Responsible, eco-conscious tourism is a buzz world you’ll hear a lot. It also sounds like a drag, right? Wrong! Being an eco-friendly tourist in South Africa is pretty simple, and won’t need you to do anything except enjoy the trip. Here’s the Kambaku Lodges top tips on ethical, responsible tourism – no hassle!
Know and say no… that’s all it takes
Knowing what eco matters matter most to the country you’re visiting is the first step to eco-conscious tourism. Game Reserves in Timbavati have concerns that may be different than your own hometown or country. Here, water can often be in short supply, so responsible water usage during your time here is critical. Take shorter showers, don’t leave taps dripping, and let us know if you spot a problem.
Likewise, it’s time to say ‘no’ to junk. From a lid on your coffee to the plastic straw in your soda, junk intruding on natural environments is becoming a serious issue worldwide. Do your part to keep unnecessary rubbish out of the landfills, and make sure to dispose of your own waste responsibly- that casually dropped bottle could choke and kill local wildlife or destroy their environment, after all.
In protected areas, it can also be illegal to pick or gather plants. As well as making sure to take your litter and waste with you, make sure you don’t disturb the natural environment too much- as the famous saying goes, take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. Lastly, remember that- as exciting as your time on safari will be- this is a truly wild African experience. From the roaring lion to the tiniest Dwarf mongoose, these are not tame animals, and are always best left alone.
Supporting the locals responsibly
Modern tourism has evolved from an entity that only takes, to a supportive way to help grow local communities and support local development. If you can help contribute in a meaningful way, be it through safari activities that pay back to the community, or through local purchases, it’s always great. Sadly, however, there are always those who will make a living through preying on tourist empathy. Sometimes it’s a mere nuisance, as with touts, and other times it can outright bring crime to the local communities. Rather opt to support local artists, craftspeople and food vendors, and otherwise direct your money to positive upliftment programs for the area, if you wish to.
Lastly, you can always take a little care with your splurge purchases for the (unlucky) folks back home. Sustainable and eco-friendly crafts and mementoes are easy to find. Steer away from dubious or unethical products, or trophies from endangered and illegal wildlife poaching.
These actions may seem small, but being an eco-conscious tourist doesn’t take much at all. Added together, however, each of our small actions will have a huge impact on preserving the beauties of the Timbavati Game Reserve for future generations.
Keen to know more about responsible tourism? The team at the Kambaku Game Lodges are always happy to help visitors learn more about our beautiful corner of Africa.