Community & Environment

‘GREEN STEPS TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM’

The Green Steps to Sustainable Tourism initiative is a commitment by all at Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) to consciously consider the environment in all the group’s activities. The group has long been a leader in eco-friendly tourism development in Southern Africa and charted the course with the construction of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, for which the group was awarded the Green Globe Distinction Award in 2000 for outstanding environmental practices in its construction. Since then eco-consciousness has been ingrained in the group’s culture, and this was again evident during the construction of the group’s luxurious 20-room Victoria Falls Safari Club, during which contractors were virtually “fenced in” to very defined areas so that the delicate environment was not destroyed. Large and small trees were fenced, a few were translocated and even the grasses were preserved and replanted after construction was complete.

The legendary values on which Victoria Falls Safari Lodge are founded inspire profound respect for the environment and foster a spirit of partnership with host communities. AAT Chairman, Dave Glynn says: ‘This is our way of acknowledging the huge privilege we have and the responsibility we hold in our hands. By sustainably utilising the natural resources, caring for the flora and fauna, creating jobs and uplifting the communities in which we operate, AAT shares its love for Africa’s warm and hospitable people, her vibrant culture, incredible wildlife and immense physical beauty.’

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Social Corporate Responsibility

Africa Albida Tourism is critically aware that the wildlife resources and natural attractions of Africa require care from all stakeholders, and in this regard has not shied away from its corporate responsibilities in protecting these resources. The group’s social corporate responsibility initiatives include the following:

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.

Here is a link to the VFAPU website: http://vfapu.com/

Victoria Falls Recycling (VFR)

Launched in March 2018, Victoria Falls Recycling is an AAT sponsored initiative, and is coordinated by well-known local environmental conservationist Charlene Hewat.

As Victoria Falls town grows, it is crucial that as much waste as possible is recycled and composted, thus reducing the amount of litter on the streets and the volume of waste going to the town’s dumpsite.

The VFR initiative, which is supported by Greenline Africa Trust, PetrecoZim and Victoria Falls Municipality has begun operations initially recycling paper and plastics from eight hotels in the town. In the future, the project is expected to expand to include the recycling of glass and beverage cans and will include tourism operators from as far afield as Hwange.

Currently the project is operating from an AAT-owned site but as the project develops, it will relocate to a larger recycling area which has been designated by the Victoria Falls Municipality.

The operation has been set up as a community-based project with locals trained to operate the machines, sort waste, bale, load and manage the project, which is expected to have a major impact in protecting the environment around one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

 

Download the Victoria Falls Recycling project overview below:

Natura Water System

As part of AAT’s commitment to reduce the use of plastic, and to minimise the group’s carbon footprint, it is in the process of introducing the environmentally friendly Natura water system. Water is purified onsite using a three-stage filtration system which removes any impurities to produce top quality, great tasting water, provided to guests in glass bottles, which will then be left behind for the next guest to use

 

Read more about our bid to go “plastic free” by downloading the press release below:

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.

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.

www.packforapurpose.org

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.

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.