Travelling Sustainably Through Botswana
Botswana’s primary attraction is its vast wilderness. From the endless palm-covered islands of the Okavango Delta to the moonscape saltpans of the Makgadikgadi region, it’s the perfect destination for anyone seeking pristine, unfenced surroundings.
Botswana’s commitment to safeguarding its wildlife heritage is unparalleled in Africa. The country covers a total area of 581,730 sq km, and approximately 40% of this land falls within a wildlife-protected area. These areas are a sanctuary for the world’s largest concentration of elephant, and a stronghold for other endangered large mammals such as the black rhinoceros, African wild dog, cheetah and lion. For birding enthusiasts, there exists no better place in the world to view the Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane, and seeing the elusive Pels Fishing Owl for the first time has been known to bring bird-watchers to tears! For passionate eco-friendly travellers, Botswana is the ideal holiday destination. The country regards conservation and mindful travel a top priority
Here are a few ways you can lower your carbon emissions and travel sustainably while exploring Botswana:
Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Even with the awe-inspiring awareness of environmental protection, many popular hotels are yet to take the opportunity of marketing their eco-friendly efforts. Therefore, before you book for accommodation, make sure the lodge or hotels that support green initiatives. You can start by reading reviews on eco-friendly sites that share information on environmentally sustainable practices of popular hotels or alternatively, inquire about our Botswana family safari.
If you are an eco-friendly traveller, one of the key things to consider is the weight of your luggage. Overpacking means more laundry and dirty laundry takes up much more space than neatly folded clothing. You’re likely to buy souvenirs on your way, packing light will add some extra space.
Treat Your Room as Your Home
By having your own personal space, you will be able to make some eco-friendly adjustments in your room, such as changing the blinder, turning off the lights, unplugging idle electrical appliances, taking short showers, turning off taps etc. These small environmentally conscious steps go a long way in protecting our planet.
Support Local Entrepreneurship
A traveller who frequently buys from local businesses gives the owner an opportunity to implement environmentally friendly practices in the community, such as only buying products from eco-friendly businesses. You can be an eco-friendly traveller by seeking to purchase products and services from such local businesses in the vicinity of your stay.
Be alert for Animal Tourism
Nxai Pan Camp – Nxai Pan National Park – Botswana Safari Camp| African Discovery [/caption]Eco-friendly travellers should watch out for animal tourism during their trips. Always avoid tour destinations that promote animal captivity. Tourists should view animals exhibiting their natural behaviours in their own environments, which contribute towards their protection. Botswana has a great reputation when it comes to wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism.
Choose your Souvenirs Wisely
Naturally, travellers usually desire to carry a souvenir home. You can be an eco-friendly traveller by resisting the urge to grab items made from animal products, such as ivory and leather. You should only choose biodegradable products, such as environmentally friendly stationery, recycled bags, and other items made from natural materials.
Dispose of Waste Correctly
When travelling, you may be compelled to grab some items or food. Always make sure you dump the waste and packaging in bins or recycling bins. You should take the initiative of cleaning up your surroundings while travelling by disposing of waste correctly including paper bags, plastic bags, and cloth bags.
Use Sun/Solar Heat where Necessary
Solar energy is one of the most abundant but neglected sources of energy due to the overdependence on electricity. As an eco-friendly traveller, appreciate the sun by using it to dry your clothes, heat your water, warm your room, and even generate solar power. Such simple gestures go a long way to conserve electric energy.
Some additional information to consider when planning your trip to Botswana:
Botswana and Families
We do not recommend Botswana for children under the age of six years. All the activities have an age restriction, mokoro from the age of 12 years, game drives from the age of six years and walking safaris from the age of 12 years. Many camps will also require families to hire private safari vehicle in order to allow kids to join safaris.
Botswana and Malaria
Unfortunately, Botswana is a malaria area and we highly recommend speaking to your travel clinic about the required medication. There is a variety of anti-malaria tablets you can take which your local clinic will advise you on. All of our camps offer insect repellent in the rooms.
Activities in Botswana
The great thing about a Botswana safari is that there is something for everyone. Dependent on your likes and what you would like to experience, the travel advisor will match the accommodation to meet this need. You can experience mokoro, motorised boat safari, walking safari, helicopter flip over the Delta, hot air balloon safari, quad biking, horse riding, community visits, bushmen walk and interaction, meerkat interaction, sleep outs to specialised activities such as photography safari. Most travellers opt for booking a 4x4 rental with Drive South Africa to accommodate their travel in Botswana. It is a comfortable and convenient option.