Green Girls in Africa – Louise De Waal
Born & bred in Holland, lived & worked for 18 or so years in England and now Louise is living her dream in Cape Town – probably the most beautiful spot in the world. She has always had a passion for travelling, meeting new people from different cultural backgrounds, learning about a country’s history and discovering new landscapes, but got bitten by the Africa bug big time after having worked as a volunteer in Tanzania. With an academic background and PhD in environmental science, environmental issues and sustainability are part of her believe system and lifestyle.
Louise has travelled extensively throughout eastern and southern Africa and has a wide knowledge of the African tourism industry. She has 12 years experience in the sustainable/responsible tour operating industry, not only as founder and former MD of Baobab Travel (then UK-based specialist Africa tour operator), but also as co-founder of a Cape Town based, independent specialist Destination Management Company and provider of sustainable tourism services in South Africa. Both businesses were proudly Fair Trade Tourism certified.
With this extensive knowledge of the African tourism industry and passion for responsible travel and sustainable tourism, Louise established and built partnerships within the industry with those who share her sustainable tourism philosophy. She now continues this passion by assisting tourism businesses to travel the road to sustainability by among others undertaking business sustainability audits, assisting businesses with triple bottom line development and certification, creating custom-made responsible tourism toolkits, developing responsible tourism policies and strategies, and communicating achievements through travel writing and social media.
Some recent sustainable tourism projects include:
- Ongoing business development support with sustainable tourism training and assistance with the process of (re)certification – Fair Trade Tourism.
- Development of a Cape Winelands Tourism Niche Strategy for Sports & Outdoor, Universal Access, and Multi-Generational Tourism (in association with Mtenthe Research) – Cape Winelands District Municipality.
- Assistance in building relationships through social media and consolidating its activities to facilitate sustainable growth of the Trust into the future – Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust.
- Organisation & conceptualisation of the inaugural speed responsible tourism marketing event at WTM Africa 2014, showcasing 12 micro-enterprises based in the Mother City.
- Assisting L2i Consultancy in undertaking a Green Economy Investment Mapping Audit – Provincial Government of the Western Cape.
- Development of an Executive Summary for a proposed commercial tourism development – Limpopo-Lipadi Game Reserve.
- Development of a sustainable, nature-based tourism strategy for the Agulhas Plain region – Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, SANParks, and Cape Agulhas Tourism.
Some recent social media and travel writing projects include:
- One of main contributors on the award winning The Good Holiday – writing responsible tourism focused stories.
- Producing a mini-series called Travel in the Spirit of Ubuntu, tips for the responsible traveller – AFK Travel.
- Handling all social media and creating specifically focused content for clients, such as the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust and Dare to Explore.
- Handling all social media for the Green Girls in Africa and sole writer of our sustainable tourism blog.