We strive to run our office on the most ‘environmentally friendly’ basis possible. Whilst we correspond with clients predominantly by phone and email, when paper is required, this is from a sustainable source. Our Ellie Poo Letterhead paper is manufactured from 25% elephant dung and 75% post consumer waste!
One of the significant reasons we chose work with our partners in Africa, &Beyond (formerly Conservation Corporation Africa), is because we support their belief that it is crucial that local communities benefit from tourism in meaningful and sustainable ways whilst retaining their own values and culture. Together with the Africa Foundation, this is achieved through consultative interaction resulting in partnerships which facilitate the empowerment and development of people living in or near protected areas such as &Beyond Reserves. For further information please see Responsible Safaris and the African Foundation websites.
Alongside information about hotel and lodge facilities, we also provide information about the community and employment projects supported by these individual properties or their parent bodies. We actively encourage hotels to seek the ‘Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa’ trademark. By electing to stay at or use the services of such a business, tourists can be assured that their travel benefits local communities and economies. Current member properties include the Cape Grace in Cape Town, Spier and Wild Olive in the Winelands, Grootbos and Jan Harmsgat in the Overberg, Hog Hollow in the Garden Route and Amakhala Reserve in Eastern Cape.
We also encourage clients to consider including the stunning yet malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve in their itinerary. The Park was established after government research determined that wildlife-based tourism would generate the highest income for the region, once the most impoverished in South Africa. A stay at any Lodge here will support the local community, but none more so than at Thakadu, which is wholly owned by the Molatedi Village.
Since our launch, we have undertaken to donate at least 5% of our pre-tax profits to the Bushbaby Charity. The prime beneficiary is currently the Cape Town projects of Nazareth House and most recently contributing towards the salary of Auntie Bonna, the House Mother at the ‘Place of Safety’ for young children who have been abandoned, traumatised and abused or removed from their family for their own protection. The House offers short-term emergency care until they can be returned to the community. For further information, please download a Report here.
Other projects supported include the ‘Education for All’ project in Morocco, helping young girls living in the Atlas to continue their education.
In addition to support offered via the Bushbaby Charity, we directly support other ‘grass roots’ projects in South Africa benefiting local communities. Recently that has included a ‘greening’ project for a local township, implemented by Grootbos Nature Reserve in Western Cape and funding beadwork training for women at the Maphoto Craft Art Centre in Limpopo. We have also funded a ‘day on a reserve’ for a local child in respect of every foreign child we book at a Lodge in an &Beyond Reserve.
We also support the fundraising endeavours of our clients if you are taking part in an event!
Bushbaby Travel supports Beyond Carbon, an industry wide programme to stimulate collective action by all tour operators and travel agents selling holidays which include air travel. It is supported by a number of international and national agencies including UNESCO, IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas and AITO. It consists of both a carbon reduction programme and a carbon offset service.
Revenue raised funds projects where there is a real additional and measurable carbon saving and wider social benefits which favour the environment; wildlife; pro poor policies and community improvements. Bushbaby Travel and our clients booking air packages are currently supporting a project run by the BVCO-SunFire Solutions Solar Stoves, South Africa to provide subsidized solar and fuel-efficient stoves to poor communities allowing families to move away from open-fire cooking. To offset a return flight to South Africa & the Indian Ocean the cost would be £15 (£10 for the Middle East and £3 for North Africa), but clients are invited to contribute whichever sum they wish. To find out visit www.beyond-carbon.com