Eco Tours and Safaris
The “Eco” in Ekala Eco Tours
Visiting protected areas intended as low impact and then environmentally sustainable.
Educate travellers and foster respect for our nature, different cultures and additionally wildlife in their natural environment.
Ekala Eco Tour and Wildlife Safari – South Africa.
Eco nature tours to South African destinations where the flora, fauna then additionally cultural and historical heritage are the primary attractions.
Ekala Eco Tours believes that the benefits of Eco driven nature tours are extensive and that such eco tours will attract guests who have a common interest in nature, wildlife and culture.
We at Ekala Eco Tours are aware of environmental issues and are thus very passionate about conservation and the protection of South Africa’s unique environment and then cultural diversity.
Allow us to share with you our love and knowledge of this beautiful country. Consequently leaving you with a greater understanding of the need to protect our natural and historically significant areas.
Ekala has made a special commitment to consider environmental and socio-cultural issues in all aspects of our tours. Each eco tour has been designed to enrich both the guest and accordingly the community or area we are visiting.
Eco tourism intended to offer tourists insight into the impact humans have on nature, environment and consequently foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats.
Ekala Eco tours contribute and support conservation and community based initiatives by including key destinations in our itineraries.
We create our eco tours/safari in a manner that is both memorable and enriching, thus you choosing to go on one of our Eco Tours you will be given a unique opportunity to learn and experience South Africa’s nature, culture, history, and environment.
All eco tours/safari are private only – giving the greater experience. We do not supply mixed group type tours.
Eco tourism is additionally the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation.
Experience South Africa’s nature, culture, history, wildlife and environment.
Ekala Eco Tours adhere to the following three principles
Education: Our South Africa eco tours enable guests to gain an in-depth understanding, appreciation, awareness and respect of the historical, cultural and natural aspects of South Africa.
Raising conservation and environmental appreciation and increasing international awareness of wildlife and the natural environment.
Environmental advocacy: Promote the sustainable use of environmental resources and the conservation and protection of South Africa’s nature and numerous national assets.
Environmental Responsibility: Our eco tours have minimal impacts on the environment and the local people; take only photographs, leave no litter and then take no natural souvenirs.
We also encourage guests to behave in an environmentally responsible manner so that they can minimize their impact on the nature and the environment.
Indeed by explaining the international conventions on purchasing animal products and the illegal trade in wildlife.
Conservation and protection of South Africa’s national assets.
Eco tourism is based on the concept of sustainable use of natural resources and thus covers a wide range of interest, activities and covers all age groups. It is about uniting conservation, communities and then sustainable and responsible travel.
A key challenge of eco tourism is to sustain economic growth while ensuring the long term protection of the environment while including both social and natural aspects.
Accordingly the principles of ecotourism include positive experiences, both for visitors and hosts with minimal impact while building cultural and environmental awareness.
Community based ecotourism
Enables the participation of the local community in the development and operations of tourism. This type of tourism maintains and respects the local culture, heritage and above all, traditions.
Concentrates more on enjoying and respecting the wildlife, nature and the environment, however without the educational element present in eco tourism.
Is set up in developing countries as a means to improve the local economy for local people while enhancing the linkages between tourism and local small businesses.
Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets – wildlife, nature, environment and above all the people.
An eco tour and safari to remember for the right reason.
Commercial Game Parks – Captive wildlife industry – as Lion and Safari Park + Rhino and Lion Reserve
Most tourists who visit a captive wildlife facility, are unaware of the negative impact of these commercial run “parks”
Due to conservation issues that Ekala Eco Tours finds unacceptable – we do not support these types of commercially structured “Game Parks”.
Commercial “parks” that breed lions (or simply have lions) for financial gain – must, in Ekala’s opinion, be avoided. Indeed even if you are supplied the tour for free.
Private “parks” are never the best options – specifically in an artificial environment – structured as a money-making facility only, with little regard for the wildlife and the long-term sustainability. Accordingly the entire world is moving away from such facilities.
Options that would leave you with a better experience – not a feeling that you would have negatively contributed to conservation in general and accordingly to the death of the lions encountered.
Lion type safari “Parks” are the cheapest option available for any wildlife experience – however at what cost to the lions.
Although a slight difference between the Lion and Safari Park and Rhino and Lion Reserve – in our opinion – both have conservational issues and should be avoided. Thus, Ekala Eco Tours are not supplying tours to either.
If a tour to one of the naturally wild locations is done with Ekala – we will hence discuss the industry of canned hunting and its attachment to these private parks.
Then differences between the various “parks” and “sanctuaries”. Indeed the best options of the Pilanesberg and Kruger National Game Park, in contrast to the sanctuaries and commercial facilities will be explained.
