Travelife Certified Award – very happy with that!
To me, this young chimpanzee is also a metaphor for our youth, the future and an environment that deserves to be protected. But it also radiates hope, desire and confidence that things will work out. That is if we all work hard for it.
The word “respect” has been in the DNA of Explore Tanzania since its start 18 years ago. Respect for people & the environment. In the meantime, respect, and in particular sustainability, has become a commonly used concept. Sustainability has even become a fashion word, you no longer count if you do not work sustainably. Anyway, there is at least attention for sustainable tourism. The corona pandemic – and in particular the reduced number of traffic movements – has only reinforced the need. It is clear that we must all take into account the consequences of our actions for people and the environment. We only have one earth and we have to take care of it.
The unbridled consumer drive of the last decades has loud and clear its downside. The emission of CO2 ultimately turns out to have very unpleasant consequences for the climate and therefore for humans. Fortunately, numerous initiatives to improve the environment are currently underway. Large companies and governments are working on this, but you can also contribute as an SME company and private individual. Every bit helps.
It seems a bit of a double standard, but traveling with respect for people and the environment is really possible. A few tips:
- do not use plastic, for example bring your own water bottle;
- don’t waste water when showering, washing towels etc;
- compensate the CO2 emissions of your trip;
- also enjoy cycling, walking and canoeing;
- choose ECO; special properties made of natural materials and without damage to nature;
- travel with organizations that are good for the people there;
- also involve the local population in your trip;
- eat local products and do not leave any waste.
In any case you may expect from Explore Tanzania that we make our trips as sustainable as possible. For example, by limiting the use of the car as much as possible and by opting for cooperation partners with a heart for people and the environment. Those who ensure that the local community benefits from tourism through jobs and education. We go for authentic and small-scale accommodations. And if we camp in the wilderness, it will have no impact on the environment. For example, there is solar energy and its own mineral water system. When we take the camp away, you don’t see that we’ve been there, even the road is gone. And our guides are Tanzanians that we trained ourselves.
On November 12, 2020, we received an official recognition of our efforts as a tour operator in the field of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the Travelife Certified Award. Although we thought it very logical to commit ourselves to this, we suddenly appear to have a leading position as a tour operator.
After a training by Anne de Jong of Fair Sayari, initiated by Better Holidays of the ANVR, we answered more than 200 questions in an official audit by Control Unit Certifications about our way of doing business, about the environment, biodiversity, human rights and industrial relations. We were questioned about the building in which we work, the products we use (cleaning, paper, etc), the lodges and partners we work with, our guides, the Green Camps, the activities we offer and the animal welfare, but also our commuting and the possibility to offset the CO2 emissions of the flight and safari. And all this in accordance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria set by the UN.
We are therefore very pleased with our new status as Travelife Certified. This encourages us to continue on this path and to work with deep respect for a better environment and a better life for the Tanzanians. Responsible travel, that makes traveling so pleasant!