Botswana safari, lodges and mobile camps

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Botswana safari, lodges and mobile camps

Environment

On this tour you can expect to witness and encounter many big cats, predators and massive herds of elephants in their natural habitats, and we and our partners place a huge importance on ensuring that these fascinating and beautiful creatures and their homes are protected. We believe that “good” tourism to these parts of the world directly has a very positive impact on the conservation efforts that are in place across the country. By opening up the eyes of people across the world to the ongoing fight to conserve the habitats of the country’s wildlife and by actively encouraging investment in these schemes we can help the people of Botswana to preserve the elements that make this country so unique.

As a company we support many wildlife organisations worldwide and we actively encourage our customers to offset any carbon footprint by contributing or donating to the conservation efforts in Botswana including the Save the Rhino and Big Cat initiatives that are in place. Further to this our partners in Botswana are all responsible ecotourism operators and place a huge emphasis on supporting a variety of wildlife management, research and education projects throughout southern Africa and a proportion of your fees for many of the lodges you will be staying at on your trip are allocated to these projects. This includes Pelo Camp which is a camp dedicated to the sustainability of conservation and community, being intimately involved in the Tubu Joint Management Committee which was launched to reduce conflict between the community and the Jao Concession – specifically with regard to curbing poaching and over-fishing. The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge also co-founded the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit.

Further to this the ground handlers that we use for this trip are 100% committed to ensuring the ongoing protection of wildlife by supporting charities such as the Maun Animal Welfare Society which provides free veterinary treatment to low income individuals in Northern Botswana. In turn this vital service assists in preventing the spread of disease from domestic animals to the world famous Botswana wildlife population.

The pre-departure briefing on this tour will also include information on respecting the wildlife which you will encounter, including keeping a safe distance and ensuring not to encroach upon their habitats or do anything which may put the animal under any stress or danger. In most game reserves tourists are not permitted to leave their game vehicles, this is for the safety of both the tourists and the wildlife, and our local partners will ensure that the strict measures in place to conserve the habitats of this wildlife are stringently enforced.

As well as ensuring the protection of the country’s unique wildlife, one of the most important aspects to your tour to Botswana will be ensuring that your travel places as little impact on the environment as possible. Your pre-departure information will include advice on how to travel in an environmentally responsible way, including responsible use of water, a most precious commodity throughout the areas we will visit, and appropriate waste disposal.

We also ensure that all of the lodges and accommodations we use on this trip have appropriate “green” credentials and have policies in place for environmentally friendly operations. This includes the Chobe Savanna Lodge where every aspect of the lodge’s operation is monitored in terms of its environmental impact and exceptionally high standards of environmental care are maintained. Likewise, Pelo Camp has set objectives of using technologies and techniques towards reducing energy consumption and fuel use, with the camp being run on 100% solar power, and using efficient solar geysers to heat water. On top of this the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge recently received a silver award from the international organisation Green Tourism, one of the world’s most credible and effective global sustainability programs, and the largest, in recognition of their commitment to the environment.

As a company we firmly believe that environmental responsibility starts at home (and the work place of course). We encourage recycling of waste as a company and as individuals. Where possible for business use we use public transport. We are also heavily involved with a project to recycle used or damaged binoculars, which are then sent to conservation projects across the world.

Community

Tourism in Botswana is an exceptionally important revenue stream and we take every step necessary to ensure that the tours we provide create a 100% positive impact on the communities of the regions we visit. As a company we believe in promoting tourism as a sustainable natural resource with the power to conserve, protect and improve lives, and this is particularly relevant on our Botswana itineraries.

We are committed to ensuring that on all of our tours we only use lodges and hotels that have a proven track record of supporting their local communities and treating their staff well and fairly. This includes the Chobe Savanna Lodge whose core philosophy is that their largest asset is their people. Their social responsibility programme focuses on their staff who, in the main, come from relatively poor rural backgrounds. They place great emphasis on the need to develop the human potential of the country’s citizens and a particular effort has been made to enhance skills within the company through an active and very successful skills development programme. Today a large proportion of the management staff are local citizens. Likewise at Pelo Camp there are fantastic training programmes which provide local people with the skills to become some of the best guides and managers in the African tourist industry. All of the operators we use also have innovative HIV/AIDS programmes to assist those affected by this devastating disease.

The providers that we use for this tour are passionate about protecting the communities, wildlife and landscapes of this remarkable country. Committed to creating and upholding transparent and honest relationships with local communities and suppliers, they work tirelessly to ensure continued revenue streams for local communities and only hire local people. With established in-house training programs, mentoring systems and ongoing training our agents provide career opportunities that without the tourism aspect would not be possible. We use a local ground handler so that not only do they hold intimate knowledge of the regions and how to protect them, but also so that as much of the revenue created as possible is filtered straight through to the local communities.

Our ground handler partners are continually investing in social responsibility initiatives and support numerous local initiatives including community buses, ongoing investment in local schools and working with the Travel for Impact organisation. On top of this they also have fantastic initiatives in place for promoting the importance of keeping women in the workplace and provide funds to numerous charities including Women Against Rape (WAR) and Bana Ba Letsatsi which operates a rehabilitation centre that offers a place of safety for the terrifying number of orphaned and vulnerable children in Maun. Solely using local agencies and providers also means we have up to date local information and can therefore provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure literature. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in. Before departure you will also be provided with information on cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We offer first-hand advice on creating meaningful and respectful relationships between tourists and residents and suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors), where to eat & where to drink.

As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.

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