Putting the fun into camp­ing

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - No­luthando Motswai

Tshireletso Mokate is all about show­ing young peo­ple the beauty of South Africa through his com­pany Camp­ing Re­treats.

Af­ter strug­gling to con­vince his wife to ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture first hand by spend­ing the night in the bush, he thought of an in­no­va­tive way of mak­ing his dream come true.

“My wife was not in­ter­ested in sleep­ing in a camp­ing site es­pe­cially be­cause it was a chore to put up your own tent and to start a fire a for food.”

Mokate, who is based in Jo­han­nes­burg, added that this led him to think of an­other way to con­vince his wife to join him on his ex­pe­di­tion.

“I teamed up with a friend who was a chef and asked him to cook for us for the week­end and asked a cou­ple of friends and fam­ily to join us.”

The idea of hav­ing a pri­vate chef at a camp site ap­pealed to Mokate’s guests. They agreed to join him on the camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“There were about nine of us. I set up the tent. My wife did not do any­thing and we had such a fun time. This made me think that per­haps it could be­come a busi­ness.”

Mokate who is an in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist by train­ing took to so­cial me­dia, up­load­ing videos and pic­tures of the fun ac­tiv­i­ties that had taken place while camp­ing.

“I re­ceived an over­whelm­ing re­sponse so I thought of host­ing an­other re­treat. I set up a ba­sic web­site with all the in­for­ma­tion of what my com­pany pro­vides and I had 45 peo­ple want­ing to join us.”

The com­pany of­fi­cially started in 2017 and in the same year hosted four re­treats. His com­pany has cre­ated four jobs.

“With the money I made from the first re­treat I rein­vested it into the busi­ness and bought 65 tents. At the mo­ment we can ac­com­mo­date about 100 peo­ple in one re­treat. We pro­vide three meals a day pre­pared by a pri­vate chef and set up the tents all you need to do is bring your­self.”

He adds that South Africans don’t un­der­stand what a beau­ti­ful coun­try they live in.

“With Septem­ber be­ing Tourism Month I would like to en­cour­age South Africans to ex­plore our coun­try. We have such a rich her­itage com­pli­mented by our in­ter­est­ing his­tory.”

Since be­gin­ning of the year, Mokate has hosted 11 re­treats at camp­ing sites such as Clarens in the Free Sate, Loskop Dame in Mpumalanga and Drak­ens­berg in KwaZulu-Natal.

Tshireletso Mokate is all about giv­ing South Africans a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence through camp­ing.

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