December 2016 – Continued investment in renewable energy has seen Wilderness Safaris maintain its strong track record in achieving the highest grade of ecotourism certification from the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) for its Botswana camps.
“As pioneers in sustainable ecotourism, we see this important certification not as a once-off achievement, but as something we want to consistently deliver on. As soon as one of our camps has been awarded the highest “Eco” level of certification, we apply the learnings across our portfolio. This ensures that we maintain consistently high standards while always look to go one step further. Working with the BTO in this endeavour reflects our core commitment to our 4Cs philosophy (Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture),” explained Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD, Kim Nixon.
Botswana’s eco-grading system takes international best practice as a starting point and highlights the Government’s commitment to sustainable ecotourism. This rigorous scheme is carefully monitored by a Quality Assurance Committee which bases certification on compliance with strict criteria, including some 240 performance standards.
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. The BTO certification scheme has been named among the top 20 sustainable tourism certification schemes in the world by the Tourism and Greenwash Report.
Wilderness Safaris naturally aspires to the highest of the three tiers – the "Eco" level of certification. Continued significant investment in solar power in combination with ever-higher environmental management standards and a number of conservation initiatives have contributed to the number of Wilderness Safaris camps that have achieved “Eco” certification. Such investments also emphasise how seriously Wilderness Safaris takes this certification process, and the company’s commitment to sustainable, world-class ecotourism products that can achieve real change in Africa.
The following Wilderness Safaris camps currently hold the “Eco” grade in the BTO Ecotourism Certification:
- Abu Camp
- Chitabe Camp – achieved the “Eco” category in 2016 after its solar installation was completed
- DumaTau Camp
- Kalahari Plains Camp
- Kings Pool Camp
- Savuti Camp
- Seba Camp
The following camps currently hold the same grade of certification but will be reassessed once their leases have been finalised:
- Little Vumbura Camp
- Mombo and Little Mombo Camps
- Vumbura Plains Camp
- Xigera Camp