Beyond the safari: How South African tourism is changing

South Africa is the stuff of dreams for the intrepid traveller.

From game reserves to Table Mountain; Durban's Golden Mile to the country's stunning wine regions, there's much to capture the imagination.

But how about a trip around Cape Town's intriguing examples of graffiti art? Or a cycle tour around Soweto instead?

These are just a couple of examples of alternative holidays being offered by a new breed of tech-led travel company keen to expand South Africa's tourism beyond traditional beaches and safaris.

The prevalence of smartphones and high-speed internet has opened up a wealth of new sightseeing options, as local trip organisers reach out to a wider audience.

For example, South African company Gummie operates an online platform advertising dozens of unique experiences - from "foodie tours" and township visits, to swimming with sharks - a non-aggressive variety.

Founder Ksenia Mardina says the majority of her users browse the platform regularly on their mobile phones, and return to make bookings via desktop.

"Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, has an incredibly diverse tourism market," Ms Mardina says. But finding the activities was not always so easy.

"The change [from offline to online] has started from the supplier side," she says. New tech has allowed people to identify market niches and target tourists looking for something different.

"More and more passionate and knowledgeable people can become guides and earn an income, thanks to platforms like ours," says Ms Mardina.

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Source: BBC News