Things rich people do: vacation in ‘shanty towns’ and pretend to be poor


THE new craze in tourism is slum-themed holidays. Yep, now you can live just like the millions who live in shanty shacks – with a few luxury features thrown in of course.

Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa, a five-star resort, charges rich tourists around $82, or about half the average South African’s monthly salary, for a night’s stay at a “slum” near Bloemfontein, South Africa and boasts it is the only slum in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless internet access!

Emoya has thought of everything. Battery-operated radio. Outdoor toilets. Even a big old drum to cook your dinner in — everything that is “normally part of this lifestyle” — and all “within the safe environment of a private game reserve.”

The company’s press release boasts: “the Shanty Town is ideal for team building, fancy theme parties and an experience of a lifetime. Accommodates up to 52 guests. Our Shantys are completely safe and child friendly.”

And you could ignore the fact that one in nine people in South Africa are infected with HIV or that roughly 30 per cent are unemployed or that more than three million children (nearly 4 per cent) are orphans.

Visiting real slums has become a popular, if controversial, form of tourism.

You can live “just like the poor” in India, Latin America and Africa. Well not quite like the poor. You won’t have to experience the real poverty of living without clean water, without enough food, and with violence, rampant crime and disease.

Some people call this sort of thing “poverty porn”. I have to agree.


4 thoughts on “Things rich people do: vacation in ‘shanty towns’ and pretend to be poor

  1. Makes a case for abortion, doesn’t it?
    I’ve been getting a lot of news out of South Africa lately ~ and everything is sliding so fast it’s starting to make the apartheid era look desirable. Apparently the difference is that in the old days you at least knew what you were dealing with; these days every morning brings with it a new adventure in fear of the unknown.
    Nelson WHO?


    • Well put Rebecca,
      Reminds me of an account of a true story, given as far as I can recall, by Ted Noffs of the Sydney Wayside Chapel.

      Apparently there was some prominent clergyman who was visiting the Holy Land, and on getting to the Mount of Olives, decided he would spend one whole night there. And as the key point in the experience, he would imagine himself like Jesus waiting on the hill, for the coming arrest and the following Passion.

      In the process he brought with him a large comfortable rug to rest on, with some warm clothes and a thermos full of hot coffee. And thus equipped, he stayed there for the whole night.

      I wont soil everyone’s eyes or ears with the moral of the story. It speaks for itself, doesnt it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s