Thursday, February 28, 2013
Fifteen Camps and Lodges Now Botswana Ecotourism Certified
Botswana Tourism realizes that “green” is more than just a color or concept – it is a way of life. Conservation of Botswana’s natural resources, rich wildlife, and cultural heritage has long been of prime importance to the government and people of this country. This commitment was formalized in 2002 with the inception of the country’s National Ecotourism Strategy, the framework that positions Botswana as a leading sustainable tourism destination and has been put into play through development of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, a voluntary, tourism industry-wide program run by Botswana Tourism.
The Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, outlining more than 240 performance standards, is designed to encourage and support responsible environmental, social, and cultural behavior by tourism businesses, and to provide a quality, eco-friendly product to consumers. This comprehensive, three-tier system enables companies of all sizes to attain the entry level of “Green” certification. From there, companies may continue to evolve their operations to the “Green+” level and finally to the “Eco” level of certification. This highest level of certification 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 the guest.
The private sector of Botswana’s tourism industry has embraced this voluntary program. Since its inception in late 2010, the number of Botswana eco-certified camps and lodges has grown to a total of 15 properties. Thirteen of the 15 properties have attained “Eco” status, the highest certification level: Banoka Bush Camp, Chobe Game Lodge, Jao Camp, Kalahari Plains Camp, Kwetsani Camp,Little Vumbura Camp, Savuti Camp, Xigera Camp, Zafara Camp, Jacana Camp, Meno A Kwena Tented Camp, Mombo Camp; Camp Kalahari and Tubu Tree Camp have attained “Green+” certification, the mid-level certification; with Vumbura Plains Camp attaining “Green”, or entry level, certification.
All of the certified properties throughout Botswana and their respective companies are committed to providing their guests a comfortable to luxurious, eco-friendly product in authentic style and in a pristine natural environment, making green not only appealing, but preferred. To learn more about these properties, visit the respective property websites. For more information on Botswana’s commitment to ecotourism and the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, visit: www.botswanatourism.co.bw/goingGreen.php