Why Transformational Incentive Travel is the Next Big Thing

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Andrew Patterson curates transformational incentive activities in South Africa, including climbing Table Mountain.
Andrew Patterson on top of Table Mountain in South Africa.

Andrew Patterson climbed Table Mountain every day for a year. Then he became a group tour leader for transformational incentives in South Africa.

My most vivid memory from visiting South Africa many years ago, happened after dinner one night when our black waiter joined my group and sang a soulful local anthem with our white South African guide. These countrymen brought tears to my eyes with the spirit of Ubuntu, an ancient African philosophy that directly translates to “a person, is a person, because of another person.”

Learning about Ubuntu while experiencing the beauty of South Africa’s landscapes is a singular component of the transformational activities Andrew Patterson brings to groups visiting South Africa. A native South African, Patterson built a career in Cape Town before leaving corporate life behind. In 2018, he embarked on a year-long goal to climb Table Mountain every day for a year. It was life-changing. “More than conquering a physical challenge; it was a transformative journey that allowed me to experience my true capabilities and ignited a purposeful path linked to my existing passion for serving my community,” Patterson told Prevue. His memoir, My Journey Beyond The Summit, will be published soon.

“I also used my year-long climbing challenge as an opportunity to raise funds for education and housing initiatives in South Africa, and I was blessed to witness the power of collective action and the beauty in a purpose-driven endeavor,” noted Patterson. “As a bonus, I was able to witness the human spirit in action as countless people who ordinarily wouldn’t have climbed chose to do so with me. It was single-handedly the most impactful year of my life, not only teaching me what is possible but also what we can achieve together.”

Now based in the U.S., Patterson brings his passion to incentive activities in South Africa. “Our company specializes in crafting culturally immersive experiences that go beyond sightseeing to provide insight into South Africa’s rich cultural heritage,” he said. “Through guided tours led by experienced locals, participants have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of iconic figures like Nelson Mandela and connect with local ambassadors, from freedom fighters turned cultural exchange officers to chefs like trailblazer Nicky Gibbs who has cooked for people like Paul McCartney. Our company is also invested in helping to raise South Africa’s literacy rate from 30 percent up to 100 percent.”

In Cape Town, groups can follow in Patterson’s footsteps to hike Table Mountain. “The Platteklip Gorge route we take is suitable for all fitness levels and takes approximately two to three hours to ascend,” said Patterson. “We work closely with event planners to provide guidance on preparation and logistics to maximize enjoyment and safety. The climb itself is more than a tick-box exercise to enjoy panoramic views—it’s an opportunity to get up close and personal with a 240 million years-old mountain—one of the oldest in the world.”

View of Cape Town, South Africa from the summit of Table Mountain.

Top 5 takeaways from climbing Table Mountain

What makes scaling Table Mountain a transformational incentive activity? Here are Patterson’s top takeaways:

Perspective: Climbing Table Mountain offers a profound shift in perspective. As participants ascend, they realize that what initially seemed insurmountable becomes achievable with determination and effort. This newfound perspective extends beyond the mountain, empowering individuals to approach other challenges in life with a renewed sense of possibility.

Accomplishment: While the cable car offers a quicker route to the summit, the satisfaction derived from conquering Table Mountain through physical exertion is unparalleled. This achievement serves as a reminder that shortcuts may deprive us of the transformative journey and the sense of fulfillment that accompanies overcoming obstacles.

Gratitude: The journey begins with a reminder to appreciate the blessings of health, mobility, and the opportunity to explore Cape Town. Climbing Table Mountain instills a sense of gratitude for the simple joys and privileges often taken for granted, fostering a deeper connection to one’s surroundings and a greater appreciation for life’s gifts.

Community: The shared experience of tackling a challenging ascent fosters camaraderie among participants. As individuals support and encourage each other along the journey, bonds are formed that transcend the physical act of climbing. This sense of community underscores the importance of collaboration and mutual support in overcoming obstacles both on and off the mountain.

Patience: Patience emerges as a valuable virtue during the climb, reminding participants that meaningful achievements require time and perseverance. The gradual progress towards the summit reinforces the notion that true value is derived from the journey itself, rather than the destination. By embracing patience and persistence, individuals learn to appreciate the rewards of their efforts and the beauty of the view from the top.

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