There is an increasing social awareness amongst travellers today and the realisation that every little bit counts. One does not have to be a millionaire to make a difference; it starts as a small individual gesture which, multiplied by all of us ‘average’ people, can really change things.
At Safari Specialists we have aligned ourselves with Travel for Impact (TFI) a Botswana-based social responsibility initiative and contribute USD$2 to them for every night you’re on safari. Travel for Impact actively supports many non-government organisations (NGOs) based in Maun, including Bana Ba Letsatsi (a care centre for vulnerable children), Women Against Rape and AGLOW (caring for the local elderly and destitute).
Giving back can extend beyond just formal contributions. I have had several guests showing just how easy it is to contribute to the positive development of local communities through non-monetary donations.
One family arriving on safari to Botswana recently bought a bag full of toys with them, which they donated to Bana Ba Letsatsi, and even an old laptop computer which will find a new use assisting with the organisation’s administration.
A guest on safari in Namibia met an albino Himba child while up in the north and later sent through a sun-safe/burn wound care package after returning home. This act motivated the operators of the nearby camp to make follow-up contributions, preventing skin damage of a child who was extra-sensitive to the harsh conditions of the desert.
Another guest was moved to give away his personal belongings and wanted to inspire others to do the same:
‘The only part of my trip that saddened me was the poverty of the people there (in Zimbabwe). They are so brave. At the end of my safari I gave away my safari clothes as well as my mosquito spray, sun lotion and umbrella, and they were so grateful. In fact, the experience has made me decide to send all my office clothes to Africa when I retire in a couple of months. An Australian couple I met at Kwara was moved enough to do this with someone in Zambia as well.’
Contact us for more information on Travel for Impact and how you can make a difference through your visit to Africa.