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sarah duff

Sarah is a freelance writer, blogger and photojournalist whose work has been featured in magazines and newspapers in South Africa, Dubai, India, Thailand, the UK and the USA.

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South Africa’s best community-owned lodges

Give back to the local community when you plan to stay at one of these award-winning lodges on your next trip.

!Xaus Lodge

Jointly owned by the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, !Xaus Lodge – which offers 12 chalets overlooking a vast salt pan – is situated in the South African section of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Staying at the lodge is an amazing way to experience the Kalahari: go on walks into desert guided by expert ‡Khomani San and Mier trackers.

aha Thakadu River Camp

The five-star and Fair Trade Certified aha Thakadu River Camp is a wholly owned, community-based tented safari camp in the eastern side of the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. The tented camp, with 12 luxury suites overlooking the Marico River, is entirely owned and staffed by the Batlokwa people, who live in a nearby village that you can visit.

Bulungula Lodge

Bulungula is one of the best examples in South Africa of community-based tourism, and offers a chance for visitors to get a taste of rural Eastern Cape life. The lodge is co-owned and managed by members of the Xhosa village nearby, with 10 simple rondavels built sustainably and powered by the sun, wind and rain on a beautiful stretch of the Wild Coast. The lodge has also helped the local community start up their own businesses offering canoeing, horse riding and fishing among other activities, so there are lots of community-owned and run activities to choose from during your stay.

Gear up for your next holiday with these K-Way bags

The ergonomic K-Way Altitude 40L Roller Duffle is a roller luggage bag constructed from tough Nylon/Polyester and features an internal mesh pocket, ID pocket, padded grab handle, top access pocket and more. The K-Way Evo '12 Gearbag is an awesome carry-all to store anything you might need on a weekend away. With a volume of 35 litres, K-way's Evo small gearbag is certainly a must have.