Lions are listed as vulnerable to extinction with a decreasing wild population size. Breeding in captivity however does not rectify the problem.
Not a single captive-bred, hand-reared lion (as would come from a private “park” type facility) has been successfully released into the wild. There is thus no conservation purpose to breed lions or to keep them in captivity.
Handled lions can’t be introduced into the wild. Other than hunting, there is no sustainable market for lions.
What you may experience is pleasing to the eye, it is however what goes on behind the scenes that is horrifying. Over 3 lions – PER DAY – are killed in South Africa for the trophy, bones, claws, and teeth market.
All these lions come from private lion “parks”. Thus Ekala refuses to be a part of this industry.
Ekala is not against legal and ethical forms of sustainable hunting and recognises the role that hunting consequently plays in many conservation programs.
However, the current figure of profits from hunting, for Africa, of the actual value, trickling down to the local community is less than 3%.
Ekala complies 100% with the international efforts to eradicate animal abuse.
Ekala’s opinion and avoidance of lion facilities:
1. Any facility that breeds with lions or trades in any way with lions has no conservation value.
2. Any facility using the excuse that their breeding programs are for conservation purposes – No conservation purpose to breed lions.
3. Any facility breeding of lions in captivity – because when they get to full size there is no market for them other than hunters.
4. Any facility breeding on demand, removing cubs from mothers prematurely, bottle fed, then “selling” cub interactions.
5. Any facility – that has no interaction in any way – they essentially are however still a lion breeding factory.
6. Any facility – selling walking with lion opportunities
Most of the above applies to captive cheetah facilities, specifically those that make no genuine efforts at reintroduction programs or promote the survival of free-ranging cheetahs. These reintroduction programs are possible for the cheetah where it is not possible for lion.
Only one of the many (around 80 in South Africa) cheetah sanctuaries that Ekala is aware of, support breeding programs of the Anatolian shepherd dogs, used by farmers to mitigate the human/wildlife conflict.
Best ability to contact Ekala Eco Tours
Then will respond within 24 hours. Actually in most cases less. However depend on time differences.
Additionally Cell phones do create some problems. Due to time difference or because we may all be on tour and thus unable to answer your call at that time. Thus email works perfectly.
Furthermore difficult to deal with tour specifics on a cell phone.
Ekala’s safari vehicles
Vehicles provide advantageous views of scenery and additionally are all air-conditioned.
Private ‘small group’ safaris are enjoyed in all-weather 4×4 vehicles.
Furthermore our vehicles provide a more intimate and exclusive safari experience.
Ekala’s vehicles are thus easily maneuvered for outstanding photography opportunities.
Moreover individual interests can be met within small private eco tour groups.
Accordingly our vehicles are comfortable, practical and suitable for South Africa’s variation in weather and seasons.
Different tour/safari options available – historical/cultural/wildlife/safari – thus structured around your requirements and timing to create a multi day tour package:
- Johannesburg – historical tour – from farm land to the world’s biggest gold producer to the backbone of South Africa.
- Soweto – early 1900’s establishment, through the Apartheid struggle with the major events that played an important part of our history – not only for Soweto but South Africa as a whole.
- Pretoria – Historical tour – Colonialism – Boer and British to democracy tour.
- Constitution Hill – including Constitutional Court – Old Fort to Prisons and the Constitutional Court Complex. Site of greatest historical significance – not only within Johannesburg, but that of all South Africa.
- Apartheid Museum – Emotional visit through the rise and fall of Apartheid – racial classification, segregation, detentions and racial oppression.
- Cullinan Historical – Cullinan Diamond Mine Historical Tour – Cullinan village to early mine operations including the then black worker compound.
- Liliesleaf – historical site – safe house – including Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Rivonia Trial. Nelson Mandela and others involved in the Rivonia trial and in addition general opposition to Apartheid.
- Johannesburg – Experience the culture of the Rainbow Nation. Most culturally diverse city in South Africa.
- Soweto – Township Cultural tour – Closer look at local culture & local people of South Africa’s mixed heritage and modern-day cultures. Ekala does not go into houses or invade people’s privacy.
- Pretoria – understanding Boer culture in South Africa in the 1800’s as the then Boer capital. Pretoria today, one of South Africa’s 3 capital cities. Afrikaans is still very prominent in Pretoria today. Thus, culturally different to Johannesburg.
- Lesedi Cultural Village – Living African Culture – Colourful Culture Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Sotho and Ndebele.
- Alexandra Township tour – part walking tour and then part tour in an Alexandra Taxi. Ekala does not go into houses or invade people’s privacy.
- Dewildt Cheetah Centre – Ann van Dyk Cheetah Sanctuary – cheetah and wild dog experience.
