August 2013 – Wilderness Safaris is extremely proud to announce that Chitabe Camp and Chitabe Lediba have received the highest grade of ecotourism certification from the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), effective 1 August 2013.
“As pioneers in sustainable ecotourism, we are delighted to add Chitabe to the list of our other camps that have already received eco-certification since inception of this programme in 2009. It is extremely rewarding to work together with the BTO in this endeavour which reflects our core commitment to our 4Cs philosophy (Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture)”, said CEO, Keith Vincent.
Botswana’s eco-grading system is drawn from international best practice and highlights the Government’s commitment to sustainable ecotourism. This rigorous scheme is carefully monitored by a Quality Assurance Committee who only award certification to camps that check against a stringent list of criteria. It is also encouraging best practice in the region as other operators have shown interest in participating in the programme. It was also recently named among the top 20 sustainable tourism certification schemes in the world by the Tourism and Greenwash Report.
Chitabe Camp and Chitabe Lediba received the highest rating of ‘Ecotourism’ for their light footprint and commitment to conservation and sustainable community empowerment. Chitabe Camp, comprising eight spacious Meru-style tents built on elevated wooden decks, and Chitabe Lediba, featuring only five tents, are situated in a private concession on an island in the south-east of the Okavango Delta.
The camps have also initiated and funded various conservation research and monitoring projects, as well as completed and funded four annual aerial wildlife surveys to date. Ongoing research, as well as addressing the surrounding communities' attitudes towards the African wild dog, has resulted in a gradual increase in awareness of the plight of these Endangered predators.
The following Wilderness Safaris camps have achieved the highest rating of ‘Ecotourism’ to date:
• Abu Camp
• Banoka Bush Camp
• Chitabe Camp / Chitabe Lediba
• Jacana Camp
• Jao Camp
• Kalahari Plains Camp
• Kwetsani Camp
• Little Vumbura
• Mombo / Little Mombo
• Savuti Camp
• Seba Camp