes in Umdoni Park Nature Reserve and Nkomba Nature Reserve, beach outings at Pennington Beach, options for local cuisine, breweries, and countryside lodges for accommodation.

The route promises an authentic cultural immersion in rural KZN while boosting local entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

As per UN Tourism, ‘rural tourism’ is generally focused on nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle, culture, angling, and sightseeing. These activities occur in areas with low population density, in regions where landscape and land use are dominated by agriculture and forestry, and where traditional social structures and lifestyles exist.

Rural tourism acts as a strategy to combat rural decline, support local economies, preserve culture and tradition, and conserve natural resources.

In South Africa, the growing form of tourism could be a way to bolster economic growth while honouring regions that have a history, and a story to be told.

“Rural tourism is considered a promising industry for rural development and a popular approach to local economic growth,” reads a study exploring rural tourism as a means to boost economic growth in South Africa.

“Sustainable rural tourism is recognised as a crucial component of rural development and is particularly important in developing nations, such as South Africa, where substantial rural populations and limited economic activity exist.”

The Emalangeni Experience is an opportunity for travellers in South Africa to experience the beauty and authenticity of KwaZulu-Natal’s rural communities through a journey that celebrates culture, tradition, and conservation.

Image: Pexels / Charl Durand

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