ARE SAFARIS ECO-FRIENDLY?
There are many “hip” phrases these days which you may have heard in the media or from friends & colleagues; climate change, veganism, eco-friendly, green energy – but what do they mean and how do they apply to a safari in Africa?
Thankfully Captured In Africa are up to speed and are keen advocates for helping reduce our footprint on our planet and playing our part for a better society. In fact, our responsible tourism policy (which you can read by clicking the button at the bottom of this page) displays our commitment to these topics.
An important aspect for travel is ensuring that we as a company and you as a traveller, travel responsibly and consciously, giving back to the destinations we operate in and you travel to, whilst ensuring the most perfect safari experience.
Let’s start with getting there…
Flying and carbon emissions have been a source of much attention and rightly so. The aviation and transport industry has been and is a large driver of emissions, that have and continue to contribute CO2 into our atmosphere. Airports and airlines have begun to take much needed action, such as the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and the expanding use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Make no mistake however that transport sector still has a long way to go to help create a greener industry.
We can also assist this as travellers, by limiting the number of flights we take each year. Long gone are the days when people could fly several times every year, now we must evaluate whether or not that travel is 100% necessary – we can be forgiven for our well deserved holidays each year, this isn’t about avoiding travel altogether – but we must address our overuse of not just flying, but consumer goods overall.
Travelling locally is another way to reduce our reliance on travelling long distances and at the same time, benefit local destinations and support local tourism. It’s also often the case that we seldom really know our own or neighbouring countries – it’s wonderful what you may discover.
The answer lies within sustainability and responsibility.
When you arrive to your safari camp…
A safari isn’t quite like a normal travel experience, it’s a unique wilderness escape, surrounded by fresh air, endless horizons and on a land so vast that it’s often difficult to encapsulate just how large it is.
Captured In Africa‘s approach to safaris centres on sustainable, low impact, quality experiences and this includes the accommodation – typically we provide safari camps/lodges that offer between 4-25 guest rooms – this limiting of guest numbers helps reduce the number of tourists and game drive vehicles in their respectful destinations. The safari camps are also often built sustainably, using temporary wooden structures, using local materials and able to be taken down, removed and the area returning back to nature (low impact).
Our team have become accustomed to “vetting” safari properties to ensure they fit within our responsible tourism policy, quality control and our commitment to our customers, this generally includes some (if not all) of the below eco-friendly measures;
- use of solar power and/or bio-fuel generators for power
- sustainable grey waste use
- exclusion of plastics and implementation of re-usable drinks bottles
- offering of plant-based, vegan, vegetarian and other sustainable and environmentally conscious dining options
- limited wifi, electricity and water to assist in maintaining a sustainable use of power (although there is nothing to stress about, as you will certainly have enough of those things for an enjoyable time)
- limited number of guest rooms and guests
The safari experience…
Limiting guest numbers at safari camps isn’t just a luxury and certainly isn’t just about having a luxury price tag, it serves an important sustainable purpose.
There are some special circumstances such as the Great Migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara, that can (yet not always) see higher number of vehicles at sightings of wildlife, particularly at the various Mara River crossings of wildebeest and accompanying zebra – with this spectacle of nature receiving so much acclaim. Yet for the most part, we are able to ensure that our safaris are exclusive… and using a term heard often in today’s environment “socially distant”.
Whilst enjoying a game drive, viewing animals in such exclusive fashion, with few other tourists around is a bonus and something we work to achieve for our customers by using the safari camps we do, it’s the environmental impact that we hope to limit with this. Captured In Africa‘s safaris help reduce your “paw-print” by restricting how many guests stay in camp and how many vehicles are present at wildlife sightings – often this can be 4-5 vehicles at any one sighting within many of Africa’s private wildlife conservancies (private conservancies involve partnerships between the safari camps, land leasing and local communities, which in turn helps provide revenue, jobs and secures habitat for Mother Nature to flourish), many of the other safari camps we work with directly, also seek to limit vehicle numbers and professional guides that accompany you are always on hand to ensure a responsible, quality safari experience.
Electric game drive vehicles are also on the rise in Africa, with electric vehicles being used at various safari camps in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia, with more to come, resulting in a quieter, cleaner way to view wildlife. Stepping foot on land with walking safaris are also prevalent, as professional guides take you under their wing, either on a full day (or multi-day) walking safari, or for a few hours one morning in place of a vehicle-based game drive – an eco-friendly activity and a super way to discover the smaller animals, insects and details you may never have known existed.
Lower guest numbers + Lower vehicle numbers
= Lower environmental impact
These are wonderful examples of how a Captured In Africa safari helps create change. Sometimes we can have the misconception that higher prices are companies making more money just for the sake of it. In fact the true meaning behind higher prices on safari is to help a number of environmental & social initiatives;
- sustain environments
- direct revenue to create local employment opportunities & empowerment
- fund wildlife conservation initiatives
- create school & medical facilities
- provide vital infrastructure such as transport for local people to medical centres and schools
- secure habitat – sorely needed if we are to safeguard nature & wildlife
It’s why Captured In Africa created our ethos of #SafariForChange to help not only us as a company, but you the traveller, to have a significant positive affect on climate change, pollution, wildlife conservation and the betterment of our environment & people.
Start planning your responsible safari today with our team.