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Rust red sand dunes, ancient rock paintings and huge tracts of pristine wilderness: it’s not hard to see why so many travellers are choosing Namibia.
The country has seen a huge increase in tourist numbers year on year, and with growing visitor numbers comes increasing pressure to cater for the growing tourism trade. So how can you choose responsibly when you’re travelling in Namibia?
Responsible Travel in Namibia
The good news it’s easy to make good choices here. Despite its phenomenal growth, Namibia has developed on a gradual scale with small guesthouses and private farms offering personal attention.
With Namibia emerging as an off the beaten track destination, we’ve witnessed tourism grow in a positive way. There are many initiatives that go hand in hand with Responsible Travel.
Here are five ways you can travel sustainably and support Responsible Travel initiatives that I witnessed during my trip to Namibia.
Choose Solar Power
With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, ‘off the grid’ lodges have grown in Namibia, with solar power being a common source of electricity. As a renewable resource, we witnessed solar power being used in approximately a third of the properties we stayed at, most commonly in the desert region of Sossusvlei.
Help Water Conservation Efforts
Etoshi National Park
There are accommodation providers in Namibia that provide a bucket to catch water from the shower when in use. Described as ‘grey water’ the water resource is used for cleaning purposes and for watering plants.
Top tip: The tap water in Namibia is drinkable. For remote areas such as Etosha National Park, travellers can purify water with a UV steriliser or through boiling water to avoid plastic waste.
Create Employment Opportunities for Locals
As well as qualified guides, there are many lodges in private reserves such as Onkonjima Lodge and Waterberg Wilderness Lodge that pride themselves on hiring local villagers and inhabitants. The hospitality industry owes much to tourism and by hiring locally you’re making sure your money goes towards the community.
The surrounding areas of Waterberg National Park have an unemployment rate of 45% amongst the Herero Community. Waterberg Wilderness Lodge is an important employer and provides training opportunities for the local population.
Top tip: There is a communal tipping box that is divided amongst all staff members at the property. It provides a hassle-free alternative to tipping staff members individually.
Support Animal Conservation
One example property that I witnessed on my trip to Namibia was the Africat Foundation at the Okonjima Lodge. The foundation works alongside the farming community to alleviate livestock losses by predators and works to rehabilitate injured carnivores.
With 20,000 hectares of land, cheetahs can be radio-tracked for close sightings and a percentage of the profit from the lodge is used to fund the Africat Foundation.
With tourism hand in hand with animal conservation, a cheetah bush walk is an experience to remember.
Lower Your Carbon Footprint by Camping
With most guest farms and lodges catering for a wide range of budgets and tastes, for me, there is no greater way to experience the scenic beauty of Namibia then by camping. Campsites in Namibia are generally well cared for, clean and tidy, with facilities of a reasonable standard. It is a low impact method of travel that Exodus can offer on both a tailormade basis and group basis.
Choose to travel responsibly in Namibia
Our scheduled group departures use carefully sourced accommodation as described above, and we include activities that are beneficial to local communities.
If you’d rather have a bespoke experience, Thidara works in our Tailormade Team and can create a unique Namibia experience just for you. Contact Thidara to create your own bespoke trip to Namibia! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call on 020 8772 3874.
Find more Nambia trips below.