Botswana safari and Mozambique beach break

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Botswana safari and Mozambique beach break

Environment

Jao Concession holders and the University of Botswana (under the auspices of the Biokavango Project) launched a committee to reduce conflict between the community and the Jao Concession specifically with regard to curbing poaching and over-fishing.

Perhaps the most topical issue for Botswana is its very large elephant population and the possible impact on vegetation and other animal species. As a result we have facilitated and partially funded two MSc studies researching this challenge.

Toka Leya has a number of systems in place that aim to rehabilitate indigenous flora in the area. This includes a greenhouse and nursery project to grow seedlings, an environmentally friendly waste-water treatment plant and a worm farm. Read more: Toka Leya Green Camp Systems

The Linyanti Concession works closely with local government bodies to ensure the conservation of wildlife in the area. It carries out dedicated conservation and research focused on species on the IUCN Red List such as African wild dog, elephant, lion and roan antelope.

Community

The lodge also operates a recycling project as a community initiative which allows all lodges to participate in cleaning and preserving their precious environment and reduce plastic found on the beaches.

Local community members who were very excited and motivated to get underway with this project were allocated land and an old farm house to become their base to sort recyclable products. They also worked with participating recycling companies and visited neighbouring villages to collect waste which has been illegally dumped over the past many years.

The recycling is initially focused on all glass, cans/tins (cold drink, beer, food, aerosol) and plastic bottles (especially the plastic water bottles). The community then sorts the glass from the plastic and the tins etc, before placing everything into separate collection containers.

Moving forward the project will include the collection of all paper and other plastic based products as well. The goal is to recycle 90% of all rubbish from all participating lodges, and the organic waste will either be taken to the villages for farm animal feed or internally utilized as compost.

The lodge runs a waste water recycling project which feeds their wetland: this has flourished with a multitude of bird, frog and insect life. This year, three clutches of Knob-billed ducks, two clutches of white-faced whistling ducks and two little black crake chicks grew up and learnt the lessons of life on its waters.

The owners of the resort on Bazaruto Island in Mozambique have invested in their local community by building a community centres, and provided transport facilities and access to water for local islanders. They have also focused on the education and training needs of local people by initiating adult literacy programmes.

A partnership with local communities initiated by the resort is intended to conserve the ecosystem and assist the Bazaruto National Park staff with transport, communication and health care facilities. Teaching the importance of conserving local marine life and working with the authorities to counter illegal fishing activities is a priority as well as implementing a tag and release policy for fishing activities in conjunction with Durban's Oceanographic Institute.

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