in South Africa - Responsible Tourism by Rosemary Grace Brooks
Since the end of the 80th
decade of the twentieth century, ecotourism has been a major force in the
tourism industry, with private game reserves being established with the
goal of conserving the local ecosystems and helping the struggling local
communities to live in harmony with the natural environment available to
them. South Africa has become a major provider of these responsible tourism
endeavours, hosting visitors in an immense luxury of incredible accommodation,
sumptuous cuisine, incredible sights and unforgettable experiences.
In the Western Cape, there
are now a few reserves providing the ultimate in luxurious accommodation
and experiences whilst encouraging conservation pro actively, one of these
is a Private Game reserve by the name of Grootbos.
In harmony with Nature
The Grootbos Private Game
reserve is situated in Gansbaai in the Western Cape. Grootbos offers luxurious
accommodation whilst their main agenda is to provide conservation for the
game reserve, protect and educate the guests about the importance of the
flora and fauna in the reserve. Grootbos prides itself on its conservation
of the fynbos growing in the area which is unique to South Africa.
The Lodge at Grootbos provides
the epitome of luxury to all guests. The accommodation is exquisite and
available in individual chalets scattered around the main safari lodge,
whilst the cuisine encapsulates the finest flavours and local wines. The
activities for the guests to experience range from horseback safaris through
the reserve, exploring the caves along the sparkling sea shore and guided
safari hikes. The guests are led by experienced guides through the reserve
and informed of the important progressions concerning the wildlife, flora
The reserve is situated
in one of the world's best sites for land based whale watching and observation
during the spring when whales come close to the shore to mate and calve.
The 1000 year old Milkwood Forests in the reserve are some of the oldest
in the world.
Helping the Community
In terms of conservation,
Grootbos is involved in many activities and plans concerned with the restoration,
conservation and promotion of the ecosystems, habitats and cultures in
the area. The Grootbos Foundation runs a programme involving the training
and education of locals from the nearby township in the trade of landscaping
using Fynbos. This sustainable development creates jobs and experience
for locals whilst raising money from sales of fynbos to help fund the project.
Other sustainable development projects include community soccer, employment
of locals in the reserve, research on wildlife and flora and fauna, partner
projects supporting sustainable development in close by areas. The partner
projects consist of crafts, nest building for African penguins and alien
vegetation clearing projects, to name but a few.
Creating a Heritage
Due to the input of Aquila
and Grootbos Private
Nature Reserves and the eco tourism, sustainable development and conservation
provided by these efforts, a beautiful ecosystem has the chance to survive,
whilst allowing locals to live in harmony with nature and benefit from
its presence. Tourists and visitors are receiving education whilst relaxing
and enjoying a holiday.
They have provided the opportunity
for locals and visitors to help the environment, whilst still indulging
in a bit of luxury with ecotourism. What better way to spend a holiday
than by helping conservation efforts?
- ECO-FRIENDLY VACATION ACCOMMODATION
Beach Village, Manda Island, East Coast
Diamond Beach Village offers
an alternative to the concrete hotel, more of a rustic Robinson Crusoe
experience. We work very closely with the local Swahili people taking into
account their culture and only using local methods and materials to create
a refreshing, eco-friendly, alternative style holiday. We have 6
locally built huts and a tree house for accommodation surrounded by gardens,
hammocks, rock and drift wood art and bird baths. We have a fantastic restaurant
serving traditional cuisine from 8am-9pm. Come and relax, swim, eat,
and be looked after by our friendly staff or go snorkelling, sailing, fishing,
walkng, windsurfing, and see the markets and museums of Lamu town. The
perfect place to chill out after a safari.
Explorer, Luxury Tented Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve
Mara Explorer is situated
on a broad, thickly forested bend of the Talek River in the middle of the
Masai Mara National Reserve. Mara Explorer is situated on a broad,
thickly forested bend of the Talek River in the middle of the Maasai Mara
National Reserve. Mara Explorer’s own all-weather airstrip means you can
be in the camp less than an hour after leaving the bustle of Nairobi. The
well- maintained road from the capital provides a scenic ride of just under
five hours. Private game drives with experienced personal guides,
Walking safaris in the Mara Conservation Area, Bush Breakfasts and dinners
under the stars, Romantic sundowners in spectacular selected areas, Visits
to Maasai communities supported by the camp, Transfers for early-morning
hot air balloon rides...
Luxury Tented Accommodation, Masai Mara National Reserve
is situated on the banks of the Mara River, in the heart of Kenya's Big
Game country. This unique setting offers a world of remarkable opportunities
for safari adventurers. In addition to big game viewing in the Masai Mara
Reserve, visitors are offered a rare glimpse of the day-to-day lives of
the Maasai people in the adjacent Maasai village or 'engang'. No other
lodge in the Mara offers such a close cultural experience with the Maasai.
