As a tour operator business responsible and sustainable travel is at the very heart of all we do. Preserving our world for future generations to enjoy is everyone’s responsibility, and we rigorously follow a number of practices that ensure we are contributing in a positive way to a clean, green and sustainable world.
Leave no Trace
A number of the lodges that we work with are in very remote areas, as isolation and wilderness is a key advantage of a true ‘Safari Experience’. Where this is the case we ensure that where possible we only use suppliers that are following the principle of ‘leave no trace’ so that when the lodge/camp no longer exists, the area can be returned to its original state.
On our tours all vehicles have a receptacle for collecting rubbish (trash) to ensure there is no littering by guests and waste is only disposed of in a responsible manner.
Whilst we do not expect any of our clients to do so, our guides will remind guests that it is not permitted to remove anything from areas visited and this includes rocks, plants, bugs, archaeological artifacts and any other objects of interest.
Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is one of the most enjoyable elements of our tours. We only use professionally, skilled local guides who have multiple years of experience and this ensures that our guides will not only keep the guests safe and entertained, but they also understand the importance of treating all wildlife and the environment with respect. When visiting national parks and reserves our guides will always brief guests on essential behaviours they need to follow on game drives/walks.
We do not condone vehicles encroaching too close to animals during game drives, and we will actively report these behaviours to the relevant management if we become aware it is happening. We do not want the presence of our tours to negatively impact wildlife or their environment in any way, as we know that we are in their home!
Our tours almost always visit national parks and protected areas, and full entry fees and conservation levies are always paid to ensure the upkeep, maintenance and conservation efforts in these areas can be successfully maintained over the long-term.
As a company we donate each year directly to charities and organisations that support anti-poaching teams, as we want to help support safe environments for all wildlife.
We do not support unethical animal sanctuaries and interactions, and under no circumstances will we knowingly engage with any business associated to hunting.
We recognise that carbon reduction is of increasing importance, and we are continually seeking out new ways to ensure that we minimise our footprint as far as possible. The below are some of the initiatives already in place.
- When any member of our company travels for business we always ensure that the carbon is offset for the flight, usually via the airlines own scheme or via a specialised carbon offset programme if one isn’t available with the airline.
- When we book flights for clients we always offer an option that includes carbon offset.
- We are introducing more tours that include hiking, cycling or horse riding as a way to explore the wilderness areas for parts of the tour instead if visiting all areas via vehicle.
- Where the location allows we will prioritise using properties where solar or other renewable energy is used as either the primary or supplementary source of power.
- Where location and local logistics allow we encourage our accommodation partners to ensure that vegetarian and vegan options are routinely available for meals. We also prioritise using lodges and eateries that utilise local food and produce.
Water can be a scarce resource across the African continent, particularly during dry season. We always advise our clients to be mindful of water usage whilst travelling, opting for showers instead of baths and not leaving taps running at any point.
To reduce plastic waste we provide all clients with a renewable water bottle per person, so that they do not need to purchase bottled water during the tour. Filtered water is available at almost all lodges, but where it isn’t we encourage the use of large plastic bottles de-canted to again reduce the overall plastic used.
We firmly believe that those that are impacted by tourism are the ones that should benefit from tourism. We therefore only work with lodges where a high percentage of staff are from the local area, to ensure that employment opportunities support local. Many of the lodges we work with have initiatives in place that build local schools/hospitals to benefit the community and by staying at the lodge there are fixed contributions into these funds.
The type of tours that we provide mean that we instinctively choose to work with small, locally owned and operated companies and accommodations, as again this ensures that tourism is having a positive impact on the local economy.
Before our clients travel we always provide a brief overview document (online) of the countries being visited and this includes key information about local laws and customs, and any social/political issues that the client will need to know about in advance of travel.
Buying local crafts is a great way to support the local community, so when we visit local craft markets or stalls we encourage our guests to buy directly. Bartering is common practice and we advise our guests to do so in a respectful and friendly manner, ensuring the price paid is still fair as this is often the only source of income for the sellers.
We do not believe that people should be tourist attractions, so we seek to authenticate all ‘cultural activities’ to ensure that locals are not doing these under duress, and that wherever possible the experience is genuine. We actively encourage all guests to have meaningful interactions with the locals they may meet on their tours, as this ensures the best experience for all. We emphasise the importance of respecting the locals, their customs, cultures and beliefs.
We ask that photos are not taken of any people without their explicit permission first. When we are asked to arrange photography tours that may include visits to local tribes, we will always ensure that written consent is received in advance of confirming the booking that the tribes/locals are happy to be photographed and for their images to be used.
We do not support orphanage visits as these are well documented as causing exploitation to local families.
We not only focus on sustainability on our tours, we also implement sustainable practices at the office. The following is in place:
- Our business is based on-line to minimise any additional impact on the environment by having a separate office running, and we minimise our carbon travel footprint by having no commute.
- We utilise on-line tools for our itineraries, ticketing, contracts, back-office and payments resulting in an almost zero need to print documentation.
- We have recycling facilities within the home office for paper, tins, glass and plastic, and try to ensure all waste is minimised.
- We ensure all redundant business equipment is re-used or recycled, where possible, so that we can positively contribute to the circular economy.