Zimbabwe & Botswana safari, elephant paths

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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 safari, elephant paths

Environment

Zimbabwe and Botswana are remarkable lands where many big cats, predators and massive herds of elephants roam free in their natural habitats, and 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 countries. 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 the people of Botswana and Zimbabwe 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 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. We also ensure that all lodges and accommodation suppliers we use are dedicated to protecting the wildlife that enchants tourists to visit their properties. This includes the Bayete Lodge which places great emphasis on their efforts to help prevent the scourge of poaching in Zimbabwe by assisting the national parks with their anti-poaching initiatives.

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.

Your pre-departure information will also include advice on how to travel in an environmentally responsible way, including responsible use of water, a most precious commodity throughout the areas we will visit, and appropriate waste disposal.

We ensure that all of the lodges and accommodations we use on this trip have appropriate “green” credentials and have policies in place for environmentally friendly operations. This is particularly evident in our use of Chobe Bakwena Lodge, which prides itself on being an exceptionally eco-friendly luxury retreat. Bakwena Lodge is the only lodge on the Chobe River to have been built completely on environmentally friendly based eco principles. The chalets you will be staying in here have been constructed in the most environmentally friendly manner possible, using the sandbag method which allows the chalets to provide their own thermal regulation without the need for wasting energy on air conditioning units. The chalets have also been constructed fully using local and sustainable or renewable natural sources where possible, allowing the lodge to maintain a low carbon footprint. All decking is pine, sourced from sustainable plantations, and all furniture has been built on site using only sustainably sourced wood. Treatments on all wooden surfaces are not harmful to the environment as they are made from natural oils and plant extracts and the walls are treated and finished with ‘green paints’. On top of this, biodegradable laundry detergents, kitchen products and furniture soaps, oils and waxes are used throughout the lodge and solar technology is used to power the lighting, heating and water. This lodge really is a groundbreaker in terms of the use of environmentally friendly operations, allowing the guest to relax in the knowledge that their visit is causing as little carbon footprint as possible.

Likewise, the Bayete Guest Lodge where you will be staying for the Victoria Falls segment of your tour has exceptional green credentials. The lodge has recently been awarded the Green Tourism bronze award and is striving fast towards a silver award. Initiatives in place include responsible energy and water consumption, excellent composting and recycling schemes, and committing to the Keep It Clean Vic Falls campaign by keeping the National Parks runway clear and regularly collecting litter along the Kazangula Road.

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.

Community

As the organisers of this Botswana & Zimbabwe tour we have ensured that all suppliers or agents that we use to provide the elements of your tour are passionate about protecting the communities, wildlife and landscapes of this remarkable country. The providers that we use 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 work tirelessly to 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.

We are 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 are committed to giving back to the local communities in which they are situated. Your hosts at Chobe Bakwena Lodge are passionate about responsible tourism that supports local communities through employment and local trade. Every member of staff, including the management team, is from the nearby villages and wherever possible materials used in the lodge are sourced locally. Likewise, the operators of Ivory Lodge place great importance on giving back to the local communities that make Zimbabwe what it is. So much so that they are part of the Mother Africa Trust which was set up to help the sustainable development of Zimbabwe’s people and environment. During your stay at Ivory Lodge you will find out how this fantastic organisation works and we encourage all of our customers to become involved somehow. Even if you don’t physically become involved, by staying here the cost of your stay will directly help towards the organisations many initiatives including anti-poaching units, aiding infrastructure development at the nearby Mabale Primary School, supporting senior citizens living at Dete Old Age Home and building predator proof bomas/kraals for the villagers to keep cattle safe from predators at night.

As well as this our 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 who in turn support NGO’s that are well governed and have a proven record of providing sustainable and tangible assistance to the communities in which we operate.

Solely using local agencies and providers means we have up to date local information and can therefore provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure literature. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, including schemes to provide school children with equipment, 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.

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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