Why does sustainable tourism matter?
Since we have recently started working with Responsible Travel, it’s fair to say that we, myself in particular, have become more aware of the importance of social and environmental sustainability across Africa.
Many of the greatest experiences in Africa are a product of the natural world. The game-filled plains of the Serengeti, the overwhelming scale of Lake Victoria, the gorilla jungles of Rwanda, the fierce cats of the Masai Mara, the annual turtle hatching across the sandy coastline, and of course, one of the greatest spectacles on earth, the wildebeest migration.
We want to show you, your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren, these natural wonders that the continent is shaped by, but sadly, it’s not something that Africa can promise. Today, protecting the biodiversity of these fragile ecosystems has become more important than ever for the health of our planet.
The good news? Africa is stepping up.
It’s inspiring how camps so remote, in the middle of the bush, are becoming so dedicated to long-term sustainability, and we feel their commitment should be boasted. It’s more than just installing a couple of solar panels and a waste management system (although this is still something that should be praised… in fact, Loisaba Camp in Kenya has over 120 solar panels in camp which source all of its power!).
It’s the recognition that wildlife and livestock need to co-exist, that education about Africa’s fragile ecosystem need to be encouraged in all directions, and that work towards supporting wildlife and research programmes in the local area will be extremely beneficial in the long run.
The human dimension is just as important as protecting the wildlife and environment, and something that makes Africa just so magical (excuse the cheesiness), is its people.
Sustainable tourism is all about communities. Many of the camps we work with respect the traditional and pastoral values, livelihoods and grazing areas; believe that the conservation can pay and bring benefit to the local communities; and support an inclusive workplace that promotes diversity. This pays back, because well cared for locals let you get closer to their culture, their people and their nature… A benefit for all.
Tourism has a vital role to play in protecting the natural world. Working with Responsible Travel, as well as spreading the word about the importance of sustainable travel and the benefits it has on our beautiful world and the people in it, is only a small step, but one that we are excited about.