- Elephant Sanctuary – an interaction tour that is compatible with wildlife conservation.
- Monkey Sanctuary – Experiencing primates in a natural environment – NO interactions with these primates.
- Aerial Cableway, Hartbeespoort: Spectacular panorama views of Hartbeespoort dam, Magaliesburg and surrounding area from the aerial cableway and additionally the viewpoints and walkway on top.
- Kruger Park Scenic/Panoramic route tour – en-route to or from the Kruger National Game Park. Indeed best to spend one night in the canyon.
- Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden Johannesburg – 300 ha gardens and parkland – haven for birds in Johannesburg.
- Birding Tours – Ekala Eco Bird tours – South Africa – one of the most desirable birding areas in the World. Many local options while currently best bird count is in the Pilanesberg game park
- Eco Tours & Safaris – Visiting protected areas intended as low impact and environmentally sustainable. Educate travellers and foster respect for different cultures and wildlife in their natural environment.
- Crocodile Farm – half day tour that does then fit with the sanctuaries or the Cradle of Humankind.
- Premier/Cullinan Diamond Mine – Surface Motorised Tour – Shafts, Kimberlite dumps, slimes dam, big hole to then the new operations. More than a short duration set time tour.
- Underground Mining – Cullinan Diamond Mine Underground tour – only opportunity for an underground tour in a working mine – accordingly underground with the working shift.
- Cradle of Humankind – Palaeontology tour – Maropeng and Sterkfontein Cave with current finds including Homo Naledi and other activities. Early human development/environment. World Heritage site and location of newest find – Homo Naledi
- Gold Mining – Historical Gold Mine tours – Witwatersrand/Johannesburg gold rush – gold history – over 130 years of Johannesburg as one of the biggest gold producers in the world.
- Origins Centre – Wits Origins Centre showcases the origins of Homo Sapiens in Africa and the movement of Humankind into all areas of the world.
- Vredefort Dome – Vredefort Meteorite impact – World’s largest and most deeply eroded impact crater.
- Pilanesberg Safari – possible as a full day private safari or overnight/multi day safari. Even if you have been on safari elsewhere – still a great option for its scenic beauty and birds.
- Kruger National Park – Kruger Safari – private safaris within the greater Kruger National Game park. Moving from one area to another daily – thus covering a large area of Kruger and its diversity.
- Mandela Apartheid Route – Freedom Route – South Africa’s Journey to Freedom tour including the life of Nelson Mandela and the struggle against Apartheid. Colonization to Apartheid to first democracy.
- Gandhi’s Johannesburg – Mahatma Gandhi’s Johannesburg heritage tour. Story of the life (in Johannesburg) of Mahatma Gandhi. Heritage tour – birthplace of satyagraha – passive resistance.
- Battlefield tours – South Africa Battlefield Route Tour – Anglo/Boer – Anglo/Zulu – Voortrekker/Zulu. Military engagements that shaped course of South African and then world history. Private structured around the battles/battlefields required.
Responsible and ethical tourism/consumerism.
Ekala’s eco tours and safaris can then be adapted to the client’s individual needs.
Accordingly we accommodate specific and personal requirements.
Accordingly appreciation of South Africa’s multifaceted heritage.
Tailor made ecotourism and eco safari experiences that cater for solo travellers, couples, families and group eco tours.
Ekala Family & Guides
Ekala family & eco tour/safari guides
We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa’s history, culture and wildlife.
Thus we focus were our experience and expertise lies – in South Africa only.
Highly Experienced Guides
Accordingly with our vast experience and expertise, we will bring the historical, cultural and eco tours to life.
Additionally sharing our love and knowledge of South Africa’s wildlife and national game parks.
Ensuring as a result, you leave full of the best memories.
Thus Ekala will endeavor to personalise your eco tour package according to individual requirements/interests as well as available time .
Furthermore Ekala personally conducts and organises all our eco tours and safaris.
As highly experience and professional guides.
Consequently you get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s wildlife, history and diverse cultures.
Thus the best South African Experience
Superior photographic opportunities, paired additionally with highly experienced professional guides.
Thus providing a unique eco tour and safari experience.
Eco tour prices
No prices on our website as a result of the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour we supply.
Thus Ekala structure our tours/safari’s around our client’s individual requirements.
So if time is limited
We thus structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.
Accordingly using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.
Consequently not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.
As a result, tour quote based on your specific requirements.
Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets – wildlife, environment and the people.
An eco tour and Safari to remember for the right reason
Our eco tours and safaris are non-invasive
No wildlife interactions
Focusing on the national game reserves – naturally wild.
Promote conservation and education.
An experience that will be remembered for the right reason
As Kruger and Pilanesberg National Game reserves.
We do accordingly not support private – commercially based “parks”