Location: Olakira Camp, Tanzania
When one thinks of migratory safari camps that follow the wildebeests from the Tanzania-Kenya border down to the Serengeti grasslands, one thinks piles of post-tourist leftovers in their wake. Olakira Camp in Tanzania provides an alternative: an eco-friendly camp that offers safari experiences with the motto “leave nothing behind but footprints.”
Drawing on local knowledge, Olakira camp is run exclusively by Tanzanian staff while being part of Asilia Africa, a larger association of owner-run safari companies committed to responsible tourism. What sets them apart is their staunch commitment to not only providing a green safari experience, but also to helping local livelihoods and making an impact on the environment. Members of Asilia are working on securing the protection of the ‘pristine environment’ in the areas where they operate by supporting and developing the local community in an eco-friendly way and hence precluding other, more damaging uses which might lead to bushmeat, deforestation and unsustainable agriculture.
The camps (which consist of tents with solar-heated bucket showers, eco-toilets and locally-sourced organic food) have no permanent structures and leave no marks on the terrain. Furthermore, all fossil fuel emissions are offset by Asilia’s reforestation programs. In order to ensure the survival of the black rhino in Serengeti (whose number has dwindled to fewer than 100) Asilia and Olakira Camp have also joined a project to repatriate 32 black rhinos from South Africa to Serengeti National Park over five years. In 2010, the first six were repatriated, and many more will follow.
Environmental Impact: Avoided deforestation, reduced C02 emissions, preserved biodiversity and efficient water use
Measurement: Asilia Africa