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MAKE YOUR ACTIONS COUNT

Simple Acts of Sustainability & Philanthropy

The utter joy in walking across the unspoiled plains of Africa, guided by a knowledgeable local, to witness a herd of elephant grazing, calves comically exploring the function and capabilities of their little trunks, is quite simply inimitable.

But how long will it last? How many more times might we experience this? How many more generations might walk where we have walked, see what we have seen and immerse themselves in the natural, unscathed, abundant wilds of Africa?

Elephant Pepper Camp by Sujan
Photo: Elephant Pepper Camp by Sujan

And it isn’t only Africa that is in a race against the clock for greater sustainability. Patagonia, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Peru, India; there are so many wildernesses across the world that face the impact of humanity and a seemingly unrelenting march of development.

ECO-TOURISM

Tourists flock to wilderness destinations inspired by their unspoiled beauty. Their investments often form the foundation of local community income, but these same travelers create demand on infrastructure, ecosystems and the very nature they have come to see.

Fortunately, a growing number of travelers, operators and venue owners is growing increasingly aware of the need for sustainability. Protecting these spectacular environments is becoming as important a business objective as developing hotels, camps and resorts or marketing these attractions to the world.

Ecotourism is booming and, where once that meant foregoing comfort in favor of sustainability, it is now a luxury industry. Premium, zero-footprint camps, exclusive lodges powered by renewable energy, gourmet permaculture produce and many more sustainable features are being implemented by the leading names in luxury safari travel.

SUSTAINABLE VENUES

Venues such as Botswana’s Sable Alley and many more are combining luxury with eco-sustainability in spectacular fashion, supporting communities, protecting wildlife and ecosystems, and providing valuable information and research for organizations with similar vested interest in protecting the wild.

Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia – one of our favorite ‘wildlife-friendly’ venues!

In the Khwai Private Reserve at the heart of the Okavango Delta, Sable Alley creates awareness of the fragile balance in this iconic ecosystem, guides bringing attention to the need for continual conservation practices. A portion of each booking is also contributed to Khwai village community projects, supporting education, health and ecological practices such as grass harvesting and sustainability on a more expansive level, and leopard numbers are slowly on the rise thanks, in part, to the research supported by Sable Alley.

I firmly believe that our experiences should never jeopardize or impact the destinations to which we travel. In fact, at Rothschild Safaris, we endeavor to do quite the opposite, sourcing destinations and venues that offer both unparalleled, experiential beauty and luxury and also actively benefiting their surroundings and the peoples of the region.

PROTECTING NATURE

When booking your adventure with us, you can rest assured that your investment is benefiting a greater good. A percentage of each investment is also donated on your behalf, increasing the positive impact of your vacation. We proudly support the protection of Kenya’s second-largest elephant colony through sponsorship of the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. Situated in the isolated Mathews Range, the illegal trade of ivory remains a continual threat on elephant numbers and Reteti’s ever-vigilant rangers offer protection for existing herds against poachers.The rapid decline of elephant numbers through poaching and ongoing drought posed a double-fold threat upon the region, diminishing herd numbers but also throwing the balance of the entire ecosystem into disarray. The unequalled importance of the elephant in the region’s sustainability is now being recognized and their numbers restored through the active work of Reteti and other conservation societies.

Orphaned or abandoned calves face a bleak future in this harsh region of Kenya and the likelihood of survival is almost zero. But with Reteti’s tireless efforts and dedicated staff, these youngsters can be nurtured back to health, rehabilitated and returned to the wild and the family groups from which they originally came.

SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES

Sponsoring African EducationWhile community work is vitality important, especially throughout the more remote regions of the world, local knowledge is equally important in this regard, and Rothschild Safaris supports these efforts through the venues it chooses to promote. With their acute awareness of issues facing regional communities, local lodges and businesses are far better equipped to implement beneficial change.

The power of one can benefit the future of many. Financing the education of Isaac Given Njobvu, a young man from Namibia, we are assisting him in studying in Zambia to gain a university diploma in medicine, so that he may one day bring health and medical support to his family and community. By investing in Isaac’s education, we aim, in turn, to create support, sustainability and good health for many more Africans.

YOUR PART

There are many ways we can each commit to a more sustainable future in tourism:

• Donating possessions can have an incredible impact. You may well buy certain items specifically for your vacation. If they will likely not be reused, you can gift them to staff, communities and organizations, helping locals and lightening your homeward baggage at the same time
• Researching your destinations and making your selection with conscientious sustainability in mind can have a profound effect with little or no impact upon your comfort, experience or investment
• Avoiding zoos and venues that may cage, harm or exploit wild animals reduces the income of this harmful aspect of tourism, encouraging locals to invest instead in more ethical practices
• A small gesture, but offsetting your air miles is highly recommended. For an insignificant addition to your airfare, your carbon footprint will be offset by investment in renewable energy
• Visiting charity organizations can be incredibly rewarding and adds financial benefit to those charities. From orphanages and remote villages to animal rehabilitation centers, there are many experiences to choose from
• Considering your personal footprint is also important. Whether it is as simple as disposing of your trash responsibly or reducing the length of your morning shower, these tiny little things all add up, and with little or no impact to your vacation enjoyment.

Sable Alley, Botswana
Who’s watching who? Meeting the locals at Sable Alley, Botswana

There are so many ways that you can utilize your vacation time and investment for the greater good. At Rothschild Safaris, we have considered all of these positive repercussions, providing you with the opportunity to create beneficial investment in sustainability without the slightest effect on the luxury and exclusivity of our renowned experiences.

Talk to our Travel Designers today about your next vacation and how it might also provide benefit to the beautiful environments we are so lucky to experience.

Images via Rothschild Safaris