At Where It All Began, we only create African journeys that are ethical. But what exactly does that mean?
‘Ethical travel’ is a relatively new concept, especially in Africa: it doesn’t mean ‘eco-tourism’ or ‘voluntourism’. For us, ethical travel means travelling in such a way that one is mindful of how tourism and travel can have a negative impact on both people and planet. It also means actively taking steps to not only mitigate that impact, but actually turn it into a positive and mutually beneficial impact.
To that end, we offer ready-made and also custom-built trips all across the region that are owned/managed/directed by disadvantaged individuals and/or have credible, visible policies on how to they act responsibly in terms of their:
- waste management;
- energy usage (and creation);
- water management.
In a nutshell, we only use the services of companies that put people and planet first in a genuinely honest and responsible way.
We do make use of certification organisations (like Travellife, Fair Trade in Tourism, Green Tourism) but we don't only use them. We also conduct our own, qualitative audit of each place or supplier recommend to our clients.
A typical example is Tanda Tula: they are one of the longest-running safar camps in Kruger National Park and choose not to be accredited by any of the large certifying bodies. However, when you drill down into the core values of the organisation, how it has a permanent policy of uplifting staff, how it manages waste and water, you can quickly see that it's a set of values which to our mind place it firmly in the ethical category. They have published, transparent policy and practices conservation, community & education and environmental contribution.
It's for this reason that they feature in our Ethical Kruger Safari package at the five-star level, in combination with Umlani Bush Camp at the three-star level.
They offer a Field Camp and a Safari Camp with rates starting from R10 725 per person sharing per night, or US$1,700 a night. Read more about them at http://www.tandatula.com.