Responsible tourism: Malawi & Zambia culture and nature tour
On this tour we spend 4 nights in South Luangwa National Park, one of Africa's best national parks for game viewing. Whilst on game drives, we ensure that we stick to the trails at all times and do not destroy the environment just for the hope of getting better photographs of the wildlife.
A donation is made for every visit to contribute to crucial conservation and research projects designed to ensure the long term well being of the wildlife that lives here. We work with local guides in the parks who know the areas well these are from the communities that surround the parks and this therefore ensures that these vital areas are seen not just as the preserve of wealthy western tourists but as a valuable source of employment and income for local people, thus further contributing to conservation and acting as a discouragement to unsustainable use of the parks resources.
Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when camping we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us. We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.
Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income generated from tourism remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis getting the lowest possible price usually isnt the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services. As well as our local guides and tour leaders, we employ guides from the communities and regions that we visit, ensuring that the benefits from tourism are more fairly shared and do not end up always being funnelled towards the government or one major town.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. On this tour we visit the Dzalanyama School Project, a project which is geared towards the school's needs at the time. We make a financial donation to the school upon each visit, which goes towards repairs, painting and building work amongst other things. This project benefits the children of the village, as well as strengthening ties between the locals and tourists.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.