What are homestays?
Homestays with Kamammas are heart-warming, authentically local accommodation experiences in welcoming, comfortable guest house surroundings. They are located in communities on or adjacent to the main travel routes of South Africa. “Homestay with Kamamma” is a legally registered brand of Dreamcatcher South Africa which has been developed with Kamammas (a term signifying matriarchs or family/community leaders) over a period of 20 years in various communities across South Africa.
Not all Dreamcatcher grassroots entrepreneurs are female, even though the brand name “Kamamma” does predominantly, but not exclusively, refer to female proprietor/entrepreneurs. That said, the Bhutis (bhuti means brother in Zulu) or Dreamcatcher men–are proud to play a very special and meaningful role within the organization as well as their local communities.
What awaits you
Homestay with Kamammas accommodations are simple and basic: though your room is not decorated in 5 star furnishings, you can expect all the comforts of home. Kamamma’s offer you a lovely and cozy room, hot water shower or bath, privacy and safety. Breakfasts and dinners are cooked especially for you and the family from fresh ingredients. You may even be invited to cook with Kamamma to enjoy scrumptious but healthy foods which are a part of the favourite traditional cuisine eaten locally! (See our Cook-up with Kamamma information.) You will soon discover that instead of the typical mainstream overnight “Bed & Breakfast” accommodation, your Homestay has turned into an extraordinary 10-star experience with fun and laughter as part of the bill of fare.
Do not be surprised if discover you are not treated like a “room number” but rather you may find yourself being greeted by lively smiles and chatter from neighbourhood children. People from the district might come over to welcome you on the street. It is time to relax: you have come home to the true South Africa!
A unique feature of Dreamcatcher Homestays is that it is possible to encounter a wide variety of vibrant and diverse cultures as you travel throughout the natural beauty of the countryside. It can be a wakeup call to explore such diversity. Naturally, individual Dreamcatcher Homestays are as varied as the local regions where they are located, yet each offers you the same high-quality experience, which will enhance your travels and follow you back home.
These fascinating “authentic cultural encounters” are genuine, not staged culture. This is life as it is lived. You will discover what makes the community ”tick”, for it is here at the grassroots level where you will learn about the real South Africa of today, yesterday and tomorrow. Whereas all the Homestay Kamammas have spent years in training and skill development to offer you the requisite aspects of a professional service, the culture is not included in their curriculum: rather, it is their heritage. No one can teach the Kamammas the spontaneous and warm local welcome which will delight you on arrival! This is part of who the Dreamcatcher Kamammas are and thus you have embarked upon an enchanting journey. One that will long resonate with you (a far truer reflection of quality than stars in a guide book).
Innovative Dreamcatcher Kamammas are pioneers in their communities, as well as within the South African accommodation industry, in terms of managing the impact of their Homestay on the environment and also with regard to positive involvement in their local districts. You may see this in a heart-warming smile that reaches all the way up to the eyes and a jaunty bounce in the step as you are shown your room. You may catch a knowing look as she proudly shares how she manages waste, saves on energy and water, and makes time to engage the local children in projects around her to make a difference in her own community. These attributes are the cornerstone of Dreamcatcher Kamamma (and of course Bhuti) development principles.
The impact of a Homestay
Dreamcatcher Kamammas do not just talk: they do. Staying at a Dreamcatcher Homestay assists the Kamamma to rebuild her life and develop her own destiny, creating work for herself. And as she continues to grow her business, she further creates jobs for unemployed family members or neighbors. Your patronage and money thus have a significant impact as they circulate and help build the local economy. A small profit in the Kamamma community goes a long way to support other local micro enterprises.
Dreamcatcher has won numerous awards and accolades nationally and internationally. The organization has been recognized for its solution-focused local tourism development initiatives that have pioneered authentic community based tourism, which in turn promotes sustainable communities. The biggest reward and benefit for discerning travelers, however, is the irrefutable knowledge that by choosing to spend a night or two in the Dreamcatcher Homestays, you offer the Kamamma’s and Bhutis the chance to sustain their future and empower them to contribute to and build in their own communities themselves. Besides, you will no doubt find to your joy and delight that you are truly enjoying the real South Africa and taking it back home with you in your heart. Perhaps to an extent that just may surprise you!
Thank you for choosing to spend a night at a Dreamcatcher Homestay with Kamamma. More information on the location of our homestays is available below. We have a central booking service which will connect you professionally to your Dreamcatcher Homestays with Kamamma for a truly local experience. Please follow the links to contact us today!
|Included||– Bed in private room (shared or double can be arranged) – some room’s ensuite|
– Dinner: can be a Cook-up with Kamamma where you cook with the Kamamma and sit down with her and enjoy your meal, learning the impact of food on her culture or else just a regular dinner without the Kamamma experience.
|Excluded||– Alcohol – Please note that no Dreamcatcher services are licensed for the sale of alcohol. In the event clients wish to enjoy wine or beer they must purchase this en route at wine tastings or at licensed suppliers. We can provide chilling facilities if needed.|
– VAT and mandatory levies: We are VAT registered and pay bed levies to the South African
authorities. Please add 14% for vat and 1% thus 15% to the total costs. These costs are indicated separately on invoices.
Our experiences are ideal for and conducive to individual, family and small group travel of 6 to 8 people. Small group rates of no more than 14 persons can be accommodated in special circumstances (for instance educational/research and special interest visitors). In the event of a small group, of for example 6, some Kamammas who have capacity may accommodate the entire group. Or the group may have to be split between Kamamma locations. Families however always stay together at one Homestay site.
Due to the impact of groups of more than 14 on community life and the fact that quality of the authentic local contact could be compromised by group size, Dreamcatcher does not offer Homestays to groups of more than 14 persons. For larger groups, we cordially invite visitors to experience a Cook-up with Kamamma and to sleep over elsewhere along the route or in the town. We will gladly assist you to find accommodation with good service providers.
Kamamma Lorraine (Edwina)
Soweto + Orlando