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Green travel trips for African safaris

African safarisAfrican safaris
African safarisAfrican safaris

 

Green travel trips for African safaris

Going on an African safari is most likely at the top of every traveller’s bucket list. You will be able to see the Big Five and visit places that you have only seen in guidebooks and on television. Being a ‘green traveller’ is important in today’s age as you need to respect the country you are visiting by keeping your environmental impact to a minimum. Below are some green travel tips for African safaris to make your trip a more holistic experience.

Look for environmentally conscious tours

Once you arrive at your destination, and after booking in at your Springbok accommodation, find out if there are any environmentally-conscious tours in the area. The most environmentally-friendly tours focus on non-motorised activities, such as horseback riding, canoe and cycling safaris.

If you are serious about reducing your carbon footprint even as you travel, then you should look for trekking, hiking, walking, canoeing and cycling activities to keep yourself and your family busy. These activities are less fuel intensive, physically intrusive and damaging to the natural habitat. You will also save money by choosing activities that do not require renting a car for transport or for game drives.

 

Be respectful of the wildlife

Any African safari involves heading off to go and see the wildlife of the area. This also brings with it risk to the animals, so it is important to be respectful of their space and environment. You should extend this to any wildlife you see in and around the Springbok Inn you are staying at.

Avoid littering in any area where animals live, rather saving your rubbish for when you arrive back at your accommodation so you can dispose of it correctly. You should avoid making loud noises when you are close to animals while on a game tour and remain at a safe distance at all times. Do not take any items with you that could startle the animals, such as snacks in loud foil packets or fizzy drinks. Rather pack water in glass bottles and pack snacks in tupperware boxes, or eat at the Springbok hotel before you leave for the day.

 

Choose smaller tour groups

If you are going on tour in a group, be sure to choose the smaller group of the day. This will mean less fuel consumption, as well as present an opportunity to view natural attractions without the hassle of large crowds.

A smaller tour group also reduces the amount of waste produced, such as food wrappers and so on. Your carbon footprint will not have as much impact as it would with a larger group, which is ideal for the natural setting of a safari park. A tour guide will also find their job easier if they only have a small group to look after, and could even take you to unique areas of the park that large crowds cannot access.

 

Avoid souvenirs of endangered animal products

Africa is an exotic location for many, which means that a lot of foreign visitors want an exotic souvenir to bring back home with them. While it is perfectly acceptable to buy unique items from locals, make sure you avoid purchasing items that are illegal and unethical to buy.

Many species of animals are highly endangered thanks to poaching from both local and international perpetrators, which means that you should avoid buying souvenirs made from ivory, rhino horns, coral, tortoise shell or reptile skins. By purchasing these items, you are supporting this illegal trade. Rather look for handmade beaded or woven curios to take home with you, options that will transport you back to Africa every time you look at them.

 

Take only photographs and leave only footprints

Do not litter, disturb plant life or take anything from the wild while out in the bush. If you need something to commemorate the trip by, rather take a photograph that you can print out and look back on when you arrive home.

Remember to dispose of all rubbish correctly and recycle if you can. Ask your lodge or inn if there are recycling bins that you can use during your stay. It is important to be respectful of the environment even if you are travelling, so try not to pack any non-biodegradable items with you for your flight or drive. Glass water bottles and tupperware snack storage allow you to save money on having to buy drinks and snacks every time you and your family feel peckish.

In order to have a truly green African safari, you should look for environmentally-friendly tours, always remember to be respectful of the wildlife and avoid buying souvenirs that are unethical and illegal. Choosing a smaller tour group will also help in diminishing the carbon impact you make while on safari, and could even allow you to experience sights that larger groups do not have access to.

African safaris