Many of our partners within Africa are amongst world leaders in responsible and sustainable tourism.
As well as working closely with these responsible operators in Africa, we are also very keen to do our part both at home and overseas. Being UK based we want to be as carbon-free as possible, and we offset all holidays arranged through us, as well as our own travels. In Africa, there is a never-ending list of conservation initiatives and community projects that deserve support, and we do what we can to help with donations and affiliations.
WHO WE SUPPORT
Rhinos Without Borders
African Bird Club
Elephants for Africa
The Maa Trust
Bana Ba LetSatasi
Born to Live Wild
Pack for a Purpose
Previously Supported Initiatives
We have sponsored students through secondary education in Kenya via the Loldia School Fund which involves a five year commitment for each student. For a number of years we also provided two bursaries per annum at Koiyaki Guiding School in Kenya’s Masai Mara to help uplift the local Maasai youth with education in the tourism industry and eco-friendly land management. We have been members of the South Luangwa Conservation Society in Zambia and have made monetary donations to them. We have also donated various ad hoc amounts to many other smaller projects as well as school books and equipment to the Olkimitare School in the Masai Mara, leaflets for Mandia Primary School in Zambia, football boots for a local team on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi, sponsoring overseas visits for African guides to gain international exposure and funding ranger training courses in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara. Whilst we do not employ guides and porters directly, we are also supporters of, and encourage our suppliers to conform to the standard of practise laid down by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.
It’s vital for that we recognise the impact our travel has on the environment, and take appropriate steps to reduce and mitigate this as much as possible. As part of our wider environmental strategy, we have selected ClimateCare to offset our carbon emissions with projects that improve lives and fight climate change.
Through supporting a variety of initiatives which deliver renewable energy, fuel efficient cookstoves, and water for carbon filters, we are working with ClimateCare to compensate for our client’s flight emissions through funding an equivalent carbon reduction elsewhere in the world. The high impact projects we are supporting include:
• Burn efficient cook stoves – Based in Nairobi, this project cuts carbon emissions and indoor air pollution by 50 and 60% respectively, delivering significant health benefits alongside cutting carbon. In addition, the project is promoting gender equality; the project has trained and employed 200 local people, of which over half are women.
• LifeStraw – Based in Western Kenya, this is one of the largest climate and clean water projects globally; 877,505 families use LifeStraw Family water filters to purify water in their home, rather than boiling water for drinking over open fires, cutting 2.4m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
• Gyapa Stoves, Ghana: Similar to Burn, this project distributes clean cookstoves across Accra, Ghana’s capital. The project has created livelihoods for local crafstman and entrepreneurs through the production and sale of the artisanal stoves.
• Grid Scale Renewable Energy – costs effective, with far reaching impacts these projects provide life changing and sustainable electricity to entire regions of India.
What we do at home
Our commitment to responsible tourism in Africa does not absolve our environmental efforts at home in the UK. We have an in-house green travel policy for our staff, in the office we use low energy light bulbs and our electricity supply is derived 100% from green/renewable resources through our supplier, Ecotricity. We also have recycling schemes in place and our milk is supplied in glass bottles to avoid single use plastic. Our stationery is from managed resources and we print only as much of our general information as required and do so double-sided or on single sided waste paper too. Some staff members have even purchased their bikes from Re-Cycle who donate unwanted bikes rural communities in West Africa. Based near our office in Suffolk, Re-Cycle also hold a monthly sale for the small number of bikes that are not suitable for the African landscape. We are members of The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) who actively promote sustainable tourism practices.
SUPPORTING TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREAS
There are currently 7 Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) in Southern Africa, with the best known being the KAZA TFCA. This initiative is led by the governments of the five partner countries that make up this region – Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Angola. Its mission is “To sustainably manage the Kavango Zambezi ecosystem, its heritage and cultural resources based on best conservation and tourism models for the socio-economic well-being of the communities.” The focus is on conservation and sustainable rural development. A treaty was signed to this effect and financial support secured – the largest supporter to date is the German Government.
At Safari Consultants, we have been promoting this area for a number of years, with carefully crafted itineraries that often combine the different countries (with the exception of Angola). Hwange, Victoria Falls, Zambezi, Mosi au Tunya, Chobe, Caprivi, Linyanti and Okavango form the core of this KAZA region, with many incredible highlights to experience.
However KAZA is huge, and comprises a mosaic of land uses, with 36 formally proclaimed national parks and numerous other protected areas and communal lands. The amount of flora and fauna is outstanding, home to nearly 75% of southern Africa’s elephants, 24% of the world’s remaining endangered wild dog and around 600 bird species. But there is more to experiencing KAZA than conventional safari activities and wildlife encounters on game drives, bush walks and boat excursions. There are numerous rewarding experiences through engaging with the community, culture and conservation of KAZA. By supporting such itineraries, we are assisting with KAZA’s objectives to manage the Kavango-Zambezi ecosystem by putting into practice sustainable tourism and conservation models, while at the same time providing economic opportunities and upliftment to local communities. This often involves mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, especially in Wildlife Dispersal Areas (WDAs). Wildlife Dispersal Areas have been identified as a priority in KAZA’s Integrated Management Plan, as they facilitate free movement of animals, and elephant are known to migrate between Chobe National Park and neighbouring countries for example.
There are numerous innovative examples of how this mitigation of human-wildlife conflict is being done, such as building lion-proof cattle kraals and enlisting local communities to be wildlife guardians in return for financial benefits. Such projects are intrinsically linked to KAZA’s efforts to facilitate free movement of animals along six identified WDA corridors, allowing wildlife to follow their instinct to migrate across great distances, irrespective of country borders.
We are very aware that without the committed protection of Africa’s wildlife by anti poaching units, there would be no safari tourism, and the natural ecology and local economy would collapse. Transboundary law enforcement operations are also being undertaken and are set to increase as part of KAZA’s ongoing efforts to harmonise and strengthen collaboration. Anti-poaching is absolutely critical for KAZA. In the Victoria Falls area, more than 850 poachers have been arrested and over 22000 snares have been removed. In the Sebungwe region of Lake Kariba, ivory poaching has all but ceased due to concerted anti-poaching efforts, after the loss of 11000 elephants (75% of the local population) since 2006.
Tourism is essential to the wildlife economy in KAZA and directly contributes to these praiseworthy custodians of Africa’s wildlife. At Safari Consultants we will continue to support sustainable tourism to such areas, whilst at the same time providing incredible holiday experiences.