Amanda Marks

Homestays can be a wonderful way to get a closer insight into the culture of the place you are visiting when you’re on your travels.  Here are three very different homestay options which Tribes offers in South Africa, Peru and India, and a wonderful holiday in India which uses nearly all homestays during 14 days.

amantani-homestay-3487-smallAmantani Island Homestay

Take a boat for about 4-5 hours from Puno on Lake Titicaca and you will arrive at Amantani Island.  These remote Aymari-speaking islanders have organised themselves to take turns in hosting guests who want to stay on the island.  Facilities are basic but adequate, but the welcome is invariably friendly.  Here is what a recent traveller said of his stay here:
“The family were most welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them even when I had a fall on top of the mountain!  The accommodation was better than we expected, comfortable beds and the food was excellent and were most impressed that hubby helped in the kitchen!!”

Hazel’s Homestay
On the edge of the township in Outdshoorn in South Africa lives an ex-teacher called Hazel. She lives in a very nice bungalow and frequently welcomes visitors to her home.  She is more than happy to chat away about anything and everything that you might be interested in about her locality or politics or family … and as an excellent cook, she is also happy to provide you with tasty traditional dishes.

Barwara Kothi
This might not be what you think of when imagining a homestay!  It is actually a charming colonial mansion house in Jaipur, and has 9 guest rooms.  However it really is a homestay, and offers a warm welcome, good home cooking and friendly hosts.

If you want a trip where homestays feature strongly, I’d highly recommend our Malabar Adventure in India.

This excellent 14-day adventure gives you a varied look at Kerala, taking in highlights such as Cochin, the backwaters, the beaches of Kannur and the wildlife and spice gardens of Wayanad. However it has another aspect which is that it offers privileged insights into the culture and traditions of the local people – artists, musicians, dancers, and other craftsmen.

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks is the founder and managing director of award-winning tour operator, Tribes Travel. Having started travelling professionally in her mid-twenties as a tour leader in Africa and the Middle East, she set up Tribes with her husband Guy in 1998. She travels regularly both alone and with her family, and is committed to sustainable travel so we can protect the earth's diversity and beauty for future generations.