You want Real Sustainable travel
You want to travel truly responsible. No greenwashing. You want Real Sustainable Travel. Certified hotels and real community experiences by real local people.
You want to Travel like this.
Travelife and Fair Trade Tourism
You want Real Sustainable travel to be transparent and independently monitored. We want to proof to you that we are not covering standard cookie-cutter tours with a green-looking sauce, but that we really walk the talk. So, you need to know we confirm to the strictest international standards, standards which are independently audited and monitored. This is why we aim to be Travelife Certified as well as Fair Trade Tourism certified.
Travelife is Europe’s leading sustainable tourism certification institution. To be certified means we need to confirm to over 150 criteria, covering all from our water and electricity use, our staff policies and how we run the company, to our full suppliers chain and child protection policies. You can read all about it on the Travelife website.
Fair Trade Tourism is the leading sustainable tourism certification in Southern Africa. They audit and monitor properties and tour operators in this part of the world and have partnered with Travelife to ensure parity in standards. For more information click here.
To qualify for Travelife Certification and the Fair Trade Tourism Certification is a long process. We are proud that we are now recognized as official Travelife Partner and Fair Trade Tourism Approved tour operator. Fully certified status will follow once tourism picks up, late 2021 or early 2022.
WE and YOU and the world
If you want to travel real sustainable, there are three areas that need to work in harmony to ensure you will truly do so. The planet, the people and the profit side are three sides of the same coin. Focusing on one without the others does not make you travel real sustainable.
You want real sustainable travel: the planet
The planet: we
Of course, our tours have a large impact on the environment. Whichever way you travel, you’ll emit CO2- and other greenhouse gases. As do the hotels you sleep in, the food you eat, the excursions you make, in fact, everything you do every day. We use accommodations and providers that work to minimise these emissions – wherever possible. Think solar power, sourcing locally (so less transport needed), recycling etc. No matter how hard we try, we can minimise but we can’t avoid these emissions. So, we compensate for your holiday – all of it. All.
Every kilometer, every overnight, every activity, every flight you book with us. We do this on tangible local projects in southern Africa, so your compensation is happening where you travel. And we will regularly update you through our blogs, newsletters and on social media. Our staff works mainly from home, thereby minimising travel time and carbon emissions. We regularly meet in shared office spaces to make sure our level of service remains tops. And yes, we also compensate for all our own travel- and work-related carbon emissions.
We use the greenhouse gas travel calculator of Toitu Envirocare, a free calculator that is endorsed by New Zealand government. We use a free calculator so you can fill it out yourself and check whether our calculations are correct. However, because you’ll travel in an environment with often older facilities, we multiply the outcome by 1.5 to compensate for that. This total is the tons of greenhouse gas emissions we will offset.
We use certified forestation projects for our offsetting. There are lots of technical offsetting projects, but we believe in the shortest road possible towards offsetting, which is planting trees. Also, we want you to be able to see with your own eyes where your holiday is being offset. So we use the independent Trees for Tourism program of the South African Reforestation Trust.
Why do we choose forestation?
- Forests produce clean air, pure water, rich soil
- Forests store carbon
- Forests prevent erosion
- Forests create food and shelter for wildlife
- Forests create a sanctuary for man
- Forests are part of our tourism capital
As proof, you get an official certificate of your Zero Carbon Travel with the date and amount of your greenhouse gas offsetting. This certificate is from Trees for Tourism, so you know we are walking the talk and that your offsetting is done correctly. Your certificate will look like this.
The planet: wildlife protection
Part of the planet is the wildlife. In our home, Africa, this is in may places under pressure or worse, endangered or even on the brink of extinction. Animals belong in the wild and any commercial exploitation is not conservancy, but puts more pressure on the wild animals. The young will be captured (often that means shooting the parents to capture the cubs) and their habitat destroyed for commercial purposes. Even worse are poaching and canned hunting (shooting animals raised in captivity). So what do we do about It?
Because both us and you believe in Ecotourism, we do not visit game farms of places where there is any physical animal interaction – so, no elephant riding and absolutely no lion or cheetah petting.
These places raise animals for ‘canned hunting’ – there are no records in Southern Africa of any great cat being rehabilitated to live in the wild.
Because nothing can beat meeting the animals in the wild, on their terms!
Join our conservation safari’s
Last but least, we offer you the chance to actively participate in the wildlife protection through our Conservation Safari’s. Here you will combine game drives with hands-on conservation activities and learn what is involved in running a game reserve and protecting the wildlife.
Take it one step further: participate in a rhino, elephant or big cat collaring, or help with the release of wildlife to repopulate an areas. The collars enable the rangers to track the animals and keep them protected from poachers. Scientists use the data to learn more about the behaviour of the animals.
The proceeds of a conservation safari help collar more animals and preserve larger areas, so you are also actively helping in that regard. Contact us to learn what the possibilities are on your travel dates!
The planet: you
We hear you asking: what can I do? A lot. Some ideas: you can, for instance, compensate the greenhouse emission of your flight. But during the tour, you can also do a lot. Don’t buy souvenirs made from endangered animals or plants (you can find the most recent Cites list on the WNF website).
