Botswana’s policy of preserving its wildlife and implementing sustainable tourism policies has paid off with its pristine natural environment. Whilst the country is one of Africa’s more expensive safari destinations, the money paid on entering national parks contributes towards conservation strategies and the development of local communities. Over 17% of the country’s land has been set aside as national parks and game reserves; however, the number of visitors is limited in order that the area can be preserved. In particular, fees from entry to the National Parks are used to develop the country’s eco-tourism strategy which invests in tourism initiatives which are owned by local communities. Sample projects include handicraft production, considered important income earners for women in the remote areas of Botswana, and development of community campsites which allow communities to develop a range of services for visitors.
This trip uses local guides who have an intense passion for nature and their country. Their ability to speak local dialects gives guests a privileged insight into the intriguing local tribal cultures, whilst their well-trained game-spotting skills and expert knowledge of botany and wildlife provide for a unique and informative experience. Senior guides have been trained by the company and worked their way to respected positions: and indeed their guiding skills are well recognised and respected.
The camps in this trip in the Okavango Delta are small and traditional, thus minimising strain on scarce resources such as electrical requirements. The camps do not have air conditioning as this is destructive to the environment. Where possible, solar panels are used for electrical requirements – these are supported by generators, and customers are advised on how to save power on arrival. The camps are intended to be quaint, unassuming, and tucked into the environment so that ultimately only a footprint will remain.
The lodges we use provide valuable employment for local people, and many of the lodges have set up programmes for their staff such as AIDS awareness training sessions, and provide staff welfare officers, lay counsellors and peer educators in their lodges. We are a wholly online company, and do not produce paper brochures.