Responsible Tourism Report 2020

Reporting period : January – December 2019

The year kicked off with our affirmation to Fairtrade guidelines as all resources and changes were put in place to pave way for the Wild Ways tour which has been improving and becoming more popular. Efforts on Social, Cultural and Environmental content were thoroughly researched to make the tour very informative and enjoyable, giving value for money. During 2019, SATSA released their Captive Wildlife in Tourism guidelines, and we were pleased to see that Tenikwa meets the criteria for acceptibility in terms of offering an ethical captive wildlife experience.

With the fluctuations of feet that come to our facility, we had to look at all the resources we have to find an alternative income to keep our facility sustainable. Tenikwa Country House and Family Suites is our new overnight facilities and has been complimenting other accommodation facilities through our unique authentic hospitality provided and the good cause behind it. Four spacious rooms (in the Tenikwa homestead) and six cozy suites were tastefully decorated and feature amenities that give the perfect atmosphere to relax and observe the activities of an active working conservation project.

The “Horse trails to see Cats Adventure” returned by popular demand. This is a collaborative program offered by Hog Hollow Horse Trails. Existing historical forestry paths were cleaned in the indigenous forests between Hog Hollow and Tenikwa, to allow ridrs the ultimate nature experience. Horse and wild cat lovers can now enjoy this combined tour between the facilities.


There was a significant increase in the number of penguin admissions. Most of them being victims of harsh sea conditions. It was a task at hand as we had to go through lengthy rehabilitation with some of them due to their poor condition on arrival and requirement to reach agreed weight prior to release. Having penguins for extended periods has impacted negatively on the costs associated with rehabilitation, particularly in a year where tourism has been faced with several challenges. We had to create a platform where interested individuals and parties could support us through donations to a fish fund account managed by Robberg Catering Supplies, our supplier of sardines. The Fish Fund is promoted by Natures Valley Trust and Robberg Catering Supplies donated an amount each month into the account.

Similar to the fish fund platform is a Gold and Silver Sponsorship Program. Anyone who would like to stretch their goodwill can donate funds for food supplies, medication, detergents, enclosure maintenance and vet care. We were blessed to get several supporters of the program during the year who have contributed to the costs of rehabilitation. A list of Gold and Silver sponsors is displayed in our entrance, as a token of appreciation.

Our journey towards sustainability as an organisation:

In 2011, we embarked on an informal program to “put into practice what it preaches” ensuring that the impact of the business on the environment was understood and measures taken to reduce the impact where possible.

In 2012, we formalised our journey towards sustainability by becoming an accredited and audited silver-level Greenline member of the HeritageSA program.

2013-2014 saw the consolidation our activities into core objectives as an organisation. Some ineffective programs were discontinued and we launched the successful EcoKidz Family Challenge, delivering a value-added product with specific conservation objectives.

In 2015, we re-assessed the effectiveness of our community engagement to achieve our objectives of encouraging a behavioural change in lifestyle to a more environmentally-sensitive way of living. Significant strides towards reducing our energy consumption were made and our overall conservation efforts and holistic approach to supporting biodiversity have been recognised in various spheres.

2016 saw a concerted effort to upgrade our rehabilitation facilities with the complete overhaul of our marine pool and adapting our facilities to the changing conservation needs of The Garden Route. Conventional lighting was fully converted to LED and we improved our rainwater holding capacity significantly.

In 2017, celebrating our 10th Anniversary in Conservation Awareness, our efforts were focused to rapidly adapt to meet global animal welfare best practice and evolving trends in tourism in terms of captive wildlife. Faced with an increasing drought situation, water security was high priority.

In 2018, we repositioned our offerings under the Fair Trade label and focused on managing our expenses down

Towards the year end we were contacted with a request to provide a captive-bred lion permanent home at Tenikwa. This has meant the construction of another large enclosure to meet the needs of the big cat. By the end of the year, the maintenance staff were already making final touches. Going into 2020 we cannot wait for the new addition to our animal family.

We continue striving to reach as many people as possible through our conservation awareness programs. In 2019, we managed to discuss wildlife conservation issues with approximately 15500 visiting guests. The importance of conservation for future generations was also spread to multitudes through school visits and through public exposure generated by the well-supported penguin releases. We continue looking into the different ways we can raise awareness to the general public.


We would like to thank our dedicated staff for their continued commitment to conservation and Tenikwa. . Their efforts do not go unnoticed. Although we have been through a difficult year financially, we were stil able to provide employment to an average of 30 local staff, award a cost of living increase and pay a small bonus. We have looked into skills exchange amongst staff and departments. This has empowered the staff as they can now tackle some of the work that used to be out of their comfort zone. Several volunteers studying or that studied Veterinary care attended our Rehabilitation Skills program and assisted with wildlife husbandry. This platform continues to be key as it allows osmosis of knowledge and skills.


