Responsible tourism: Horse riding vacation in Botswana
Wildlife and the environment. We are grateful to be granted permission to ride over fragile areas and community-owned land. Traveling on horseback has minimal impact on fragile environments (compared to a 4X4) and we remain committed to the conservation and preservation of the wildlife and the communities with whom we partner. Rides are capped at 10 persons (max) and we often run with fewer riders.
Indigenous communities who live in these pristine areas are best-placed to protect them and we in turn help to empower them by paying a fair salary, thus sharing the financial benefits that tourism brings.
Local people are trained in horsemanship, guiding and skills to run a camp. These skills are transferable and help to alleviate poverty and protect against poaching. Everyone involved in this operation has a stake in protecting wildlife and the habitat.
The camps and lodges that we patronise are constructed from local materials and are 100% solar powered.
The Local Community The income generated from this trip flows down through the local community via specific training in horsemanship, camp management and English language training. A fair wage is guaranteed for all employees and their dependents benefit from the relationship with “Love Botswana Outreach Mission” http://lovebotswana.org/
Horse welfare. We ensure that the horses are well fed and well treated; no harsh aides are used (no gags or spurs) and a thorough anthelmintic regime is followed. We ensure that rider’s weight falls within limits set by the stable and where the weight-limit is exceeded, a second horse is provided, ensuring that no horse is over-worked (each one works only half a day). We ensure horse and rider are matched at the beginning of the vacation so that neither struggles.
Rider information. We provide all of our clients with a personal “Field Manual” which is a destination-specific guidebook to help each person prepare for life overseas so that a collision between cultures is avoided. This manual helps travelers engage positively and actively with the local community and learn more about them.