Outdoors and nature lover Lesego Sedumedi “bumped” into the tourism industry while studying project management at the Boston Media College. Then she would frequently go quad biking with friends on weekends in the Sun City area in the North West. “The dream started there” when she was asked to assist with entertainment for guests and began working for Rustenburg Outdoor Adventures.
Instead of heading into an office when she obtained her degree, Sedumedi branched out on her own and founded Onroute Adventures in 2014. The company offers a range of adrenaline-pumping activities, such as quad biking, archery, abseiling, hiking, river rafting and paintball shooting.
“I’m very adventurous; I’m in love with the outdoors. Spending a night under the stars brings peace to one’s mind. By the time you get back to the city, you’re at peace,” Sedumedi says.
Onroute Adventures also offers a cultural experience — interactive drumming, which teaches people the basics of rhythm.
Her biggest clients are the corporates, who use the adventure tourism company for team-building activities. The government and schools are also a big part of her clientele.
But it’s not all plain sailing and Sedumedi cites the challenges of not having their own specialised equipment for paintball and quad-biking activities and of having to try to raise money. She says it’s frustrating that her small business sometimes has to postpone groups if equipment is not available.
Like so many travel ventures in South Africa, the difference between the haves and have nots is stark. The plush Sun City resort is surrounded by villages and townships battling with water shortages and poverty. Onroute Adventures is firmly rooted in the communities. Every weekend, Sedumedi takes young people for training on the tours “so they can see they can also create their own thing from scratch; there are so many opportunities.”
She talks passionately about opening young people’s eyes to the income streams arising from tourism in the North West, a province famous for its wildlife, nature and entertainment.
Onroute Adventures also gives back to community by supplying orphanages with school stationery and shoes.
“As little as we are, we see big things ahead,” Sedumedi says of her plans to expand the adventure tourism company to neighbouring Botswana, with its environment so similar to that of the North West, in the next three to five years.