It’s no secret that the natural beauty of Mother Earth is being severely affected by humans and their waste. Pristine beaches are hard to find, and civilization is taking over natural land. Over the past few years, climate change has become a major issue as pollution continues to rise on an exponential rate! In such a day and age, it’s important that we as tourists take care of the wonderful natural destinations we’re visiting.
This goes on especially for Tanzania, owing to the unaltered and unspoiled natural beauty in the country. We need to take steps and make sure we as tourists can preserve the natural beauty and wonder of the area! This is what brings us to ecotourism and social responsibility awareness.
Ecotourism refers to a form of tourism that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people in that area. Social awareness refers to increasing the awareness of the importance of ecotourism among tourists and locals in the area.
Tanzania's scenic beauty, unaltered landscape and pristine beaches keep tourists coming, but these tourists may change the pace of life and the environment. In recent years, ecotourism has been promoted to support the conservation of natural resources, preserve local culture, and provide economic benefits to the communities. Those who implement ecotourism activities seek to build environmental and cultural awareness; provide positive experiences for visitors and hosts; generate financial benefits for locals; deliver experiences that raise sensitivity to Tanzania’s environmental and social climate; design, construct and operate low-impact facilities; and recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of Indigenous People and work in partnership with them.
How can you follow ecotourism while in Tanzania?
If you’re a tourist, you can help reduce personal impact and lower your carbon footprint in the unspoiled land of Tanzania by taking the following measures:
• Choose eco-friendly accommodations.
Seek out places that avoid the use of felled timber: many responsible architects are careful to use local materials and create accommodations that blend with the landscape in which they're located. Moreover, eco-camps also exist that use solar power (for electricity and hot water), and reduce the use of fuel. Staying at eco-camps is a fun and adventurous experience that brings you closer to nature! resource.
• Choose lodges and camps that employ local people, especially in positions as guiding and management.
• Support local shops that support local hand-made crafts.
Many locals involved in the tourism industry, like the Maasai and Samburu, maintain their traditional lifestyles, customs, and dresses. A lot of them are sold in the local markets. You can buy those crafts as souvenirs! As a tourist, you should be careful about the protection and promotion of diverse local cultures.
• Avoid polluting the area or removing any natural substance from the area.
This goes especially for divers! They should maintain the natural beauty of the area without disturbing the marine life around. Night divers should be careful not to disturb the marine life that’s resting or sleeping!
At the Manyara Ranch Conservancy, the land is owned by Masai tribes and leased to investors through the Tanzania Land Conservation Trust. The camp brings wealth to the area, and locals contribute, without compromising the camp’s high standards.
Similarly, the Multi-Environmental Society offers trips around Karatu, in the Rift Valley. The tours allow visitors to see natural resources and cultural sites and traditions while promoting environmental and social responsibility. Visitors can be allowed to stay at village homes and participate in local life.
The Mnemba Island Lodge is a green turtle refuge. Guests can enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling among the property's protected coral reefs! The lodge also provides facilities for kayaking, swimming, windsurfing and fly-fishing.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit Tanzania and enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of the area while keeping in mind your responsibility as an ecotourist!
You might also want to check out the Expert Guide on Selous Game Reserve Tanzania while you’re there!