At Wild Frontiers in all our operations we have always strived to “put something
back”. Apart from being a wholly African owned and managed company, we ensure
that all our partner companies in Africa are fully licensed, tax paying entities in those
countries. In each country, we insist on some basic standards and ethics, some of
which are mentioned here.
– Staff upliftment, training and betterment within the company
– Above average industry wages, with full compliance with government directives as regards this, as well as Social Security and Taxation issues.
– Leave and maternity leave.
– Financial assistance for staff and families as needed.
– Responsible and safe working hours, with acceptable time off.
– Provision of uniforms and equipment as needed for the task.
– No discrimination in terms of race, sex, religion etc.
We inspect all subcontractors that we utilise to ensure that they too meet these criteria. We also make sure that the overseas operators who use our camps and services also agree with our views on Responsible Tourism. On the logistics side, we ensure that our vehicles are maintained correctly for the job, and are safe. We also take out insurance for liability.
Camps & Environment
Our camps and lodges are run in an environmentally aware and sustainable manner, with particular emphasis on the use of solar lighting, proper waste disposal, and water conservation and non-pollution of water resources and areas. We are also aware of the visual pollution aspect of camps and lodges, and ensure that ours fit in with the environment in a subtle and non-intrusive way.
Cultural & Social
On all our tours, our leaders are encouraged to try to bring in a cultural element, and support local cultural, women’s and conservation groups. This extends from comprehensive cultural immersions or visits, right down to from whom we purchase our fresh supplies and spare parts, and to where we take our guests for a beer after safari – the ethic here is to “Spread the Happiness” to as many people in our circle as possible.
The fact that our staff are local, and know of a multitude
of worthy people and places, means that we are perfectly aligned with this, without a formal structure. They will also advise you on the social norms, so you do not make that embarrassing social blunder! Hopefully you will return with an appreciation of other cultures, and not make an unwanted impact by your visit.
We actively encourage development of grass roots projects where we see the need – such as “local lunches” made by the women’s group at Ngamba Island – providing jobs, income and pride in the community. In Tanzania we have (with sponsors help) worked on school refurbishment and lighting, water, etc. in rural communities, as well as initiating the Kilimanjaro Marathon to help develop athletics in the country – with great success.
We also limit the size of our camps and lodges based on the areas in which they are located, and more importantly our personal feelings on over crowding of locations and our guests needs.
Where possible, especially in remote, sensitive, wilderness areas, we also try to limit the number of staff utilised on trips and at camps, as they too have an effect on the environment.
Our vehicle sizes and usage are also properly managed, taking into account their effect on the roads and environment and greenhouse gas emissions.
Use of other operators’ properties
On occasion, and especially in towns, we make use of properties owned and managed by other companies. Whilst we cannot dictate others policies, and in some cases have no option but to use a particular property which does not fully comply with our ethics, we do try to ensure that all properties we use have some form of environmental consciousness. Where they do not we actively engage management to help effect change.
Consider the ecological damage done by the construction, maintenance, chemical usage, etc. of a large swimming pool at a lodge in a National Park over a 20 year lifespan – then decide if your 15 minute dip in the pool is really worth it?
We actively support a grass roots tree planting project in Tanzania – not a 100% “carbon compensation” project, this is a dual purpose project which twins carbon compensation with erosion control and providing villages with wood, fruit, shade and shelter for many years. Our feeling is that this “dual purpose” project is better suited to what the community needs than a large “carbon farm”. We actively support projects in Uganda, working with communities on the edge
of National Parks and Conservation areas.
In all our operations – both in the office and in the bush – we try to “reduce, re-use, recycle” – although in Africa recycling is not as well organised as in Europe, we endeavour to have less wastage of resources. We are conscious both at work and at home of our usage of electricity and energy, and try where possible to use energy efficient lighting, etc.
In Zimbabwe we strive to work with local communities particularly around Parks and we are strong supporters of the old ‘camp-fire’ system of sustainable development in line with conservation of flora and fauna on the edges of the parks.
“We want you to ‘come as a guest, leave as a friend”
Although “Fair Trade” and “Eco-Tourism” have arguably become overused buzzwords, we feel that our operations comply with the founding principles of these fine concepts. This continent is our home – and we love and respect it.
If we can leave it in a better state than we found it, our children and their children will further protect this legacy for their families – this is our aim.