Leave wild animals alone, give them their space and don’t aggravate them, either in a vehicle or on foot. Don’t feed any wild birds or animals, especially monkeys! As cute as some monkeys may look, in reality, they are being turned into food thieves this way.
Don’t litter. If you are a smoker, take care not to start a fire and bring your own travel ashtray for your cigarette butts. Last but not least, don’t buy small water bottles, you throw away a large amount of plastic. Rather bring a refillable bottle and fill it up from the big bottle you buy. We have water shortages here, so it’s good to know that it takes 3 times as much water as the content to make a big bottle, but that goes up to 7 times for a small bottle.
Do you have more suggestions? Let us know!
You want real sustainable travel: the people
The people: we
A lot of people limit sustainability to ‘green’ and the planet. However, if you want real sustainable travel, you realize that everything we and you do, is part of sustainability. And this most certainly includes the local people. They are the owners and caretakers of their land, their country. We focus very much on community tourism experiences. At Tales from Africa Travel we consider ourselves guests visiting our family, so we treat everyone with respect, honesty and on an equal base. We honor and respect everyone’s culture and customs. On a larger scale, we adhere to all human rights and human values and demand the same of our providers. And we are strictly opposed to child sex tourism. We want you to be considered loved and welcome guests!
We don’t forget our staff. They are treated like the gems they are. Medical aid, retirement funds, proper educational tours and training are all part and parcel of working for us.
The people: you
Here you’ll have a huge impact. In short: behave like a guest would and treat everyone you meet the same way you’d like to be treated. Online and/or in travel guides you can (even before your departure) find a wealth of fascinating facts about the lifestyles of the different people of southern Africa. Don’t walk around like you own the place. Respect the local people and customs. For instance, in a village, the living room starts at the gate to the courtyard and not at the door of the house. So, call out at the gate and wait for permission to enter.
A tip: all over the world, there is a great way to make friends: ask permission before you take a picture of somebody. Then don’t walk away, but show it to him or her. Before you know you will be deep in a memorable conversation with lots of laughter and nodding – even if you don’t speak the language. Because a smile is the same in any language, the best experience you can get is a smile from ear to ear!
You want real sustainable travel: the profit
The profit: we
The third element if you want real sustainable travel, profit, concerns the local economy. As big a part as possible of your money should end up locally. If you immerse yourself in one of our community experiences, at least 5 people in that community are being paid for your visit. We empower women and jobless people in this way to have an income.
Outside the communities, we choose accommodations that are locally owned and not part of a large foreign chain. That way the profit returns into the local community and is not siphoned off to another country. And oh yes, when choosing, we don’t care whether the owners are black, white, purple, green or polka-dotted.
For all accommodations, but also for local excursions and services, we select operators that don’t only care about their profit, but also care about their own staff and the environment. This way your excursions are not just fantastic, they are also good for the local economy.
At Tales from Africa Travel, part of our staff come from a disadvantaged background and are trained by us. They start off at well above minimum wage. And we have a profit-sharing scheme in place for all our staff, no matter at what level they work.
The profit: you
This is simple: spend your money as much as possible locally. Sweets can be bought on tour, so you don’t need to take them from home. Negotiating souvenir prices is common practice, but you don’t need to take it to the limit.
However, don’t give ballpoints, sweets or money to begging children! By doing this you stimulate them to go begging during daytime – instead of going to school. If you feel you want to give something, donate money or goods to a school or a project. We’ll gladly help you find a good destination.
Finally, if you want to book a tour, an excursion or a restaurant yourself, don’t just look at the price, but also check the way the operator runs his/her business. It will make both your lives better!
Want to learn more?
Want to learn all what we do if you want to real sustainable travel? Download our full Sustainability Policy!
Find your Experience
You want to Meet our Locals
At Tales from Africa Travel, we know you want to meet our locals. To be a guest in their unique communities. No cultural villages but
You Cherish Off the Beaten Track
Your dream is filled with images of unfrequented, quiet, remote, secluded, and hidden places. Luxurious or roughing it.
You Choose to Travel Consciously
Truly responsible tourism is more than ecotourism: immerse yourself in local cultures and make sure that the local people profit.
You Crave 4×4 Camper Tours
Experience the wild bush in your 4×4 home on wheels. Go where others can’t go. Relish in the full-service or self-drive option. Explore
You want the Romance of Rail
You are fascinated by the old-world charm of a Rail experience. Go on safari from the train, relive the glory days of railroad travel and have
Your Boots are Made for Walking
You love the exhilaration of walking. Rambling through stunning mountain ranges or go on an exciting walking safari with an armed guide.
You are Crazy about Cycling
Your heart beats to the rhythm of your wheels. Any ride you fancy from wild mountain bike adventures to luxury gourmet road cycling tours.
The Freedom of the Open Road
You are an avid motorbike rider and are looking for the ride of your life. Combine Safari with the greatest rides in Africa, on gravel or on tar.
You Long to be Pampered
You work hard and believe in the harmony of mind, body and soul. You dream of submerging body and soul in the wonder of Wellness