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Backpacking in East London, SA

By dom, 02/26/2010 - 17:00

Yesterday evening we arrived at the Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers resort, just outside of East London, in Chintsa West. Established back in 1983, these guys are considered one of the early pioneers in the South African backpacking industry. After a little confusion over the sleeping arrangements we check in and enjoy an evening meal of South African braai with potatoes and vegetables. A few Castles later and we retire for the evening.

The following morning we are met with a wonderful sight. Palm trees, wild flowers, sea, sand and surf!! And then we head down to the beach to meet Denver, the surf instructor of the resort. After a short guerilla style interview we were in the midst of the chopping waves getting thrown around by the mighty Indian ocean.

The rest of the day was spent catching up on editing and reviewing the video footage over the last few days. We also met and arranged an interview for the following day with Sean, the owner of the resort, and heard about the various sustainable and community projects that the company is involved with.

Buccaneers' contribution to environmental management includes capturing grey water in storage units of which a large percentage is used in irrigation and compost production and sending it's organic waste to support a local pig farm. They are also actively involved in a range of social contributions in the Chintsa area such as their extensive work at the Bulugha Farm School, which was built in the early 80's. The Price family has supported this local school for the past 20 years. With donations from guests, they were able to put in electricity, set up a computer room and run a feeding scheme at the school. The program employs a cook and provides two cooked meals a day for almost 200 children.

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