Limpopo Birding Routes actively promotes tourism to Limpopo Province through the development of avitourism which will broaden and develop the market as a whole and create opportunities for rural socio-economic development. Birding Routes thus offer a means by which rural communities that would otherwise note have the funds to promote their own destinations, can profit from their association with a larger marketing platform. The increase in tourism to the area has spins-offs for secondary markets such as local craft producers and other service providers.
Previous sponsorship enabled the development of two community campsites on the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route: Gundani Mutsiwa Campsite and Golwe Vhurivhuri Campsite. Limpopo Birding Routes continues to promote and support these unique areas.
The training and mentoring of Local Bird Guides is another way in which Limpopo Birding Routes helps to create economic opportunities in rural areas. Through this long-term programme, and with the support of the Ben de Boer Trust, we hope to introduce birdwatching to a wide range of rural people, some of whom will become experienced and confident guides in their areas. Limpopo Birding Routes will ensure that they benefit from our marketing platform and from exposure to birding development.
On a different level, Prof Derek Engelbrecht of the University of Limpopo is successfully introducing birdwatching to a community of dynamic young students through his annual bird identification courses and monthly ‘Early Bird Walks’ on campus. Some of these students have become active members of Birdlife Polokwane and will continue to be birding ambassadors amongst their peers and own extended communities.