March 2014 – Wilderness Safaris is proud to announce that over half its Botswana camps have achieved the highest grade of ecotourism certification from the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO).
“As pioneers in sustainable ecotourism, we are delighted that year by year, more of our camps receive this important certification. 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 Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, Grant Woodrow.
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 which only awards certification to camps that check against a stringent list of criteria – including some 240 performance standards. In this way, the system is designed to encourage and support responsible environmental, social and cultural behaviour, ensuring that tour operators provide a quality eco-friendly product to consumers.
Named among the top 20 sustainable tourism certification schemes in the world by the Tourism and Greenwash Report, it is a three-tier system with an entry-level "Green" certification, mid-level "Green+" certification and the highest "Eco" level of certification. This acknowledges the full spectrum of ecotourism, including involvement with local communities in tourism development, nature conservation, environment management and interpretation of the surrounding environment to guests.
Between all the Wilderness Safaris camps mentioned, a wide variety of conservation initiatives have been supported both logistically and financially, community partnerships have been strengthened, and ever higher environmental management standards have been adhered to – all in all, an accomplishment that reiterates the sustainability of world-class products that achieve real change in Africa.
The following Wilderness Safaris camps have achieved Ecotourism Certification to date:
"Eco" Certified (highest grading category)
• Abu Camp
• Banoka Bush Camp
• DumaTau Camp
• Jao Camp
• Kalahari Plains Camp
• Kwetsani Camp
• Savuti Bush Camp
• Seba Camp
• Xigera Camp
• Jacana Camp
• Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Cam
Green+" Certified (mid-level grading category)
• Tubu Tree Camp
• Chitabe Camp and Chitabe Lediba Camp