Zimbabwe to South Africa overland tour, 34 days
Description of Zimbabwe to South Africa overland tour, 34 days
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWildlife: We stay at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Otjitongwe, Namibia which seeks to preserve the local and wider cheetah population and their ecosystems. They employ a wide range of conservation activities that involve the local population from encouraging the use of guard dogs for livestock, to assisting local communities, who share their homeland with cheetahs, to improve their livelihood. Their International Research and Education Centre gives Namibian schoolchildren, teachers and local farmers alike an awareness of the cheetah in Namibia and the challenges these animals face.
Our stay at the Park also gives our travellers the opportunity to learn about cheetahs and their conservation and helps to fund CCF’s vital work.
Energy/Waste/Water: On this trip, our accommodation for most nights is under canvas (or under the stars!), usually in campsites but occasionally wild camping in the bush with no facilities. This means our energy and water consumption is kept to a minimum - importantly, there is no chance of leaving taps running or lights on! Having minimal lighting, no heating or air conditioning and only using the water that you’ve filled and carried in a heavy jerry can, can make our travellers more aware of their water and energy use and how much is really needed and is often wasted.
We always leave wild camping areas as we found them (or better than we found them), ensuring we leave as little trace of our presence as possible and taking all litter with us.
PeopleFriends & neighbours: On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and where possible buy our food in local shops and markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions; for example our safaris to Matobo National Park are run by a company based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and they employ local drivers and guides.
Volunteering & charity: In Zimbabwe, we have become involved with the Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Harare, assisting this locally funded children’s home with regular donations of food. We came upon this Home by accident during a visit to Zimbabwe many years ago. One of our Directors was taking some supplies to a nearby children’s home and got a bit lost! He ended up at Hupenyu Hutsva by mistake and was impressed by what he saw, in terms of the staffs’ dedication and commitment.
The Home receives virtually no outside support as the children are older and not as cute and attention grabbing as the babies and toddlers of the Home nearby. We are very proud of our involvement with this Home as we can see the small differences we have made and we know that it has been important to them to just know that someone outside even cares about what is happening there. We have donated educational materials, bedding, clothing, sports equipment and computers.
In 2008 we also funded the installation of a borehole, enabling them to be far more self-sufficient in food production and enabling the children to learn valuable horticultural skills (our generous travellers donated seeds and gardening tools).
Since 2007, we have run an annual 'Kids Week' event, using one of our trucks and 2 or 3 of our crew to take all the children and staff out on a series of day trips, finishing the week with a big party. Many of the children rarely leave the compound they live on so it is always a big adventure! We're never sure who it enjoys it most though, our crew or the children! Whenever possible our trips visit the Home. The children enjoy challenging our groups to a game of cricket or football and usually win convincingly!
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