Harnessing the platform and opportunities provided by Tourism Month that is celebrated annually in September with the aim of encouraging South Africans to explore their own country, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) kicked off an exciting collaboration with Mr PE UberMann and Khayalethu Youth Centre when taking 14 youths to Addo Elephant National Park on Wednesday, 12th September.
Mr PE UberMann, Ofentse Boloko approached NMBT to initiate a tourism programme whereby the children from Khayalethu Youth Centre are introduced to tourism activities and opportunities every 3 months. Tourism Month was the ideal time to launch this initiative where the children got to enjoy a day of fun and excitement at Addo Elephant National Park.
The initiative formed part of the SANParks week (10-14 September), where South African residents are permitted free day visits to most of the 21 national parks, with special emphasis on ensuring that people from local communities close to the parks get to know and experience a national park. NMBT took advantage of this initiative to showcase Addo Elephant National Park which is Home of the Big 7.
“I have the privilege of being a proud ambassador of the destination whilst being a leader and example to our youth. Nelson Mandela Bay has an abundance of tourism offerings for visitors and locals, therefore allowing me to share fun opportunities with the youth alongside sharing the importance of tourism for our city.” expressed Mr PE UberMann Ofentse Boloko.
NutriStart with no hesitation came on board to start the group off with a healthy breakfast prior to embarking on the trip to Addo Elephant National Park. With transport, a tour guide and wonderful picnic provided by NMBT, the activity also gave the children the opportunity to learn about the natural heritage of the Bay, whilst experiencing the park’s beautiful scenery and wildlife up-close, in their natural habitat. This proved to be a great experience to the many that has never witnessed this before.
Commenting on the significance of this collaboration during Tourism Month, NMBT CEO: Ms Mandlakazi Skefile said: “The youth are our future travelers and ambassadors of the destination, and it is important that NMBT make efforts like these to educate and encourage them to experience attractions like the Addo Elephant National Park among many others. It is also a great privilege to partner with Mr PE Ubermann to enrich the lives of the kids from Khayalethu Youth Centre with authentic experiences like these.”
The children, along with Mr PE UberMann thoroughly enjoyed the activities on the day, which were both fun and educational for all involved. Experiencing the mighty elephants and other wildlife up close proved to be a very memorable experience, which the children will not forget any time soon.
“Today was truly an amazing experience for our children. Seeing their faces light up as they got to experience the wildlife up close was priceless. We wish to thank NMBT and Ofentse for their dedication and effort to our children. We are very grateful for their support.” said Head of the Khayalethu Youth Centre: Dr Marietjie van der Merwe.
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