Zimbabwe & Botswana self drive holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Zimbabwe & Botswana self drive holiday

Environment

On this epic trip to Zimbabwe and Bostwana you will witness remarkable wildlife amongst some of the world’s most enchanting landscapes including the Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park and the Chobe Riverfront. As the organisers of this trip we make it our responsibility to ensure that all travellers are briefed properly on how best to enhance your visit whilst travelling in an environmentally responsible way so as to protect the lands that you encounter.

Your pre-departure information will include advice on how you can travel in an environmentally friendly manner, including responsible use of water, a most precious commodity throughout the areas you will visit, and appropriate waste disposal. As this is a self-drive itinerary the responsibility will inevitably fall at your feet to ensure that you take all advice seriously but we or our partners will be contactable every step of the way should you need any further information or advice on how you can lower or offset your carbon footprint and ensure that your visit has a positive effect on the regions you will be visiting.

We will also ensure that all of the lodges and accommodations that you will be staying in have appropriate “green” credentials and have policies in place for environmentally friendly operations including responsible waste disposal practices, eco-friendly building design and appropriate practices for power generation. As a company we firmly believe that environmental responsibility starts at home (and the work place of course). We encourage recycling of waste as a company and as individuals. Where possible for business use we use public transport. We are also heavily involved with a project to recycle used or damaged binoculars, which are then sent to conservation projects across the world.

Of course one of the main focuses on your trip will be the wide array of wildlife that you will expect to encounter throughout your journey. The people of Zimbabwe and Botswana work tirelessly to ensure the continued survival of the remarkable wildlife that abounds here and along with our local partners we place a huge importance on ensuring that these fascinating and beautiful creatures and their homes are protected. We believe that “good” tourism to these parts of the world directly has a very positive impact on the conservation efforts that are in place across the country. By opening up the eyes of people across the world to the ongoing fight to conserve the habitats of the country’s wildlife and by actively encouraging investment in these schemes we can help to preserve the elements that make this country so unique.

As a company we support many wildlife organisations worldwide and we actively encourage our customers to offset any carbon footprint by contributing or donating to the conservation efforts in Botswana and Zimbabwe including the Save the Rhino and Big Cat initiatives that are in place. Further to this the ground handlers that we use for this trip are 100% committed to ensuring the ongoing protection of wildlife by supporting charities such as the Maun Animal Welfare Society which provides free veterinary treatment to low income individuals in Northern Botswana. In turn this vital service assists in preventing the spread of disease from domestic animals to the world famous Botswana wildlife population.

The pre-departure briefing on this tour will also include information on respecting the wildlife which you will encounter, including keeping a safe distance and ensuring not to encroach upon their habitats or do anything which may put the animal under any stress or danger. In most game reserves tourists are not permitted to leave their game vehicles, this is for the safety of both the tourists and the wildlife, and our local partners will ensure that the strict measures in place to conserve the habitats of this wildlife are stringently enforced.

Community

Tourism in Southern Africa is an exceptionally important revenue stream and we take every step necessary to ensure that the tours we provide create a 100% positive impact on the communities of the regions we visit. As a company we believe in promoting tourism as a sustainable natural resource with the power to conserve, protect and improve lives, and this is particularly relevant on our Botswana and Zimbabwe self-drive itineraries.

On a self-drive tour it is important to have an understanding of the regions you will be travelling to. Solely using local agencies to provide the basic elements of your tour means we have up to date & relevant local information that we can pass on to you. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, information on cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We offer first-hand advice on creating meaningful and respectful relationships between tourists and residents and suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors), where to eat & where to drink.

The local providers that we use are also exceptionally passionate about protecting the communities, wildlife and landscapes of this remarkable country. They are committed to creating and upholding transparent and honest relationships with local communities and suppliers. We use small, local management companies so that not only do they hold intimate knowledge of the regions and how to protect them, but also so that as much of the revenue created as possible is filtered straight through to the local communities. The suppliers that we work with ensure continued revenue streams for local communities and only hire local people. Our agents provide career opportunities that without the tourism aspect would not be possible, and through established in-house training programs, mentoring systems and ongoing training the local people of the communities we visit are encouraged to prosper.

On top of this we are also committed to ensuring that on all of our tours we only use lodges and hotels that have a proven track record of treating staff well and fairly, and which have processes in place for giving back to the local communities. For example the operators of the Amalinda and Ivory lodges which you will be staying at on your trip are heavily involved with, and offer a huge support to, the Mother Africa Trust. The Mother Africa Trust is a tremendous organisation which supports the local communities in numerous ways including supporting local schools, orphanages and hospitals, whilst creating sustainable projects in the area to allow the locals to create opportunities for themselves and their families. By staying in these lodges you are directly contributing to the sustainable development of Zimbabwe’s people and environment.

As well as this our ground handler partners are continually investing in social responsibility initiatives and support numerous local initiatives including community buses, ongoing investment in local schools and working with the Travel for Impact organisation. They also have fantastic initiatives in place for promoting the importance of keeping women in the workplace and provide funds to numerous charities including Women Against Rape (WAR) and Bana Ba Letsatsi which operates a rehabilitation centre that offers a place of safety for the terrifying number of orphaned and vulnerable children in Maun.

As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.

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