Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back from South Africa

It's been a while since the last post and there is much to write about. I'm going to start a series of posts about the South Western Township of Johannesburg, known by is truncated nickname, Soweto. Of the experiences one can have while traveling, it is important to see how people in other parts of the world live. And not how they live at the tourist traps serving you smoothies at the mall. To see how they actually live, to see the day to day, to go to their neighborhoods, to go to their restaurants, their bars, and see their homes.

There is a growing movement in tourism that attempts to add a responsible element to travel. It's called Eco Tourism and its principles call for a greater awareness of your impact as a tourist. During my visit to China and India in 2005, it was undeniable that as an American, I occupy a privileged place in the world. During my trip to South Africa, the same privilege was, again, an undeniable part of every day.

Unlike our trip to Pilanesburg, our tour of Soweto was less about the jewels of Africa, and more about its gritty reality. But much like our trip to Pilanesburg, it was still one that was rooted in an experience designed for tourists. Still it was a tour that I would recommend to everyone who has the chance to visit Jozi. And if you can, you should find our guide to take you there.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Glad to see you're back!

Was at BlogWorld last weekend and heard about Joseph Kimojino (@maratriangle) who's tweeting park range updates out of Kenya. Interesting from an ecotourism perspective and he sends out some really interesting stuff.

Looking forward to the South Africa posts :)