South Africa is lagging in the disability and differently-abled travel trends

Taking a tour around the internet I realised that South Africa is lagging in the disability and differently-abled travel trends available around the rest of the world.

Facilities that should be part and parcel of our tourism offerings are fairly basic and are generally focused on wheelchair users/ mobility challenged users/ users with wheels, i.e. wheelchairs and walking frames.
Let’s ensure they at least are accurate and cover other specific needs in a later diary.



My question is; when last did venues check their role and access to accommodate the 2.8 million disabled people in South Africa? What about foreign travellers? Ask yourself whether any or all of these apply to your venue and then decide what you are able and willing to do in line with what fits your budget. Make some changes by setting a precedent going forward. Not only will you set an example but the potential to grow your business and fill rooms could grow exponentially.
If you can accommodate a wheelchair guest, the whole family will stay over.

Numerous establishments advertise themselves as being wheelchair-friendly accommodation, but might not be suitable for particular needs. Research has shown that only 22.7% are in fact wheelchair accessible to a degree. Establishments should have at least one guest room equipped for the wheelchair-bound traveller.


Below is an accessibility checklist to consider for wheelchair accommodation and unique requirements.


Common Area:

 Designated differently-abled parking with a priority location in the parking lot.

  1. Step free access and/or lift/ramp access to main entrance and smooth pathways (not cobbles)

  1. Ground floor room or elevator to the level on which the room is located.
  2. Ground level/lobby level accessible washroom. Lift to above ground accessible accommodation.
  3. Level/flat or ramped access to public areas.
  4. If there is a dining room there should be wheelchair access.




  1. Wide opening entry and bathroom doorways – (suggested) external 800 mm, internal 750 mm.
  2. Mid-height facilities within reach i.e. blind cords, air-conditioner controls, television, light switches etc.
  3. Lever type door handles
  4. Manoeuvring space on each side of the bed – 900 mm

  1. Roll-in shower
  2. Wheeled shower chair and/or wall mounted shower seat

  1. Grab bars in bathroom. Height 800mm from the floor
  2. Raised toilet – seat can be fitted

  1. Lower hanging space in closet



Within the Area


  1. Markets, pubs, restaurants … up to 500m distance.
  2. Health services.


Do any these apply to your venue? Think about setting a trend today.


www.choosytravellers.comm  booking and information website leaves very little to misunderstanding what is on offer.


Pictures tell their own story. It’s not what an establishment ‘has on offer’ but ‘what it has and displays’.

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