Written by Julie Graham
Ker & Downey® Africa is at the forefront of pioneering sustainable African safaris that evolve with our traveler and earth’s best interests at heart. As travelers, we have a responsibility to make a positive impact on the places we visit. Being acutely aware of the social, cultural and environmental effects – both positive and negative – that travel and tourism have on the planet and its inhabitants are tantamount to making concrete choices that aim towards sustainability. In light of World Ozone Day celebrated on 16 September this year, we want to highlight our trips that have been curated to decrease your carbon footprint when traveling to Africa. From exploring new exciting means of transport, investing in longer stays in eco-accredited lodges and choosing direct flights, you can decrease your carbon-footprint when doing what you love best – traveling the world.
Here are our top 5 sustainable African safari ideas tailored for the discerning, eco-conscious traveler – proof that lessening your carbon footprint doesn’t have to mean lessening your standards.
Undoubtedly one of the best modes of green transport, and the greatest way to connect to the region you’re traveling through, train travel is gaining more traction than ever before. Fuelled by more and more emphasis on the environment and sustainability, this massive resurgence of luxury train travel is more than just an eco-friendly alternative to planes. Trains are the perfect way to slow down, connect with destinations in a more meaningful and intimate way, and watch new landscapes unfold. After all, you can see far more of the natural world from the comfort of your window seat on a train than from the top of the clouds.
Experience a slow, sustainable African safari by luxury train that sees your journey through South Africa and ends with a visit to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Aboard one of the world’s most luxurious steam trains, the Rovos Rail, you will be transported back to an era of opulence and timeless style, coupled with romance and thrilling adventure. As you wind your way north from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe, crossing the border to Victoria Falls, you will be treated to first-class service, top cuisine, and the most unimaginably beautiful scenery.
Taking into account that a single return flight can generate more CO2 than some individuals produce in one whole year, it makes sense that when promoting sustainable tourism, reducing your carbon footprint should be a priority. Instead of several layovers, try to opt for direct flights, and instead of visiting multiple destinations, try to stick to one – perhaps for a bit longer than usual, and traveling only by road. Not only will this give you the opportunity to immerse yourself into your given destination, its culture, and its people, it will also enable you to spend more time exploring regions that are more off the beaten track, making for a great adventure!
Take the road less travelled on our 10 day LuxVenture® Cape Town and Whale Coast Adventure and discover three unique landscapes on a sustainable safari which takes you from the iconic city of Cape Town to the rugged Whale Coast, and the wildlife-rich desert landscapes of the Little Karoo. Fill your days with an array of fun activities like climbing Table Mountain, sipping fine wine in the Winelands, boat-based excursions to spot whales off the coast of Grootbos, exploring ancient Khoisan rock art sites dating back 3500 years, walking safaris, up-close-and-personal cheetah encounters, and more.
Choosing a cleaner, greener and more sustainable diet is not just a way you can drastically improve your own health, it also helps to protect and preserve the environment. The terrible effects of bad diets on health in consumerist nations is well known, as is the need to hugely slash meat consumption in order to fight global warming and other environmental crises. By embarking on a sustainable African safari that focuses on your health and wellbeing, you are directly contributing to the health of the planet and its people.
Reboot your body and mind on a 14 Day Health and Fitness Safari to South Africa and Mauritius with us and experience a truly luxurious sustainable African safari that combines the best of the bush and the beach. Expect exclusive eco-conscious lodges and hotels paired with personal trainers, nutritious meal plans, outdoor activities that require no carbon emissions (like hiking and walking safaris), and unrivalled safari and beach experiences. The emphasis on farm-to-table dining, and plant-based menus – particularly at Singita, as part of their ongoing eco-conscious projects – is part of the drive to support sustainable farming, promote access to healthy, low impact, local, seasonal and organic diets, and reduce food waste.
A river cruise is always a good option when looking for the greenest way to travel. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry. Unlike their large ocean-faring cruise vessel counterparts, the boats used for river cruises are generally smaller with engines that produce lower carbon emissions, and many reputable companies have taken huge steps to improve the environmentally-conscious nature of their designs to provide more eco-friendly river safaris.
Explore the famous Chobe National Park on a luxury cruise down the Chobe River on the world-famous Zambezi Queen before stepping up the pace of your 7 day Botswana LuxVenture® experience with game drives, walking safaris and fishing expeditions in the Okavango Delta. The Zambezi Queen is a particularly special sustainable safari houseboat that uses a special jet propulsion system which reduces damage to the riverbed. Advanced water-saving designs, solar power, and low emission power systems that enable guests to enjoy the sights and sounds of the untamed African bush without the interference of modern technology make this a unique and unparalleled option for a truly sustainable safari in the heart of Botswana. Glide quietly between hippos in the water, and watch wildlife wade in the shallows of the riverbed from a unique vantage point, all while enjoying first-class service and cruising in style.
The world is a colourful place, filled with diverse people and rich traditions and cultures. While travel has the power to enrich your life and broaden your own personal horizons, it also has the capacity to support communities by creating jobs, fostering cultural awareness and pride, and bringing money into developing communities. One of the key elements of a truly sustainable safari in Africa is supporting local, and empowering communities.
And there are few places quite as colourful as Morocco. Not only is Northern Africa a much shorter flight for those travelling from the US or Europe (thing less carbon offsetting), it is also a wildly culturally rich destination. And what better way to learn about a culture and its people than by eating! Our exclusive 12 Day Culinary Journey to Morocco alongside culinary expert and food journalist, Tara Stevens, will bring you up-close-and-personal with Moroccan cuisine and allow you to learn wonderful traditional cooking techniques from local vendors, restaurateurs and even local families whose homes will be opened up to you. It is a wonderful way of giving back while immersing yourself in the fragrance, aromas and cultural enigmas of a truly exotic land.
Whether your gesture to reduce your carbon footprint is big or small, our combined efforts will start to show. Interested to start your eco-journey with us? Get in touch with our LuxVenture® Designers to curate your carbon-neutral African safari today.