Between March 2006 and March 2017, our day tours have brought 21 163 clients to visit and provided an income to Sani Top service providers of R 346 135
Our tours visiting the Sani Top area bring benefit to three segments of the local community. We visit a lady in Skiring village, “Me Fitelena, and set aside R25 per visitor as payment for her time, space and for tasting the local brew and the delicious pot bread she bakes.
We also pay R35 per group to visit the shearing shed and set aside R35 per group for the shepherds in the area. At a meeting with the shepherds, it was agreed that these funds would be used to purchase blankets for them, and since 2009, we have distributed 9 batches of blankets totaling 400! This is done at an annual ceremony in February where a large gathering of shepherds takes place at our instigation and where as well as handing out blankets to the shepherds whose names we have collected over that past year, we also have a chance to discuss tourism related issues with them.
None of these are “hand-outs”, rather they are payments for services rendered! Our pioneering way of doing things has been recognized by the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC). LTDC held a series of meetings in the Underberg area during 2016, the aim of which was to ensure that all the local tour operators who visit the Sani Top area use the same model of “payments for services rendered” as we do. Each operator was required to sign a written agreement with their service provider in Skiring village. We signed our agreement with ‘Me Fitelena in a ceremony presided over by LTDC at Sani lodge backpackers in September 2016. It formalized the verbal agreement which had operated for many years between us. We are thrilled that LTDC has recognized our way of doing things as “Best Practice”.