Tourists With Disabilities

And many game reserves and places of interest have specially adapted accommodation and wheelchair-friendly facilities and walks. Many short trails also have Braille interpretation plaques.

Flamingo Tours specialises in tours for people with disabilities.

You would be amazed what some wheelchair-dependent people have done in South Africa – abseiled off Table Mountain; dared the highest bungy jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge; tubed the awesome Storms River Gorge; hiked most of the Outeniqua Trail (this was a hard one); flown a microlight; and learned to scuba dive. The sky’s the limit. Oh yes, and skydived. (This was not all done by the same person!)

Accessible opportunities in the natural environment

South African National Parks, as national assets, should be accessible destinations to everyone regardless of their mental, sensory or physical capabilities.

The Delta Environmental Centre (Gauteng Province)has the 180metre long Sasol Sensory Trail which was initially conceptualised as a short environmental education trail for disabled people. Through consultation with Eco-Access, it was finally designed as an accessible interactive environmental education experience for the hundreds of learners who pass through the Centre on a weekly basis, including learners who happen to be disabled.
The trail is simple, paved, has wide pathways and many interesting stopping points. It blends in with the surrounding environment and is based on the fact that the Centre offers personal interpretation to all groups that visit it.

The de Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre (North West Province) has a programme called ‘Reach for the Wild’. An accessible trail, named the ‘Rob and Julie Filmer Sensory Trail’, allows all people, including disabled people, the opportunity to experience the African bush. It was also initially conceptualised as a trail for disabled people but now forms the basis of all de Wildt’s environmental education programmes. The environmental education centre is accessible and available for all those who participate in these programmes. Again, this Centre benefits from personal interpretation of the environment being offered to all groups.

SANParks Boulders Beach Boardwalk (Western Cape) is another example where everyone has the opportunity to visit the penguins on the beach using the boardwalk.
Owing to negative pressure from the surrounding community, parking and access to the boardwalk is extremely difficult without prior arrangements being made. However, once on the boardwalk, anyone can use it.

For many other trails and programmes in various parts of South Africa see Eco-Access, including, apart from those mentioned above, the Rob Filmer Lichen Trail at the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in the Mpumalanga province, the Rhino Trail at the Berg-en-Dal camp at the Kruger National Park in the Mpumalanga province, the Fossil Trail at the Karroo National Park in the Northern Cape province, the PPC Discovery trail at the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape province, the Dragonfly walkway and Jacana Bridge and the Kingfisher Birdhide at the Nylsvley Nature Reserve in the Limpopo province, The Palmiet Hiking Trail at the Hottentots Holland Nature reserve in the Western Cape Province and the bird hide and walkway at the Blesbokspruit Nature reserve in the Gauteng Province.

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