We are passionate about Africa and recognise that in carrying out our work as a tour operator we have a responsibility to respect other people’s places and ways of life. We aim to maximise the benefits our clients’ travels can bring to an area, and we aim to be responsible in all our dealings in the areas of environmental, social and economic impact.
In Africa we work generally with small camps and lodges who understand that in the long term they will benefit from working in a responsible way. They protect their local environment, its flora, fauna and landscapes; they respect local cultures and try and benefit local communities through employment, sourcing of supplies and support of local schools, healthcare facilities and other community projects; they minimise their impact on their environment.
Camps would be delighted to chat with clients about this, often overlooked, area of their work.
Hampshire, London and Scotland
Within our offices we have reviewed our working practices and as far as possible we aim to reduce the resources we use. We then reuse scrap paper and recycle as much of our waste as possible. Unusually for tour operators our brochures are not date specific, so do not have to be thrown away, and we print only enough newsletters to fulfil current demand. Responsible tourism is an agenda point at each staff meeting to encourage ideas.
We encourage our clients to act responsibly when they travel and provide information for them in our predeparture information notes.
We were pleased to have been awarded a 4* award by AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) to recognise the efforts we made in this area.
Sponsored guide and ranger training programme
Aardvark Safaris has recently agreed to contribute towards a guide and ranger training programme at Saruni Rhino camp in the Sera Community Conservancy, northern Kenya. When it opens in February 2017, the camp will be the first property to offer on foot tracking of the 11 black rhinos recently relocated to the conservancy. During the course the rangers and guides will learn the necessary skills to walk safely in the bush with guests. The training is designed to push rangers and guides in areas of their jobs not usually explored. Rangers are used to walking with rhinos but are not used to interacting with guests, while guides are used to hosting guests but until now expected to lead walking safaris. After the intensive three week training course, both rangers and guides will be able to offer guests a unique safari experience with these rare and endangered animals. Fees raised through guest participation will be put towards further conservation of the rhino here and we are delighted to be able to assist with this outstanding project.