Our chefs will delight you with exquisite cuisine, which can be served
al fresco perched on the Siria escarpment overlooking the Mara plains or
as a picnic deep in the bush. Or you can sink into the comfortable sitting
area with some books from the camp's library lounge, and then enjoy a delicious
dinner in the dining room overlooking our private section of the Mara River.
Mara Safari Lodge, Luxury Tented Accommodation, Masai Mara National Reserve
to the Masai Mara of Kenya (also spelled "Maasai Mara"), recently designated
as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The Royal Mara Safari Lodge
is situated directly on the wildebeest "Great Migration" route, near the
two world famous wildebeest migration Mara River crossing points and near
Leopard Gorge, all made internationally known by the BBC's Big Cat Diary
television program. Our tented lodge and camp is located on the popular
Hippo Bend Lagoon of the Mara River, amongst several elephant, buffalo
and giraffe herds, and with close proximity to several lion prides, including
the "Maternity", Musiara Marsh, "Aitong", and Ridge prides.Given the position
of our camp in the richest game section of the Masai Mara, the Western
Masai Mara, our camp guests are in the best location to most readily discover
the Big Five mammals.
AFRICA - ECO-FRIENDLY VACATION ACCOMMODATION
Game Reserve Bush Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, SOUTH KRUGER PARK
Djuma Game Reserve - named
from the Shangaan word meaning 'roar of the lion' - is part of the world-renowned
Sabi Sand Game Reserve. This reserve borders on the Kruger National Park.
There is no dividing fence between the two reserves and therefore Djuma's
9000 ha is part of the vast Kruger National Park ecosystem. We are the
third largest land user in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Reserve, SOUTH KRUGER PARK
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
is Sir Richard Branson's safari lodge located in the Western sector of
the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. Guests can taste the spoils of Africa
in peace and tranquility and book individual rooms or exclusively hire
individual lodges or the hotel as a whole - ideal for weddings and celebrations.
Ulusaba, meaning 'Place of Little Fear' strikes the perfect balance between
nature and nurture - as well as being an excellent place to observe the
'Big Five', it is also an ideal place to kick back and unwind.
- ECO-FRIENDLY VACATION ACCOMMODATION
Eco Lodge, Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda
Eco Lodge, also known as the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, is located
in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve in Murchison Falls National Park.
This reserve has one of the largest forests in Uganda with an incredible
biodiversity which includes nine species of primates and 360 different
bird species. Budongo Eco Lodge consists of a visitor’s center, a restaurant,
comfortable self-contained cabins and spacious dorm rooms with shared facilities.
In addition, the lodge offers many different activities in the direct surroundings
which includes chimp tracking, chimp habituation, forest walks and bird
ECO-FRIENDLY VACATION ACCOMMODATION
Amalinda, Matobo Hills
Tucked away into an ancient
bushman's shelter, Camp Amalinda's charm will leave an indelible impression
on every visitor. Some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world
is found in the Matobo Hills. It is here that the hopes, trials and tribulations
of the San Bushmen are recorded in the ancient rock art. Mammal and bird
species are prolific and include the highest concentration of Leopard and
Black Eagle in the world. Rated one of Africa's top ten boutique lodges
by Conde Naste Traveller in 1998.
Inn, Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
Situated on the outskirts
of “Africa’s adventure capital”, this Inn is the ideal place to spend your
holiday, or to relax after one of our safaris. Victoria Falls has much
to offer, from the world’s best white-water rafting to one of the highest
bungi jumps at 111m. For the less active, the surrounding game parks are
hard to beat, as are the river cruises and aircraft flips over the Falls.
The Drifters Inn is well located, overlooking a wilderness area, and within
easy walking distance of all activities. Accommodation is in twin rooms,
some sharing bathrooms, and breakfast is included. For other meals, a choice
of nearby restaurants is available. A swimming pool, garden bar, T.V. lounge,
and laundry facility are provided for guests’ convenience.
Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls
MASUWE SAFARI LODGE is situated
15 minutes from the centre of Victoria Falls, in a private 1000 acre concession
which lies adjacent to the Zambezi National park. The lodge accommodates
up to twenty people in ten large, en suite safari tents, which are elevated
on wooden decks. The thatched main area houses a bar, dining and lounge
area and overlooks an active waterhole. Daily elephant back safaris
and exiting lion encounters take place from the grounds of the lodge.
Island Coral Park, Zanzibar/Tanzania
Private conservation project
& Eco-Tourism venture created to protect and manage Chumbe
Island and the Chumbe Reef
Sanctuary, one of the most beautiful shallow coral gardens in the world.