Ethical Tourism in Africa
Nature Bound Africa believes that it is our responsibility to protect and enhance the natural and cultural environment in all of the African areas were we operate our African safaris. We offer incredible safaris in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and so much more, and all of these places have one thing in common: truly special natural landscapes and wildlife. It’s the nature in Africa that attracts the most people, so it’s important to look after it. But it’s also just inherently valuable in itself, to look after the land you live on and the animals you share a home with. Our conservation activities are an integral part of the larger environmental system of the planet.
Our membership in Eco Tourism Kenya, FAADA, packforapurpose, responsibletravel.com, while significant, is a small part of what Nature Bound Africa does to make the world a better place. We are proud to play a part in helping the people and animals in East Africa live healthier lives – here are six initiatives that we are especially proud of.
The Foundation for Counseling and Action in Defense of Animals (FAADA) is a non-profit organization for the protection of all animals.
Working with property owners and conservation agencies, Nature Bound Africa has helped protect over 2.5 million acres of land under conservation.
Reducing environmental impact from our African safaris
All of our properties are designed to have low environmental impact and practice energy and water conservation. Initiatives include investing in solar panels, building structures and furniture from local and sustainable materials, recycling all plastic and removing all waste from camps and even using the sustainable gum tree in fires.
Wildlife reintroduction and trans-location
It’s hard to believe, but between 1977 and 1995 over 30,000 elephant and rhino where killed by poachers in the Sarara region. In 1993, Ian Craig of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy persuaded the neighboring Il Ngwesi community to become the first community conservation initiative in the north of Kenya. Today, several thousand elephants are living and breeding peacefully in the southern Mathews Range area. Nature Bound Africa is proud to have supported the LWC in its efforts.
How our travelers can help
Pack for a Purpose
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.
We support the Plaster House, a very special home in Arusha that enables children, from all over Tanzania, to recover after they have had corrective surgery, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery or neurosurgery for a disability. The home currently serves more than 160 children. The children are housed here until they are ready to return home. Schooling is provided while they are recovering here, in addition to all the other services that ensure a positive outcome for their recovery. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.
A hard no-litter policy:
keep all litter in your possession until you find a suitable disposal facility. Do not carelessly discard cigarette stubs as much of southern Africa is very arid and scrub and grasslands can catch light quickly with devastating effects.
Driving and walking:
if driving yourself, then stick to roads, tracks and trails, do not venture off these. This helps minimise damage to vegetation and distress to wildlife. Similarly, when approaching animals in your vehicle or on foot, keep a respectful distance from them and don’t harass them. Take into consideration your distance and do not attempt to feed or touch any wildlife.
Attempt to use environmentally friendly bathroom products and use them sparingly to minimise pollution of the local water supply. Many of our lodges provide their own complimentary environmentally friendly products. In some areas of Northern Tanzania, (in particular Serengeti), water shortage is a serious problem, the severity of this increases during the hot period of the the year.
Please conserve water on any African safari holiday
Where possible – however, it is important to keep oneself hydrated at all times. Please also make every effort to conserve other resources i.e.: remember to switch off lights and air-conditioning when you leave your room.
Also we ask that you:
• Do not purchase products that may endanger the survival of an animal by encouraging the destruction of a species for souvenirs i.e.: ivory, skins or other wildlife products.
• Visit and support local conservation and community projects where possible. This provides valuable funding for projects and enables the local community to improve their standard of living through developing infrastructure and services.
• Do not give money to beggars. Instead make a resolution that you will make a donation to a local school or health project before you leave Africa. (Ask us if you’d like suggestions for this.)
With regard to your own social behaviour, it is important to be aware of the local community’s culture and traditions and to respect local etiquette. We would hope that all our clients intend a cultural exchange during their visit to learn more about the host community. We suggest that…
• You ask your local guides about their customs – they’re the best ones to advise you in Africa.
• You try to be as inoffensive as possible by taking into consideration dress codes.
• Couples should try not to be over-amorous in public
• You ask before you take photographs of local people and please respect their privacy.
• You try to learn simple words or phrases from the local language to reflect your interest – greetings are vital.
• You maintain a level of respect for all local people and avoid “high-handed foreigner” attitudes.
Considering the local economy on your safari, we ask you to try to:
• Purchase local goods rather than imported products. Be adventurous and dine in local restaurants and café’s. This helps to support the local economy rather than increasing leakage to other countries through international chains.
• Visit local, small-scale souvenir shops and purchase from these rather than city/hotel tourist shops.
• We recommend that you plan for tipping within your holiday budget. If you feel that you have received good service during your stay at a lodge/guest farm/camp etc., please make a donation at the end of your visit in the central staff tipping box – tipping differs from place to place, so please ask the management the best way to do it to ensure that the people behind the scenes also benefit.
Finally, we’d again suggest that if you are looking specifically for places that have particularly strong RT aspects to their work, then we’d suggest that you first look at our suggestions for trips that include time with traditional cultures – as these often have particularly strong community involvement.
If you have any questions about our African responsible tourism efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to hear from people who care as much about Africa as we do! We hope that out ethical tourism efforts in Africa ensure that our guests can look forward to any one of our African safari holidays without worrying about any possible negative impact they might have.
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Don't see the perfect trip on the list? No worries! We'd be happy to make a custom itinerary for you, so you can get exactly what you want out of your African adventure. Just give us a call!
East Africa: (+255) 784 737 413