Falcon Africa Safaris
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Falcon Africa is very aware that there is often a conflict between communities bordering wildlife enclaves and the wildlife authorities managing them. Unless there is a direct benefit to the community in the form of employment in tourism and involvement in the parks/concessions, peace will not exist. Falcon Africa is very careful in its selection of suppliers. Lodges are visited and questioned on their social responsibilities. Cultural tours are contracted to suppliers in the communities and cultural guides must be from the communities.
Falcon Africa support wildlife charities, including the SPCA. A percentage of each of the Owl book was donated to a wildlife organisation and Falcon Africa also donates to the Owl Rescue Centre in South Africa.
We contract to transfer companies who use local guides, drivers etc. As we do not own our own vehicles we do not employ them.
We encourage local sourcing of products such as food, drinks, guiding etc
At Falcon Africa we place Environmental concerns above all else. Mankinds impact on the Environment is devastating.
What we have done and still continue to do:
Falcon Africa closed its 'city' office and moved to a private 'home-office'. The home-office operates entirely on solar power generated on-site, has a water storage tank for rainwater harvesting. It is virtually 'paper-free' in that there is no printed marketing material or printed documentation. A home office also reduces the requirement for motorised transport and its associated carbon emissions.
A wetland in the immediate area was threatened by a housing development. Falcon Africa campaigned for 18 months and successfully prevented the development by sponsoring legal and environmental consultancy fees and generating media attention including a petition with 29 000 signatures
Allan & Tracy published a book on owls in an urban environment. Despite being offered full sponsorship of the paper, the most expensive component, they paid for the book to be printed on 'triple green' paper that did not entail the cutting down of any trees. They went on to receive an international award in recognition of their efforts in the field of urban owl conservation.
Allan has been campaigning for 10 years to unsuccessfully prevent the over-exploitation of Kruger Park, which is threatened by large hotels being developed for purely commercial reasons. Falcon Africa acknowledges that over-tourism can be environmentally very harmful.
Encouraging visitors to limit water use is standard in all hotels / lodges in Southern Africa now. Cape Town is very strict. Hotels have signs in the showers limiting the duration allowed and requesting guests to re-use towels.
Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar have banned plastics. We warn clients of this. Game lodges supply guests with reuseable 'take home' eco water bottles. Plastic bottles are not supplied.
We ask clients not to buy shells or picking up shells from a beach
We do not use lodges that are 'environmentally un-friendly'. We will not book accommodation in the southern Kruger Park as we believe it is over-crowded. We have publicly pledged that we will not book any new hotels being opened in southern Kruger. There is now a section of the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana where we believe that too many lodges have been allowed to open. We have stopped booking this area.
South Africa has one of the most diverse and rich cultures in Africa. We believe each and every culture must be preserved and tourism is its best chance of survival. Each and every tourist has the opportunity to see Zulu dancing, which had its origins in the Zulu wars, gold mines upon which Johannesburg was founded, the Cape slave trade, Malay cuisine and the French Huguenots and the vineyards they planted.
In the early 1990's Falcon Africa was one of the first Tour Operators to take Travel Agents into Soweto to enjoy local food and nightlife. We also assisted Sowetans with joining mainstream tourism.
Travellers are provided with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in each destination
travellers are provided with suggestions of ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures
We ensure that a local guide accompanies all group visits to local communities