Women Expedition

Aug 23, 2012

The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) established a tourism and hospitality division called Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) whose main mandate is to develop, manage and promote tourism products within Provincial nature reserves

Limpopo Wildlife Resorts upgraded some of these reosrts and a couple of them are graded at between one and three star levels by the South African Grading Council.

 

1. Introduction

Every year during women’s month Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) celebrates this important month in the National calendar  by taking groups of women from their normal working environment to participate in adrénaline filled wildlife adventure activities to these resorts and other private ones as a way to introduce and raise awareness about what Limpopo has to offer to visitors.

Limpopo Tourism Agency has for the last five years been taking various women organisations from ‘Boardroom to Bush’ and thus introducing women to the ‘traditionally men’ activities.  These activities range from elephant tracking, flying in hot air balloning, skydiving, quadbiking, horse riding, 4x4 driving, target shooting, angling, absceiling, canopy tours, canoeing, birding and other adventure activities.

2. LIMPOPO WILDLIFE RESORTS WOMEN EXPEDITION PROFILE

• 2006 : Limpopo Wildlife Resorts took CEO’s and Board of Directors of various companies to participate in the following   activities : elephant tracking, target shooting, quadbiking, horse riding, boating and fishing.

• 2007 : A group of women from the stockvel industry toured the length and breath of Limpopo destination and participated in the following activities : 4x4 drives, hot air balloning, quad biking and water tubing.

• 2008 : A group of women from various NGO groups participated in the Women’s month programme and engaged in the following activities: canopy tours, quadbiking,  birding activities.

• 2009: A group of women from the Soccer fraternity  within SADC participated in the  2009 edition and engaged in the following activities: canopy tours, soccer, golf clinics, game drives and walking with lions.

2011: A group of women journalists participated in the 2011 edition of the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts  women’s expedition  and experience the following activities: game walk in big five area, camping next to Oliphants river and skydiving.

2012: A group women educators participated and  experienced the following activities : Canopy tours, dinner under the stars, 4X4 trails, catch a fish competition, sport a bird and playing Golf

The 2012 edition of the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts has ushered in one of the most memorable experience for participants in the whole six year history of the event. Themed “from classroom to bush”, the objectives of the expedition were to re-ignite the culture of travel and tourism within schools by taking women educators on a tour, inspire educators to transfer their knowledge and experience within LWR establishments so they can spread the word to learners and fellow educators and to introduce educators to a variety of LWR products where they can expose their families and social groups.  Judging by the appreciation and responses from the target group (educators), all the three main objectives were by far extremely met with flying colors.

Covering mainly the three the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts products (Lekgalameetse, Tambotie Ridge Lodge and Nylsvley) and spiced by the private establishments such as MJ Gateway, Magoebaskloof adventure and Euphoria Gold Estate, the Expedition has given the target market and the public a good glimpse of what LWR is made of and what products it is capable of offering to clients and visitors alike.

What made the 2012 edition of the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Women Expedition even more unique is the manner in which the support services championed their contributions to make the event a resounding success. Finance Division processed almost all the orders before the event was held whilst HR introduced the Women staff members to the event! This only shows that if divisions complement each other rather than compete against each other, LTA is bound to succeed in its endevour to make a difference in people’s lives out there!

3. The Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Women Expedition Activities

2.1. The send-off breakfast session

Every year the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Women Expedition prepares a sendoff ceremony and a closing ceremony.  The send-off breakfast was meant to be the starting point and a platform to inspire and give the participants insurance that management and the political leadership are fully behind them as and when they go all out into the expedition. However, the 2012 sendoff function was unique in its nature in that for the first time the function was a combined effort between LWR, LEDET and Tourism.

LEDET approached LWR with a view to combine efforts as they usually conduct their own functions to honor women during the same period each year. LEDET ended up funding the whole breakfast session.  For LTA this wouldn’t have come at a better time given the limited and stringent budget under which LWR was operating on. Furthermore, the combination of the ‘Tour bus’ to be part of the of the sendoff function made the 2012 Women Edition of the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Women Expedition an exciting and memorable event ever to remember.

