When we travel to Tanzania for a safari, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to try to make it as sustainable as possible.
In a safari, as in most trips, we can decide what kind of impact we will have on the territory. And if we are going to do a safari in Tanzania, and pay the high price that it has, it is important that we make sure that it is as sustainable as possible. Considering that total sustainability does not exist, there are many aspects that we should take into account before hiring a safari.
Requirements for a sustainable safari in Tanzania
1- Community participation
Local communities should play an active role in the management and development of the safari. Not only should they be provided with well-paid, long-term work, but these communities should be the focus of activities. Local communities are the ones who should make decisions on tourism management and land conservation.
2- Positive economic impact on the territory
The safari should have a positive impact on the region’s economy. Sustainable tourism fosters community development. In developing countries it is imperative to ensure that our safari will have a direct return in the community. In this way, tourists can help reduce poverty in the region and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants.
3- Preservation of the natural environment and respect for the environment
The guide and tourists must respect the natural environment in which they find themselves. Respect the rules of the National Parks, keep your distance from the animals, leave no trace of our passage through the visited areas. Sometimes images of safaris have gone viral where an animal is surrounded by several 4×4 cars that do not respect the distance with the animal and it becomes a fight to see who gets closer. What happened a year ago in the Mara Nature Reserve is neither ethical nor sustainable.
4- With respect to culture and local inhabitants.
Respect for the culture, especially the Maasai tribes, inhabitants of these lands before they were National Parks, are a must in a sustainable safari in Tanzania or anywhere else in Africa. Unfortunately, the opposite is usually the case.
Activities that may be detrimental to local communities, such as altering their traditional way of life, should be avoided. About sustainable travel and the impact of tourism on the Maasai tribes, you can read more in this article: Sustainable travel in Tanzania.
5- Promotion of education
A sustainable safari should also focus on environmental education and environmental awareness as well as the effects of the climate crisis on the environment. The guides must be sufficiently trained to explain to tourists how important environmental conservation is, and of the problems that arise due to the climate crisis that developed countries are causing around the world.
6- Accommodations during the Safari
As I mentioned at the beginning, there is no such thing as total sustainability on a trip like a safari. But we can always be as sustainable as possible, for example, by not using plastics or going to accommodations that make responsible use of the resources they have. Solar panels, responsible use of water, not using plastics, and offering local food are some of the points that make an accommodation more or less sustainable.
If, for example, during your safari in the Serengeti you are offered fishthis is a sign of non-sustainabilityIn the interior of Tanzania, the local people do not eat fish, and if there is any, it is for you, the “lucky tourist” who brings it to you so that we can eat as we do at home.
What is a NON-Sustainable safari?
In order to enjoy a sustainable safari in Tanzania we must take into account the above points. But then, what is a non-sustainable safari?
1- A safari may not be sustainable if there is an overload of tourists in a given area making the animals uncomfortable. Our responsibility, as tourists, is to ask to go to a quieter place where we do not disturb the animals.
2- Go on a safari to hunt animals: Unfortunately, in countries such as Tanzania, there are areas where hunting animals in the wild is allowed. For example, the image of the former King of Spain hunting animals in Botswana comes to mind.
3- Lack of participation of the local community: It is common to see western companies doing safaris where the most local thing they have is a local guide who depends on the tourist’s tips. Failure to involve the local community impoverishes the region and has a negative impact on its well-being.
4- Negative economic impact: If, for example, the safari company is European-owned, the safari money leaves the country, perpetuating poverty in the region. And even if the company is owned by a Tanzanian, the money is not invested in the development of the country in a fair and sustainable way.
5- Lack of education and awareness: If tourists do not receive training on the importance of biodiversity preservation, they will not understand the importance of preserving the natural habitat, which can lead to a lack of interest in its conservation.
Is a local travel agency a sustainable business?
A local Tanzanian safari company or agency is not synonymous with sustainability. In fact, not everything local is sustainable. Therefore, a local supplier is no guarantee of safari or environmentally friendly sustainable travel.
We should investigate whether the local safari company in Tanzania has sustainable and benefit-sharing policies within the territory. For example, a local travel agency that does not have pay fair wages to the guides, or that does not offer good working conditions, it cannot be considered a sustainable safari, as it does not meet one of the following conditions 5P tourism and sustainable development: caring for people.
But it is also not a sustainable safari if we do it with a local company and the benefits of the safari are lawfully distributed among the owners of the company. It is lawful, but it will certainly not be ethical, let alone sustainable.
How to book a sustainable safari in Tanzania
If you have come this far, you are aware of what a privilege it is to go on safari in Tanzania. And since we are going to exercise this privilege, what better than to try to maximize the positive impact of our safari to the visited territory.
How to make a sustainable safari in Tanzania?
You don’t need to look much further, Trip to Help was born with the purpose of making tourism more fair and sustainable with the visited territories. And how do we do it? With the 80/20 rule. In our safaris or trips in Tanzania, 80 or more than 80% of what you pay goes directly to a local NGO that is financed by tourists like us. Thanks to tourism, they are able to finance several of the social projects they have in the territory, such as primary and secondary schools, a public medical center, training programs, water purification projects, and a beautiful orphanage that provides a home for some 30 children who cannot be with their parents. Does this exist? Yes, it is rare, and that is why Trip to Help wants to publicize all these projects that make the tourist’s money is distributed fairly among those who need it most. And furthermore, it is they, the Maasai, the Merus, and the rest of the local people who are the center of the project, they decide what is good for their community and what is not.
When a tourist wants to do a sustainable safari in Tanzania, we always suggest them to stay at least one more night to see the NGO’s projects, so they can see with their own eyes how tourism can have a very positive impact on a community.
Sustainable tourism in Tanzania
If you want more information about doing a sustainable safari in Tanzania, you can send us a whatsapp or email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
But first, we invite you to take a look at all our routes, safaris and trips in Tanzania.
- Tanzania eco-tourism
- 5-day safari in Tanzania
- Safari and experiential tourism with Maasai
- 10-day trip in Tanzania and Zanzibar
As you can see, doing a sustainable safari in Tanzania guarantees you to see the same animals as in a traditional safari but at the same time we are helping the territory to develop economically in a fairer and more egalitarian way. Are you up for it?
More information about Tanzania and Kenya
- How much does a Kenya Safari Cost?
- How to make a sustainable trip to Kenya: Tips & Tricks
- Sustainable Safari in Tanzania
- Sustainable Travel in Tanzania
- Money in Kenya: tips and tricks
- What is the best time to travel to Kenya?
- Tanzania or Kenya: Which of these is the best safari?
- Our Kenya Safari Experience
- 10 days in Zanzibar: For independent and first time travelers
- 5-day safari in Tanzania