The World Travel and Tourism Council found that tourism in Africa had last year experienced 8.6% year-on-year growth, which translates into roughly US$194 billion coming into the continent from this sector alone. While this incredible tourism boom may seem like an outright success, there can be detrimental impacts on nature and as environmentally mindful travelers, we should be trying to uphold ecological integrity and wildlife biodiversity.
Here are three simple reasons that should support the discerning traveler’s decision to choose an eco safari camp in Africa:
Reduce your environmental footprint
Staying at an eco safari camp or lodge on your next holiday in Africa will allow you to experience the wilderness guilt-free by leaving a light footprint on your chosen destination’s environment.
A buffalo stands outside Rra Dinare Camp © Under One Botswana Sky
Mma Dinare and Rra Dinare, in the south eastern corner of the iconic Okavango Delta are Under One Botswana Sky’s newest properties and offer the latest in eco safari camp practices in Botswana. They are considered 100% eco-friendly developments that have been built to consider the natural surrounds and wildlife movement patterns. The camps offset carbon dioxide pollution by using solar power as well as clean waste disposal methods.
Sindabezi Island is fully reliant on solar generated electricity © Tongabezi
Sister property to Tongabezi, which has recently joined the Green Safaris’ family, Sindabezi Island is considered by Fodor’s to be one of the top 10 eco lodges in Africa. Everything on this idyllic island in the Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls is powered completely by the natural energy of the sun, which means you can enjoy emissions-free electricity throughout your stay.
Reuse finite resources
Finding resourceful methods to reuse, reduce and recycle resources within the local context is what drives environmentally conscious practices at a true eco safari camp or lodge.
This clever treatment plant transforms sewage into safe drinking water for animals © Garonga
Garonga is one such property that offers a South African eco safari camp experience in the beautiful Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve. Along with solar generated electricity, it uses the latest technology in clean sewerage disposal. The incredible filtration process makes the waste water safe for animals to drink.
Dine without doing harm
An essential aspect of caring for the environment while on safari is by ensuring the camp or lodge you visit cooks as much as possible with produce farmed locally, organically and seasonally.
Dining at Sindabezi Island is all about fresh and healthy meals © Tongabezi
On Sindabezi Island, all organic waste is used to create rich, nourishing compost that goes back into the onsite vegetable garden. What reaches the table is an environmentally-friendly, healthy and delicious meal made largely with local ingredients. All other waste that is non-biodegradable is sent to mainland Zambia to be recycled or for landfill disposal.
The beautiful, green orchard that forms part of Garonga’s onsite garden © Garonga
The garden at Garonga is fertilized naturally by organic chicken litter and produces a third of the entire camp’s food needs. The holistic ethos of this eco safari camp emphasizes a retreat in nature that is based on mindfulness, health and wellness, and which understands that food should feed not only the body but the soul and mind too.