This Women’s Month, Knysna Tourism is focussing on some of the local women who have established or are involved in successful tourism businesses in the greater Knysna area.
“I particularly respect women who empower other women. I really enjoy seeing women encouraging, supporting and educating their peers. We need more of that.” - Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna & Partners
Meagan is a registered Forest Site Guide and has been running Forest Guided Tours since 2012 for school groups and visitors of all ages and preferred paces. She is also the official Dalene Matthee Guide as sited on the Dalene Matthee website and is passionate about this author’s work.
She is fascinated by the intricate life of the forest and loves to promote Sue Swain’s fascinating biomimicry work modelled on the forests.
Her passions are trees and bees and she also offers Conservation Beekeeping Tours/Experiences for school groups and the public and Beginners Courses for small groups of 12.
She is part of the NPO “Hope for the Honeybees” which will be opening a Conservation Beekeeping Information Centre in September. Part of the project is replanting burnt area with “bee trees” and “bee plants”, plants and trees with high nectar and pollen counts.
Meagan says she loves her office, which is one of the only growing forests in the world!
Owner of Up Close & Personal Tours Sedgefield, Pam is also President of Skal International Garden Route and Junior Vice President of Skal International South Africa.
Pam has been in the tourism industry for more than 30 years, marketing coach and self-drive businesses and working in Durban, Johannesburg and the Garden Route. During this time she had the opportunity to travel extensively in South Africa and internationally, where she attended many travel road shows and gained valuable experience in tourism.
Getting married to an airline pilot meant she was able to fly to many different countries.
As President of Skal Garden Route she has made friends with Skal members in over 300 countries worldwide. The support of these travel partners enabled her to open her Inbound tour operator business, and to pass on practical skills to students with a tertiary education wishing to make a career for themselves in tourism.
Pam’s passion is Young Skal and with the recently appointed Young Skal President she is working on a project with the Smutsville Community to open a tourism route in Smutsville called The Yellow Brick Road, which she hopes will bring tourism to the people.
Peggy matriculated from Knysna High School then studied at the South African College For Tourism (SACT) so that she could combine her passions for tourism and art in one unique business. Today she is an accredited tour guide and runs a highly successful business called Peggy's African Art and Tours.
Her knowledge of art and of the local area and her warm, bubbly personality endear her to the guests and many long lasting friendships have been developed!
Despite her success she has remained extremely humble and grounded and it is difficult to gether to talk about herself, so we are sharing a comment from a guest which says it all: “I met Peggy a few years ago at a tourism workshop in Waterfront Cape Town. There were a handful of exhibitors from Knysna and Peggy one of them. I fell in love with her paintings and just couldn't resist. Get down to Peggy’s African Art Knysna and get blown away by her love, passion and style running through from the soles of her feet and represented in her works of art.”
Social media network marketer, travel blogger and travel influencer, Rose is well known on social media as Travelbug Rose and just this week was voted one of South Africa’s top 5 travel tweeters by South Africa Travel Online.
With a background in marketing, a love for travel and a feel for the social media digital industry, Rose found herself in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa, the Garden Route, which she promptly fell in love with. She started developing her passion for the area and very soon had a growing network of people following her visual story telling on social media platforms. Today she has over 10,000 followers on Twitter.
“The sky is the limit and with my love for travel and my need to discover the rich cultures, history and food of the world, which will always be a part of me, I'll continue to tell my stories through the eyes of Travelbug Rose,” she explains.
“I believe that being passionate about what you do will always shine through eventually.”
Mother of two and grandmother of one, Elmary was born and bred in Nekkies, a township of Knysna. Family responsibilities forced her to leave school before she was able to write matric, and start working in local Knysna restaurants.
The experience gave her not just a love of food but also the realisation that being an employee was not something she wanted to do for the rest of her life. With plenty of ambition and self-motivation and the feeling that she was destined for greatness, Elmary determined to start her own business.
Knysna Tourism assisted her to do the necessary training courses and she became part of the Living Local and Green Chefs initiatives. Once she had qualified as a chef, she was able to open her own township restaurant, Lungi’s Cultural Cuisine, specialising in South African food from traditional African to Cape Malay dishes.
The success of her tourism businesses has enabled her to put her children through university.