Sustainable tourism is making significant headlines across continents. It stands for a long-term responsibility to do good and to conserve the world’s most beautiful places as these areas are for everyone and for no one; to conserve them is our duty as humankind. Countries in Africa majorly depend on tourism to boost their economy. There’s been a significant focus on sustainable travel with the continent. It allows local communities to earn a decent income via tourism and support conservation. Being a responsible traveler means you get to participate in eco-tourism. There’re vital concepts to observe. They include eating, shopping, travelling as well as staying with the local community. Here’s an ultimate guide to sustainable travel in Africa.
#1. Book a responsible tour operator
There are many tour operators within Africa ready to provide green travel itineraries. If you intend to use one, you must ensure they are genuine, and it isn’t a marketing strategy. You need to know about the tour company’s environmental practices. They should make you understand the importance of your trip if it is protected or support wildlife. Are they ready to preserve the cultural heritage of the local community and so much more!
You need to book a tour operator who places the welfare of the immediate community first. They always select hotels, restaurants, as well as tours that have a low negative impact on the local community.
#2. Stay at a locally owned eco-hotel
While booking a hotel, you need to ensure they follow sustainable tourism guidelines. You ought to be aware that most of the hotel booking sites tends to list chain hotels in their first pages.
As a responsible traveler, you ought to take your time and see if there isn’t any hotel that isn’t a major chain with its headquarters out of Africa. It’s because that’s where all the profit goes and not to the local community.
You have to ensure you are booking a locally owned eco-hotel. It’s simple to experience luxury African safaris as they offer excellent services as significant chains. These local eco-hotels are high-comfort options often with a small footprint. They also have excellent ethics codes. They buy their products from local farmers as well as employ members of the community. Countries in East Africa are famous for luxury safari camps. They get built within the local community where profits get shared.
#3. Eat at a local restaurant
While on tour, it’s great to enjoy the local delicacies. You can choose to eat out at a local restaurant while on the trip. It’s an excellent chance to explore African cuisines.
Most of these restaurants are quick to serve local dishes to celebrate their African heritage. You ought to take well-prepared meals to have a heavenly experience. Take a chance to enjoy a locally brewed beer to quench your thirst.
#4. Go shopping at local markets
An easy way to be a sustainable traveler in Africa is by assisting in economic growth. It can be achieved by shopping locally. You can choose to buy your gifts from artists as well as traders
It’s a convenient time to get locally tailored clothes. You can also bargain unusual trinkets in a fun way. In the process, you get to improve your local language speaking skills.
There’s so much to choose from at any time. You can select Maasai sandals, crafted soap stones sculptures or a locally drawn portrait. There’s also excellent beadwork that you will fall in love with throughout. If you find the hustle of the marketplace overwhelming, you can choose to visit local private arts and crafts shops to get your products.
#5. Minimize carbon footprint
As a sustainable traveler, you must leave an as minimal carbon footprint as possible. Many destinations within Africa require the long-haul flight. However, you can reduce the footprint once you arrive.
When you get to your final destination, you can use local transport to get around. It’s a fantastic way to get a great feel of the continent. You can choose train travel or bus travel depending on the country of choice. You ought to be careful while using these local trains as well as public taxis. You can also decide to cycle or have a walking safari.
#6. Spend time with the local community
One way to get the real feel of the continent is spending time with the local people. You need to keep an open mind to embrace their culture. Always strive to make sure that you meet individuals who aren’t getting paid to guide you, serve you food or carry your luggage.
Try to visit a traditional village and catch the live action of how people live. Volunteer at a local community initiative and see the enthusiasm that the locals have. You are getting to learn a few essential language tips like greetings before your travel will come in handy. It’s a fascinating way to break down cultural barriers.
Travelling to Africa can be exciting. There’s so much to see and it cant be exhausted in a single trip. In as much as you would enjoy luxury African safaris, remember the local community. You need to assist them sustainably so as not to cultivate the dependency culture. Always come with a worthy cause to boost the local community as well as the continent at large.