Zimbabwe holiday, small group tour

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2017: 26 Mar
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Zimbabwe holiday, small group tour

Environment

On this trip you are accompanied by a local guide who will lead you through Zimbabwe in a culturally and environmentally sensitive way, ensuring that wildlife and flora is viewed in a responsible manner and all animals 'wildness' is respected.

The Mother Earth Charity works with 3 of the lodges on this itinerary and so by staying at the lodges on this itinerary, you are directly contributing a number of environmental and community projects.

They have assisted the Friends of Hwange Trust financially in pumping water for the Parks wildlife. All waste water at the 3 lodges is recycled and they have launched a variety of projects tackling recycling, vermi-culture and tree planting at each lodge, aiming to make them more eco-friendly and minimize their environmental impact.

They also support the Lion researchers in Hwange, buying tranquilisers and other materials and they return the favour by giving talks to guests at Ivory Lodge about the work they are doing. They have recently funded the electrification of Mabale Clinic while they conduct regular anti-poaching patrols in Ivory Lodge's 6000-acre concession and assist Zimbabwe National Parks do the same in the game park.

Another important project is Southern Ground Hornbill Research which is dedicated to the long-term conservation of this iconic bird in Zimbabwe through research on the bird's breeding ecology, education about its importance and sustained action to preserve its habitat.

They aim to enhance population breeding success by providing artificial nests where necessary and collecting and hand-rearing the second chick (which often dies of starvation), for later release into areas where they are currently locally extinct.

This is culturally sensitive and so it is important that the community plays a part in it. Re-establishing woodland areas for example, relies on local communities setting up indigenous nurseries and managing these woodland areas for recreating nesting habitat for the birds in the long term future.

Community

For every booking we make on this trip, we donate USD$50 to the Zimbabwe Aid Fund UK, a registered charity which raises money and sources medical equipment and consumables to support the pensioners in Zimbabwe. The plight of the elderly is one of the less publicised outcomes of Zimbabwe's social, economic and political collapse. The Fund also works with mothers who have been the victim of rape and as part of our support to the charity, work with Sean Kelly to send packages containing baby clothes to help these women clothe their babies. Another key part of the project is supporting rural schools and orphanages and ensuring they have the necessary equipment to help the children learn. Packages including pens and paper are sent out to help support the schools.

Three of the properties in this itinerary are involved with the 'Mother Earth' project in Zimbabwe. Each property supports a variety of projects adapted specifically to the needs of the area, ranging from environmental research to community support and development. Projects include: The Haven, a home for abused women and their children in Bulawayo, community support for a girls school in Hwange and supporting a children's home in the Matobo Hills.

We employ local guides and ensure that these guides and the staff are paid a fair wage for the work they do. All employees at the properties/lodges we feature in this itinerary are from the surrounding communities.

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