We have several animal research and conservation efforts in place. The Savannah Research Centre in the Mbuluzi Game Reserve in Swaziland, for example, was created by us to investigate biodiversity challenges, train future conservationists and partner with multiple protected areas to help stop species extinctions. It is self-sustaining for the long-term requiring no finance from Government, conservation areas or donors.
This trip is based near our marine research and conservation base in Tofo, Mozambique, where the marine wildlife microcosm that is Tofo offers up pertinent questions and answers along the lines of conservation in developing communities such as Mozambique, particularly in a small sleepy fishing village like Tofo, that is bursting at the seams with marine mega-fauna. While in the water, dive instructors ensure that safe and correct distances are kept between divers and wildlife.
Further than this, we make use of locally owned accommodations, two of which are owned by us. Our owned accommodations such as Lidwala Backpackers Lodge, where this trip begins, and Hout Bay Backpackers make use of environmentally friendly practices when it comes to running and maintaining the accommodations. Recycling facilities are clearly demarcated on site and printing is kept to a minimum as everything is digitized, lights are kept off and reminder tags are placed around the general areas to remind guests to be mindful of water and electricity usage.
Our organisation and staff encourage the visiting of local markets and stalls as opposed to supermarket shopping. Volunteers are, however, given the option to shop at whichever location they would like. Nonetheless, they are made aware of the impact that buying from self sustained local markets has on local communities and therefore encouraged to make their purchases there.
We address local issues such as the rate at which children are orphaned in Mozambique due to the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in these countries. We embody our motto of working together for people and wildlife, by actively raising awareness, funds, and the man power needed to help educate vulnerable children from a kindergarten level, to ensure that they are clothed and fed, and to ensure that they have an opportunity at a 'tomorrow'.
We encourage the training and empowerment of the local community, promoting the hiring and training of local graduates and professionals. Our Tour Guides are knowledgeable and know exactly where to find authentic local cuisines, trinkets, accessories and souvenirs. Volunteers are shown around local art galleries, and are able to go on a village walking tour as part of their orientation into southern African culture.
Our Social Projects Coordinators ensure that our guests are well versed with the ways of the local people and what it is that they can expect on a dive course with us.