Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is a Green Tourism Member
In 2016 Victoria Falls Safari Lodge received a silver award from the international organisation Green Tourism, one of the world’s most credible and effective global sustainability programs, and the largest, in recognition of our commitment to the environment.
The Green Tourism team commended Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s well known Vulture Culture Experience with its “excellent interpretation and viewing area”, as well as the lodge’s promotion of low carbon activities, such as horse riding and canoeing. The audit team also praised Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for the fact that no chemicals, apart from fertiliser, were used in the garden, as well as for the availability of natural insect repellents in rooms and a move to more eco -friendly cleaners.
The Green Tourism team reviewed every aspect of the lodge, including routing around in waste bins, measuring water flow in showers, checking chemicals in cleaning and laundry products and scrutinising kitchens, swimming pools and staff areas. The Green Tourism program, which started nearly 20 years ago, has helped establish sustainable tourism standards in Scotland, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada and Italy.
There are over 2,500 Green Tourism certified businesses internationally. Being a member of Green Tourism reminds us of our immense responsibility to conserve our unique wildlife rich natural environment for future generations to also enjoy, and encourages us to strive to protect it in all of our operations.
Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU)
A dramatic increase in poaching in Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park led to the formation of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) by Charles Brightman, a local safari operator and conservationist, together with the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, in 1999.
The unit, whose mandate is to protect the wildlife and habitat of the Victoria Falls area from all forms of commercial and subsistence poaching, began with three scouts, but now has 17, operating regular patrols. VFAPU works in close co-operation with the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to achieve many successes.
VFAPU has so far removed more than 22,000 wire snares from its operational area, saved the lives of nearly 200 mammals injured in snares and arrested nearly 700 hardened poachers. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge remains committed to supporting VFAPU, with our major annual fundraiser, the VFAPU Golf Day, raising $26,300 for the unit in 2016. We also pay the salaries of six scouts and contribute to supplies as necessary.
Vulture Culture Experience
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s popular Vulture Culture Experience is a supplementary feeding program that aids the survival of these remarkable, but endangered birds, enables their numbers to be monitored, and also raises awareness of their plight.
The Vulture Culture Experience, which is entertaining, educational and appeals to all age groups, begins with a briefing about the ecological importance of vultures and the challenges they are facing. The activity is free but visitors are encouraged to make a donation to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.
Vulture populations are dwindling due to a variety of human created issues, including electrocution by power lines, loss of available and safe food supply, poisoning and the use of their parts for traditional medicines. After the briefing visitors walk down a bush path to a hide, from where they witness the spectacular sight of hundreds of vultures swooping down to feed on leftover meat scraps from the onsite restaurants.
The experience, which occurs at 1pm daily, offers the opportunity to spot white headed vultures, hooded vultures, lappet faced vultures, white backed vultures, cape vultures, as well as marabou storks, tawny eagles and yellow-billed kites. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge works in collaboration with Vulpro, a leading vulture conservation program based in South Africa, and the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.
Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust, Botswana
Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) partnered with the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT) while developing Ngoma Safari Lodge and is fully committed to making a sustainable difference to the local community and environment.
The Enclave is a triangle of land surrounded on two sides by the Chobe National Park and along the north by the Linyanti marsh. The area is a community trust, meaning the local population benefits directly from tourism and has an active hand in decision-making.
Part of the proceeds of each booking at Ngoma Safari Lodge goes back to the community, and the lodge also employs staff directly from the local population.
It has been a remarkable success story of how rural communities can derive benefits from natural resources. The CECT is made up of five communities, namely, Mabele, Kavimba, Kachikau, Satau and Parakarungu.
Mabele Village – Chobe, Botswana
Our guests have the unique opportunity to interact with the community through visiting an authentic village. This typical village is home to families who will share a snapshot of their lives with our guests as they go through their daily chores and routines.
Guests are encouraged to take part in village life, whether it be feeding the chickens and livestock or just sharing stories with the family. Strong bonds and a better appreciation of other cultures are created through this interaction.
This visit provides guests with the opportunity to further support the villagers by buying their handcrafted basket ware, and it also enables them to meet the people who directly benefit from their stay at Ngoma Safari Lodge.
Local School Development Programs
AAT maintains very close ties with local schools and assists with the donations of goods and equipment when required. Mabele Primary School – Chobe, Bostwana Mabele Primary School is located in Chobe District, near Ngoma Safari Lodge, with its catchment area being Ngoma Border gate, Muchenje, Mabele and Mowana. It has 80 pupils from Standard 1 to Standard 7. As part of our community outreach efforts, we actively encourage our guests to not only visit but also to become involved in the development of the school. Many of our guests bring pens, pencils, books, sports equipment and clothing for the school children.
Pack for a Purpose
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our projects.
Victoria Falls Clean Up Campaigns
The staff and community at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge resort play an active part in the monthly ‘Victoria Falls Clean Up Campaigns’. A dedicated team of staff volunteer their time to join the community in an operation to keep the streets of Victoria Falls town clean and welcoming to our visitors from around the world.
Victoria Falls Tourism Police
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge supports two officers in the Local Tourism Police and makes additional donations to the force as and when required. The Tourism Police Unit was established to ensure that visitors to Victoria Falls enjoy their stay in peaceful and secure surroundings.
National Tree Planting Day
AAT works with Environment Africa to recognise and observe National Tree Planting Day, by planting indigenous trees on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge property.
Rotary Club of Victoria Falls
We are committed to working with the Rotary Club of Victoria Falls on community projects and school fundraisers.