Southern Africa luxury wildlife & beach vacation

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Southern Africa luxury wildlife & beach vacation

Botswana’s policy of preserving its wildlife and implementing sustainable tourism policies has paid off with its pristine natural environment. Whilst the country is one of Africa’s more expensive safari destinations, the money paid on entering national parks contributes towards conservation strategies and the development of local communities.

This trip uses local guides who have an intense passion for nature and their country. Their ability to speak local dialects gives guests a privileged insight into the intriguing local tribal cultures, whilst their well-trained game-spotting skills and expert knowledge of botany and wildlife provide for a unique and informative experience.

The lodges in Botswana have been developed with exceptional sensitivity to the surrounding environment and great care is taken to ensure that the presence of the camps is not intrusive; Boreholes have safety switches to prevent over utilization of the resource. The camps are situated in environmentally sensitive areas, all solid waste is sorted and removed from the site. Scavenger proof cages are used for temporary waste storage. All cleaning products and chemicals are bio-degradable. Camps run off power generators if not situated on an electrical grid. Emissions and fuel usage are greatly decreased.

In Zambia, the lodge we recommend is extremely committed to supporting the local communities, including setting up a small pre-school for local children and assisting in the construction of a clinic that will serve the villages around the area. At present the closest medical facility is about 30kms away. Guests to the lodge are invited to bring much needed school supplies with them to donate personally. The lodge also supports a local initiative to assist with the production of clean and safe drinking water to the local villages. This is achieved by raising funds to buy bio-sand filters for each village.

The Retreat in Mozambique is one of only a handful of resorts where the community are major stakeholders and contribute to every aspect of the project. The resort is Mozambique’s first carbon neutral hotel, achieved by planting indigenous trees to assist the re-forestation of the island in compensation for the carbon emissions generated by the lodge and its building.

The local communities have been educated and encouraged not to hunt rare species or over-fish certain areas and a ‘no fishing zone’ has been established in front of the resort’s shores to encourage a resurgence of dolphins. Besides employing local islanders wherever possible the lodge owners have also helped in rebuilding the village after the area was devastated by cyclone Favio in March 2007, developing a new school and housing for the teachers and giving English lessons to the new teaching staff and the local National Park wardens.

2 Reviews of Southern Africa luxury wildlife & beach vacation

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Botswana was the best. We want to go back today!! One of the most memorable moments is arriving in our first camp, and barely two hours later, sitting on a Land Rover just meters from a male lion, and nothing between him and us! Just amazing!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be sure you don't mind flying. Lots of flying, and some of it on some pretty old and/or small planes. If we had known, we would have maybe have chosen a different beach destination than Mozambique, as this added quite a bit of flying.

In Victoria Falls, I would recommend not staying in the Zambezi Sun or the Royal Livingston. Despite being right on the falls, they feel like large Mediterranean style resorts. Travelers who stayed in African style lodges upstream of the falls seemed to have better things to say.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

In Botswana absolutely! Not sure about Zambia and Mozambique...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Absolutely amazing! The vacation of a lifetime! Especially Botswana, where I am sure we will one day return.

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The best part was the actual difference between the places and experiences, from things to see and experience to just relaxation and enjoyment. A perfect combination! (If we have to chose on place as the best, it would be the lodge in Botswana).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Do it! Money well spent.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Especially in Botswana the local contact was felt - maybe least so in Mauritius but that may always be the case with a big international hotel and does not mean they do not have responsible policies.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Wonderful! Five stars!

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