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Pat Henderson, senior writer for the National Tour Association and the Faith Travel Association – one of the respected and large travel associations in America and internationally  – visited Cape Town, South Africa for about a week in May 2018. This was Pat’s first experience of Africa and South Africa.

Deon Kitching from Embrace South Africa Tours and Pat Henderson from the NTA and FTA.

It was great fun and interesting to show Pat around as guest of Embrace South Africa Tours. I asked Pat to jot down a few memories of the country, his experiences and the work of Embrace South Africa tours. This is what he has to say…

Cable Car ride to the top of Table Mountain

I cannot imagine working with a better company than Embrace South Africa Tours. It was my first time of being in South Africa, and everything was very well organized. Over the course of my week, I got to experience so many different aspects of culture and local life. For every mainstream tourist attraction we saw there was a local hidden gem we also visited.

South African ladies wearing modern traditional fashion to church

In addition to doing a wine tasting at South Africa’s oldest winery and hearing the history of District Six from a former resident, I also got to sample local fish al fresca overlooking scenic Hout Bay and take part in a volunteer for a day program at a Cheetah Sanctuary.

Sometimes Pat became overwhelmed by all the wine-tastings!

This mixture gave me a broader perspective on the Cape Town area and its fascinating history and heritage, and my experience just wouldn’t have been so rich if I’d worked with another tour company.

The Atlantic Ocean from Table Mountain

Embrace South Africa Tours provided me with a wonderful introduction to the Cape Town area. My experience was highly localized, and I really enjoyed the different activities and tours that Deon and his staff set up for me. It was a good combination of hitting the highlights — Table Mountain, Robbin Island, the penguins at Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope —along with many opportunities to meet and talk with the people. Having a chance to hear from locals gave me a better sense of the area’s life, culture and history. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Cape Town is such a beautiful, vibrant city!

Meeting local people and talking about Ohio!

Deon is a very thoughtful person, and that really showed through in how he’d set up the tour components for my visit to the Cape Town area. There were many things we did that helped connect me with local culture through local people, and that made my visit more meaningful.

Meeting with church leaders and HIV/Aids activists

For instance, one Sunday we went to worship at a church in one of the townships, which also included getting to meet and talk with two of the leaders about outreach ministries they are involved with.

Traditional South African braai (barbecue)

He also set up a traditional South African braai (barbecue), in the home of friends of his, and it was fun to sit down for dinner with the couple and their two teenage daughters. Our conversations gave me a much better perspective on what daily life is like in Cape Town, plus the food was great.

It was such a pleasure to host you, Pat. You are now a friend of South Africa and part of the “EMBRACE” family. See you soon!

Deon Kitching

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