1. Stay in eco-friendly lodges
We can help you choose lodges with eco-friendly credentials such as Mwaleshi in Zambia’s remote North Luangwa, or Mumbo Island in Malawi for the true Robinson Crusoe getaway. Many of these lodges are powered from solar panels, use compostable loos, and will recycle as much as possible. Even if a lodge doesn’t have particular credentials, you can still do your bit by reducing the number of towel changes in your accommodation, kindly refusing any plastic straws in your sundowners, and trying not to use too many paper napkins.
2. Choose lodges that give back to the local community
Many of the lodges we use make various forms of charitable contributions to the local area to help with sustainable tourism and other benefits to the environment. Serra Cafema is one lodge where nearly all the staff are locals, and the land is leased to the Himba people for their livestock grazing. Make your own contribution by helping with “Pack for a Purpose” which is widely recognised by a lot of the lodges we use. This involves packing items that will be of use to the area you are travelling to and handing them over to your accommodation when you arrive for distribution. Let us know if you’d like to contribute and we can suggest some suitable items depending on your destination.
3. Consider alternative modes of transport
Walking and horse riding safaris are the obvious choices here, but how about looking at a mountain bike safari, or for those who’d like a more relaxed version of a biking safari, there’s the option of hiring e-bikes as well. A few of the lodges, Lewa Wilderness being one, are now adopting electric safari vehicles too, many of which are being charged through solar panels back at the lodge. Another option would be a leisurely canoe down one of the many rivers, in particular the Okavango Delta, Botswana in a mokoro.
4. Use a reusable water bottle
Often these will be supplied by lodges to be used instead of sipping out of plastic cups, and can often be taken home with you afterwards to continue the good work at home! Many bottles will also claim to keep your drinks ice cold for up to 24 hours, perfect for those long days on safari in the midday heat.
5. Take a reusable shopping bag
Foldaway shopping bags take up very little space in your luggage and will eliminate the need for plastic bags during your trip. These would be especially useful if you’re planning a trip to the shops in places like Cape Town, Zanzibar and Nairobi. Tanzania have also now banned plastic bags completely, so all the more reason to go prepared!
6. Meet the local community
Take a trip into the local villages to meet the locals and browse the local shops. These shops will provide you with much more authentic gifts and souvenirs than the larger hotel gift shops, and it will help to inject some money back into the local area. If you’re off gorilla trekking in Uganda, be sure to visit the Bwindi Bar in Buhoma for a refreshing drink or a quick bite to eat.