Accommodation and Meals:
For lodge departures, we spend 12 nights in lodges, chalets or hotels. For camping departures, we spend 9 nights full-service camping and 3 nights in guesthouses. All of the accommodation we use is locally staffed and local produce and supplies are used, which benefits the wider community. Energy saving bulbs and water conservation signs are common in our permanent accommodations, whilst camping is a great way to reduce environmental impact in itself. We are careful with managing waste, litter and noise pollution. Meals will generally consist of fresh fruit, cold cheese and meat, bread rolls and more traditional dishes like Potjie (Stew) or Braai (BBQ). Where meals are not provided, we encourage clients to support local restaurants. In Windhoek, clients can even try local game meat varieties such as Oryx, Zebra and Crocodile!
During wildlife safaris and game drives we behave responsibly with any wildlife we may come into contact with and this is reinforced by our staff and by an environmental code of conduct which is posted in every vehicle we use. Twenty-five percent of all park entrance fees paid is reinvested by the MET (Ministry of Environmental and Tourism) through the Game Products Trust Fund into essential infrastructure and services related to tourism in Namibia’s parks. So by running our game drives in Etosha National Park, we are contributing to local community initiatives and helping to fund the protection of the wide range of species which live there. Our optional activities on day 6 (dolphin watching, sand-boarding, quad-biking etc.) are also run by local businesses, so we encourage people to go on these excursions.
A Fair Deal:
Our tour operators are 100% African owned and each member of staff has a huge passion and knowledge of Namibia. This is not only beneficial for our clients, who get real insider’s knowledge on our tours, but this benefits the economy by creating local jobs and ensuring that all income stays within Southern Africa. Our local employees are trained on responsible tourism issues and are given refresher courses regularly. When visiting places like Etosha, we employ an experienced guide from that area which helps surrounding communities benefit directly from our tours.
On this trip we visit the Africat Foundation. The foundation was set up to assist with the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores through research, education and rehabilitation. We will meet the centre's resident cheetahs (cheetahs are the most endangered big cat in Africa but Namibia has the world’s largest free roaming population) and learn about the conservation efforts taking place.
Local Craft and Culture:
We visit Swakopmund, which is a small German colonial resort town with quaint cake shops and coffee houses and a centre for adrenaline activities. This is a great chance to explore local businesses and learn about Namibian culture on an optional township tour. Clients can support the local economy by buying beer brewed in the area or – if you’re feeling brave- trying a regional specialty like Mowpane worms. There are also plenty of craft markets in Swakopmund, as well as on route to Etosha, selling wooden carvings, jewellery and material Herero dolls.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.