Your hosts, Simon and Cheryl Blackburn (ex Singita Private Game Reserve and ex Kwando Safari Experience) are both experienced safari & mountain guides. South African-born, they have spent their time together exploring remote parts of Africa. Their four children, Kei, Neo, Jos and Cas have joined them on many of these adventures. On one of their travels, they stumbled across Three Tree Hill Lodge and fell in love with it.
Three Tree Hill employs local Zulu staff from the nearby Hambrook Village, 8km down the road. Most have no previous work experience or formal education, but their great personalities & honest enthusiasm have made training an absolute pleasure. Over the years they have aquired extensive training and skills development through the lodge, with ongoing workshops that inform the staff on current events, technologies & service trends.
The lodge encourages open & honest communication through regular meetings. Staff provide input on various operational issues & suggestions on how to assist the community with upliftment projects. Staff are treated well & fairly, working together as a team. Annual staff appraisals are carried out, which assist the management team in channelling training programmes & team building sessions. This is evident when you are greeted by genuinely friendly, helpful staff.
Three Trees is a certified member of Fair Trade Tourism. Fair Trade certification is based on adherence to specific criteria’s including fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. The certification covering these criteria was chosen on a voluntary basis that is available to providers of tourist accommodation, activities and attractions.
This is a non-profit organisation that promotes responsible tourism in southern Africa and beyond. The aim of FTT is to make tourism more sustainable by ensuring that the people who contribute their land, resources, labour and knowledge to tourism are the ones who reap the benefits. This is done by growing awareness about responsible tourism to travellers; assisting tourism businesses to operate more sustainably; and by facilitating a Fair Trade Tourism certification programme across southern Africa.
Tourism businesses that adhere to the Fair Trade standard use the Fair Trade label as a way of signifying their commitment to fair and responsible tourism.