South Africa photography safari

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01273 823 700

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2018: 6 Jul
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South Africa photography safari

Environment

We believe in the power of photography; the power to create incredible experiences, and the power to make a positive impact. That’s why we founded our own Trust, a non-profit organisation that uses photography to make a positive impact on both a social and conservation level. We finance the running costs of the Trust, so by just by joining one of our workshops, you're indirectly contributing. (So all you have to do to make a difference is have the photo adventure of a lifetime!)

Through this Trust, we provide free professional photography to charities doing environmental and conservation work; images they can use for fundraising and communication purposes.

Using Photography for Wildlife Conservation:
If you join our photo safari, you'll be given the option of donating some of your wildlife images to an online photography database; a database that offers free use to charities that work in wildlife and nature conservation. The images have been used by organisations like WWF.

Ethical Practices during Game Drives:
The guides at both Zimanga Private Game Reserve and Umlani Bush Lodge are extremely well-trained and taught to keep conservation of the area and well-being of the wildlife a priority during all game drives. On top of this, the reserves have strict policies in place during game drives to ensure that the right distance is kept from animals, there are not more than three vehicles at one sighting at a time, and that the animals’ well-being is not compromised.

Accommodation Environmental Policies:
At both game reserves, we will have strict recycle policies. We use a local company who collects our refuse weekly. It is then taken to a separation plant and sorted. It is then recycled accordingly. We’ll keep the use of plastic bottles to a minimum by providing our guests with reusable water bottles. Both lodges also use environmentally friendly products wherever possible, including energy efficient light bulbs, environmentally friendly cleaning solutions, and organic food.

At our office in Cape Town, we recycle, compost, and minimise the use of paper by predominantly working with digital files.

Carbon Footprint Compensation:
To compensate for our carbon footprint, we sponsor a tree for each participant, which is planted by Greenpop in their reforestation or urban greening programs in Southern Africa. We'll give you a ‘tree ring,’ a key ring that has the coordinates of their tree, so that you know exactly where it’s growing.

Community

Apart from supporting conservation initiatives through our photography, we also support social nonprofits. We provide free professional photography to charities that do valuable work and can use the images for fundraising purposes.

Through our Trust, we also run PhotoVoice workshops for youth in underprivileged South African communities. We identify talented young individuals with an interest in and talent for photography, and provide workshops where we encourage them to tell their stories, and the stories of their communities, through photography. We teach them creative self-expression, and the power visual images can have. Participants are encouraged to raise awareness about issues that matter most to them, which stimulates positive activism.

Supporting Local Economy:
A majority of staff at Zimanga is employed from the local communities. All staff members receive high quality training, an above average wage, and great working conditions. They also receive unions fees, pension funds, and bonuses.

Umlani has a FTTSA-certification, which confirms that they operate in accordance with strict socio-economic guidelines. These are some specific initiatives by the reserve:
- At least 80% of our staff are from the local community and they have strict employment equality guidelines
- They proudly build capacity within the local community by training staff in such a way that they can grow and develop their careers. Proof of this is that 10 local employees who started at Umlani as apprentices are now working as rangers, trackers, chefs and in management roles at other neighbouring lodges
- They run an in-house Ranger and Tracker Apprentice programme
- They source most of our products locally, and have a programme in place to constantly monitor and improve this

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