Fair trade, eco-travel, carbon footprint, responsible travel; these are just a few of the many terms used in today’s tourism industry. What do they all mean? For Pulse Africa, it means we care. We care about what is happening to our planet, we care about the impact we have on the environment and the local people and we care about making a positive change to the way we travel.
One of the big draw cards for Africa is her abundant and diverse wildlife; the Big 5 (elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and lion), the great wildebeest migration, the endangered mountain gorillas and the fascinating lemurs, to name but a few. It is understandable that interacting with these animals would be high on many people’s bucket lists but , whilst some interactions are positive some unfortunately are not.
In an effort to conserve and protect our wildlife we feel it is necessary to promote conservation efforts such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya where they save and raise orphaned elephants and rhinos and re-introduce them into the wild. Programmes that promote petting of animals (lion cub petting or walking with lions) or riding of animals (elephant back rides) do not always make conservation and species preservation a priority.
It is the view of many that the less impact we have on our wild animals, the better. So please enjoy them from a distance, taking the time to watch them in their natural habitat. Sightings such as these will be significantly more rewarding than a selfie with a captive lion cub.
Responsible tourism is tourism which: minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impacts; generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities.
Image © David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust