Preserving Nature's Wonders: How to #beatplasticpollution on Safari

Embarking on a safari is a dream come true for many nature enthusiasts. The opportunity to witness breathtaking wildlife and the Big Five in their natural habitats is an experience like no other. However, it's crucial to remember that our actions as visitors can have a significant impact on these fragile ecosystems. One pressing concern is plastic pollution, which threatens the well-being of wildlife, their habitats and the communities living within and around nature reserve. Read our top-five tips to help you minimize plastic waste and ensure a sustainable safari experience:

Choose lodges that offer reusable alternatives to single-use items © AndBeyond

1. Bring re-usable alternatives

Before setting off on your safari, make a conscious effort to pack reusable items that can replace single-use plastics. Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated, avoiding the purchase of plastic water bottles during the trip. Additionally, bring a reusable cloth bag for any souvenirs or purchases, and pack a set of reusable cutlery, including metal straws, to avoid using disposable options provided by vendors.

2. Choose eco-friendly accommodations & destinations

A market in Rwanda, no single use plastic in sight!

When selecting your accommodation, prioritise establishments that have a strong commitment to sustainability. Seek out lodges and eco-camps that implement effective waste management systems, recycle, and minimise plastic usage. These lodges often provide you with the re-usable alternatives we discussed in the first point - double-whammy! At Wild Wonderful World Safaris, we also recommend accommodations who have their own vegetable gardens and composting set-up, which help to reduce carbon emissions from food transport & waste. By supporting these eco-friendly companies, you contribute to the preservation of the environment and send a message to others in the industry about the importance of sustainable practices. If you really want to avoid single-use plastics, choose to travel to countries with strict plastic bans, like Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Botswana have strict policies on use of single-use plastic.

Bisate Lodge in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda: eco-tourism at its finest

3. Dispose of waste responsibly

While on safari, it's essential to dispose of waste properly to prevent it from harming wildlife and polluting the environment. Always use designated bins for different types of waste, and if you don't find one nearby, hold onto your trash until you can properly dispose of it. Never leave any waste behind, even biodegradable items, as it can disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Eco-conscious lodges & transfer companies will have dedicated recycling or composting bins and are happy to help you dispose of any waste properly.

Conscious waste disposal at Londolozi - Sabi Sands © Londolozi

4. Opt for eco-friendly products

If you happen to travel to Cape Town before your safari, hop into Cannettevallei for high-quality, local soaps! © Cannettevallei

When choosing toiletries and other personal care items for your safari, prioritize eco-friendly alternatives. Look for biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and sunscreens that won't harm aquatic life when washed away. Bonus points for bringing soap, shampoos & body lotions  in bar-form - no risk of suitcase shampoo explosions! Similarly, choose reef-safe sunscreen to protect both your skin and the marine life you may encounter during your trip.

5. Engage in community initiatives

Support local initiatives focused on reducing plastic pollution. The best accommodations in Africa are those that invest in the communities that live around the game reserves. Participate in beach cleanups or community-driven campaigns that aim to raise awareness and implement sustainable practices. Engaging with local communities not only helps in preserving the environment but also provides a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.

Embarking on a safari is an awe-inspiring adventure that allows us to witness nature's wonders firsthand. However, it's crucial to minimise our ecological footprint and protect these fragile ecosystems from plastic pollution. By following the tips mentioned above and incorporating sustainable practices into our safari experiences, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy the splendour of wildlife in their natural habitats. Let's be responsible travellers and advocates for the preservation of our planet's wild spaces.

Looking for an eco-friendly safari destination? Contact us to design your ideal safari trip!

Written by Evelyn Poole

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