While Africa has the luxury of a largely unspoiled landscape in many areas, there are factors that are damaging the environment at an alarming rate. Pollution, lack of education, poverty and high population density with little or no services, take a heavy toll on the land and water resources available.
Africa Travel Co encourages a responsible attitude toward the environment by doing the following in our offices and on the road:
Our reservations system makes use of an internal messaging and storage system, thereby reducing the amount of paper usage and postage. All lights, computers and electronic equipment are turned off at night to conserve electricity, and where possible our office waste is recycled.
Our brochure distribution is carefully monitored, and the print run is gauged by the amount of brochures needed based on calculations from previous years. This enables us to cut down on unnecessary printing and paper usage, as well as postage and freight across the globe. We have also introduced a digital brochure to further cut the need for paper brochures down. Where possible all information is transferred in digital format minimising the use of CD's and postage.
Our workshops maintain our vehicles regularly ensuring the engines of our vehicles are in good running order, thereby minimising excess exhaust fumes and carbon output. We also make use of recycling schemes when available for items such as metal, used oil, cracked windscreens, tyres and batteries.
On the Road
Our vehicles are custom built to be self sufficient throughout our longer safaris. Each vehicle is equipped with a water tank with clean drinking water, so that it is not necessary for our clients to purchase bottled water along the way. This minimises the amount of pollution from the disposal of these plastic water bottles. Where possible, shopping is done from markets, therefore making use of local produce which has virtually no carbon footprint. Food left-over's are usually passed on to campsite workers to minimise wastage.
In all National Parks, Reserves and Conservation areas we travel through, we respect the guidelines as set out by the Park's authorities and wherever possible, leave an area in better condition than when we arrived. Our crew also strongly encourage our passengers to practice a responsible attitude towards our wildlife and environment to aid in conserving it for future generations.
Africa Travel Co. supports Village Kids, part of the Charity Village Association (043-225-NPO). Their main aim is to provide educational and recreational services to underprivileged persons by providing pre-primary education to the underprivileged children of Garden Village Strand (South Africa), and ensuring they are fed at least one balanced meal daily. They also assist the children that attend primary school by offering an after school care facility.
24 children attend the schools program on government school days from 7:30 - 13:00, from Monday to Friday. The children taken into this program range from 3 - 6 years, and are taken care of by a teacher and a teaching assistant. All educational tools, books and office equipment are donated by individuals. The main sponsor is The Lions Club in The Netherlands, who have a golf day yearly in aid of this charity, and individual cash donations are received.
A food program has been put in place, where nutritional food is given to children at least once daily. The food is supplied by local hospitality and retail outlets.
An after school facility has been established to support children from Garden Village attending the primary school, with homework and food. This currently has 14 children attending.
How do they achieve this?
The local municipality has offered a building at a reduced rental to accommodate the project , and through an application process a list of children is compiled in order to choose children who are the most in need. Food is supplied by local businesses that donate leftover food, or food outside the sell by date. Also fresh produce and bread are given on a regular basis by local companies or individuals and any additional food is bought from the cash donations received. Food donated is prepared and distributed according to needs.
The local Garden Village community benefits from Charity Village by having a preprimary school that prepares the children for primary school, as well as aftercare homework program for the primary school children. The children are able to learn and receive at least one balanced meal per day which in turn assists with their well being. The after school program also supplies a place of safety for the children daily as many parents are away at work during the day.
How can you help?
You too can help the Village Kids project by donating your sleeping bags, sleeping mats, blankets, books, school stationery (pencils, writing pads, etc), second hand clothing and shoes (children's or adult clothing) or by making a cash donation directly to them. For cash donations, please contact Joe at [email protected]
All other donations can be passed on to your crew, who will deliver it to our Cape Town office for the Village Kids program. Any items not utilized by the school are distributed to the needy residents of the surrounding communities.