KDR Sports and Adventure Travel, as the name implies originally began as a company handling purely sports tours and adventure trips, and whilst this is still a large component of the business, and packages to exciting sports events both locally around the world can be sourced through KDR, the company has diversified into handling a bouquet of trips and tours around the world. This has mostly been brought about by our ever presence on the Web and we now run at least 15 functioning websites representing a wide variety of travel destinations.
One particular website which has grown from strength to strength over the 7 years of operation is the site www.soweto.co.za. Whilst Soweto has for years been a major tourist attraction with many operators sending clients there on a daily basis, KDR have taken Soweto Tourism many steps further.
Whereas most companies offer half day trips into the township, KDR believe Soweto can only really be experienced as a full day (or night!) experience and the more clients we take into Soweto the more we have realized that people want interaction and involvement with the communities on many levels.
There is so much more to Soweto than just the museums and the political history and KDR's tours have been enhanced tremendously by community development programmes we have initiated through our "development tourism" philosophy. Standard tours incorporating these programmes certainly provide a niche aspect to a Soweto experience. All KDR tours try and incorporate interactive stops at the following destinations:
1) Ekhukhanye Creche
This is located in the Diepkloof Hostel where conditions are very poor and a number of children in the area with little stimulation and school preparation. At the beginning of 2006 KDR Travel worked with a number of local ladies to establish an informal crèche in one of the old rooms. In April 2007 with the sponsorship of the Zoe Carss Educational Trust facilitated by the Bright Kid Foundation, KDR acquired a spanking new edutainer (a large shipping container which has been developed into a classroom) for the hostel to provide vastly improved conditions for the kids in the crèche. Various donations facilitated the provision of fencing, jungle gyms, a toilet block and kitchen and the fencing of the crèche area. Much of the extra facilities were erected as a result of team building events which KDR organized for clients. The crèche is now in a safe and secure environment. There is a staff of 4 and some 27 children from under one year to five who now attend the crèche.
Guests on tour get a chance to interact with the staff who share their trials and tribulations and get to see the children showing off what they have learnt and achieved through their membership at the creche.
2) Kliptown "Roots and Shoots" Project
KDR have developed a partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute and its focused programme "Roots and Shoots" and launched food garden projects in Kliptown. Donations of tools, compost, seeds and seedlings enabled the groups to immediately get their hands dirty and the communal gardens are already flourishing. The aim is to expand the project so that individual households can start in their own backyards. The programme gives an outlet to the energy of young people and assists in improving the community nutrition.
As Thulani (the local site guide who takes guests around the area) will point out - The Roots and Shoots programme encourages youth to be involved in three broad fields:
*Animals both domestic and wild
3) Sports Sponsorship
KDR also have embarked on a Kliptown youth sports development programme and in collaboration with some of their corporate clients have provided much needed kit, facilities and balls to the local soccer & netball teams. Matches between KDR clients and the local teams have already taken place with much support and fanfare from the local residents. The Kliptown sports project follows an already established KDR sponsorship programme for 4 Mofolo Knights soccer teams, this is a club fed mostly from the Mshenguville squatter camp area near the suburb of Mofolo. Funding of transport to games, registration fees, soccer balls and kit all need to be assisted with before these teams can take to the pitch. KDR feel that sport is such an important outlet for the youth, who growing up in trying circumstances, could end up focusing their energies less healthy actions.
Many guests are so moved by their visits to some of these projects that they contact KDR afterwards to get more involved. The response has been so overwhelming that a special section 21 company (with assistance from RMB and DM Kisch attorneys) has been established to facilitate funding from donors which goes to the projects as well as is used to fund several other projects KDR already have under way . In addition to outside donations a portion of company profits (including a direct percentage of tour profits) is invested directly by the KDR in the projects.
So as soon as anyone boards a KDR vehicle they have already made a contribution to uplifting the community.
Tailor-made Specialized and Team-building trips to Soweto.
Other than the unique daily leisure tours that KDR run, they have also facilitated many tailor-made specialized tours.
These are just some Soweto Tour Itineraries that have proved very popular:
A jazz band add-on
KDR manages a local family jazz band and for a slight surcharge can arrange a visit to the home of a local jazz musician as part of the standard tour, Dudu, together with her talented young family entertain guests to a mini live music concert in her living room. This is a truly memorable way to end a tour.
A team-building event based on the "Amazing Race" concept
Guests are divided into competing teams and board local Sowetan Taxis, clues will lead the teams to over 10 venues of significance depicting Soweto's history as well as culture and way of life. Awaiting each team at the destination is a reward, a community project donation or an interactive activity (eg drum cafe, mini soccer game, market "treasure hunt" etc). The trip eventually ends at a local restaurant for lunch with a prize giving (a branded calabash trophy) and an afternoon of socializing at a couple more venues. KDR have now done over 10 such trips already and each one has had massive impact on the companies involved.
Soweto has fast become a trendy party destination. These guided trips take in various venues ranging from rustic Umqombothi taverns, typical home shebeens, local restaurants and upmarket clubs.
Already November and December are filling up with company's year end outings and Soweto has proved incredibly popular. These trips usually take the form of an orientation tour of Soweto, a pop into a shebeen and a restaurant dinner (or lunch) often with a hired live jazz band to entertain.
KDR have designed specialized programmes for several consulting companies and higher learning institutions who have used the trips on an on-going basis as part of their corporate curriculums. The tours involve experiencing such aspects as local transport (taxis & trains), visiting businesses (both informal and formal), schools, housing projects, hospitals & clinics as well as upliftment projects. Local authorities and guest speakers and various experts are involved during the day.
Sports trips (interactive or spectator)
Companies can partake in various sporting events with local teams (usually part of KDR's sports sponsorship programme). Otherwise packages to attend local football games as a spectator can be arranged.
There are many superb Bed and Breakfasts in Soweto, a great way to experience Sowetan hospitality is to spend the night there.
So there is not much of Soweto that KDR does not cover.
Whatever the need we will be sure to put something unforgettable and unique together for you.