In 2019, 4 African Penguin Release events were organised with a total of 35 penguins being released during the period. In total, 120 animals were released or held over for release in 2020. Continuing with our work, we would like to recognise and show our appreciation for our conservation partners that make the process flow. Natures Valley Trust, CapeNature, SANPARKS and the general public have assisted with reporting, transporting and even provision of some resources. Improved communication through the Stranding Network and beach signage indicate that the general public now know who to report to if an animal is in danger, hurt or abandoned.

We participated in stranding workshops spearheaded by Natures Valley Trust and Two Oceans Aquarium. These have strengthened our commitment to work with each other to achieve the goal of conservation.



Total Number of Animals Admitted



African Penguins 50

Marine Birds 43

Marine Mammals 21

Marine Turtle 5

Other Terrestrial Birds 112

Raptors and Owls 5

Small Mammals 22

Large Mammals 7

Tortoises 24

Exotics 5


We managed to fulfil our goal of revitalizing the vegetable patch by Kurland Educare. This went further in provision of some nutritional meals for the infants that study there. We also opened the doors of our awareness centre to school children at heavily discounted rates so that they can enjoy recreational activities whilst also learning about conservation.




Electricity Consumption



Alternative Energy Spend

R10 559.50

R23 627

Electricity consumption decreased by almost 50% due to alternative energy sources which were utilised. The leopard and lion enclosures were completely converted from electricity to solar energy hence a significant drop. Load Shedding also contributed significantly and we had to rely on the generator and gas to keep the facility running, thus increase in the alternative energy spend. During power cuts, only the critical machines were connected to the generator power to minimize fuel consumption.


We are continuing working with a small local company that comes to collect the waste after we thoroughly separate. We carry on practising what we promote as far as reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing and recovering the different categories of waste. Going into 2020 we look forward to participate and spread awareness through beach clean-up campaigns. We have also assisted Whale Rock Ridge Estate in Plettenberg Bay with lion and leopard scat and implementing non-lethal methods of baboon determent.



Tin/Glass (kg)



Paper/Cardboard (kg)


1 176.53

Plastics (kg)



Total (kg)




Through our purchasing policy, we like to make the rands that we spend count in the most responsible manner. We evaluate this through our Responsible Spend criteria. The item should be purchased either from a small or local business and should be environmentally friendly.



SME, Local, Environmental Spend ( Fair Trade)

R1 889 774

R1 802 772

Although our spend is down because of cost management, a greater percentage of it was used on small, local and environmental friendly businesses. Moving forward we will continue looking at other cost effective options so as to channel as much funds towards responsible spend.




Water Consumption (litres)

17 429.25

12 616.89

Water Consumption per head (litres)



We managed to drop the volume of water usage through implementing reuse of water along the chain and improved rainfall over the year, when compared to previous years. For example water used for cleaning offices was used again for watering our vegetable patch, however water consumption per visitor head did increase due to the establishing of the overnight experiences, as well consumption in the penguin pool due to high numbers of birds in rehabilitation for extended periods , requiring more frequent water changes to the pool.


Pie Chart of cost allocation 2019


2019 has been a difficult year in respect of securing sufficient income to cover operating expenses in a difficult operating environment. Specific challenges this year included – decreased feet to the Garden Route caused by fallout from Cape Town’s “Day Zero” water saving campaign, political unrest along The Garden Route and particularly Plettenberg Bay and The Crags, and Tourism safety concerns through high profiled incidents in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Confusion in terms of what constitutes an “ethical” captive wildlife experience contributed to many operators moving away from including captive wildlife experiences in standard itineraries. Whilst Tenikwa takes comfort from the fact that South African Tourism and National Government is aware of the impact on Tourism, the operating environment is unlikely to change in the near future and a general recession in the country is causing everyone to pull back. Initiatives by SATSA to manage negative publicity and protect Brand South Africa, as well as the SATSA Garden Route initiatives to bring tourists back to The Garden Route has been welcome and we hope to see the momentum continue in 2020. Tenikwa will need to manage its spend carefully in 2020 and look for opportunity where funds can be generated without a dependence on Tourism in order to remain sustainable and see the dip in the local and global economy through. We have no doubt though, that this is a temporary situation, and extra appropriate marketing in terms of our extended offering and tight management control will allow us to continue to achieve our conservation objectives in a responsible manner.

Each year, Tenikwa publishes our responsible tourism and annual sustainability report.  You can read all the reports from prior years by clicking on the link below