Mainly targeting politicians, captains of parastatals, the tourism industry, the media and the officials from across the three spheres of government, the event mainly targeted an estimated 150 people as target for the function. Indeed people never disappointed as an estimated 165 people attended the function with at least 16 journalists from various media houses in attendance.  The Deputy Minister for Tourism Tokozile Xasa and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment & Tourism, Pinky Kekana graced the occasion – something never done before in the history of the Women Expedition where the national leadership political participated in the event!

2.2. Magoebaskloof Adventure Activities

Perhaps one of the most inspiring activities for the 2012 edition of the Limpopo Wildlife Resorts Women Expedition was the Magoebaskloof Adventure – the Tarzan style adventure! It’s through this activity that the Deputy Minister decided to further participate in all other activities on offer by LWR. Every women participant was so inspired that the “I can” spirit simmered amongst them resulting in them wanting to take any challenge on offer. As a result of this exciting adventure, an additional six people participated in this adventure in addition to the 25 people scheduled to participate.

2.3. The Bomafire dinner at Lekgameetse

There wouldn’t have been any better way to cool down the adrenaline pumped day rather than exquisite and highly prepared dinner at Lekgalameetse! LWR Chef on Wheels rose to the occasion and offered one of the most memorable dinners ever. Participants laughed the night away and retired with smiles all over their faces.

2.4. The 4x4 ride on the Ori’ Baragwaneth path

The 4x4 trail at the downs over the Ori’ Baragwaneth path was probably the toughest test of the group’s character, but fortunately the group passed it with flying colors! Due to the treacherous nature of the terrain, it took the group at least 3hours to cross a less than 15km strip of a rocky outcrop one direction pathway. The highest speed one could do was between 0km/h to a maximum 5km/h.

2.5. The Fishing Expedition

Under one of the most chilly weather conditions, women participants bravely went through the fishing ‘clinics’ at Flag Boshielo dam which according to the words of participants has inspired them to consider fishing as one of the hobbies they would consider in future.

2.6. The Nyl floodplain lecture

Dr Tarbaton delivered probably one of the most inspiring lecture on the birding and the floodplain ever.  Featuring in the grade 11 curriculum, Nylsvley RAMSAR site systems wouldn’t have been better explained than what Tarbaton did. The lecture was so inspiring that Educators expressed the need to bring their learners to experience the floodplain in not so long distance future. It was through this lecture that Educators confessed that they have been touring farfetched destinations without knowing that there are areas such as Nylsvley which could save them the little resources they have but also inspire their children to become ambassadors of tourism and conservation.

2.7. The Golf ‘Clinic’

To most of the participants, it was the first time that they were handling or holding the golf club. The views expressed by participants are that golf is one of the most fulfilling sporting activities even though they only practiced just for a short moment. They believed that golf was meant for a selected group of people – not anymore so they say.

2.8. The Spa Massage

Although it was a brief experience for women participants, the overall sentiments expressed by the women was that the massage would have come at a better time given the tight schedule under which the team was subjected to in the last three days. They believed that the timing of the activity was great as it physically epitomized the whole expedition and allowed them to detox and release tensions in their body as a result of the adrenaline pumped activities over a three day period.

2.9. The Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony was almost a repeat of the sendoff breakfast as it was a scene of exuberance and glittering affair. Epitomized by the sharing of experience by women participants, the Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa was so inspired that she decided to throw away her written speech and spoke from the heart. The Deputy Minister further invited the nine lady educators to join her at a function in the Eastern Cape. The Executive Mayor of Water Cllr Rosinah Mokgohloa, hosted the closing ceremony by paying for catering and entertainment associated with the ceremony reminding LTA on the partnership the District forged with LTA during the time s of the Limpopo Wildlife Expo between 2005 and 2007.

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