Amanzi Travel was set up initially to support specific local projects such as the Zambia Teaching and Community Development Project and the Lion Rehabilitation Project in Zimbabwe and although it has grown the company has never deviated from its passionate aim to give something back to the communities in which these projects were developed. By engaging in a volunteer placement with Amanzi Travel you are choosing to partake in community tourism.
Amanzi Travel is fully committed to supporting local communities by maintaining a positive contribution to their projects, the people, and the environment and wildlife. It is dedicated to opening up the world of volunteer and adventure travel in Africa in an ethical way and actively minimising the negative effects of conventional tourism. Every programme supported can proudly describe their contribution to the local community or environment. By becoming part of the local team for the duration of your stay, you too will become an integral part of the ongoing infrastructure designed to support and maintain worthy and sustainable projects.
- Projects are run with the consensus and support of local authorities.
- Amanzi Travel supports the local economy by investing in local projects.
- Where possible local guides are employed who willingly share their vast expertise. Although Amanzi Travel office staff are always available to offer advice and help, the best support and information will naturally come from the on-site experts.
- Amanzi Travel focuses on helping whole communities, not just the individual, and encourages cultural sensitivity, ensuring that others are not exploited or their livelihoods diminished by tourism.
- Amanzi Travel aims to support self-sustaining communities by helping implement or maintain existing forms of industry and commerce with projects that are environmentally sensitive and sustainable.
- Amanzi Travel aims to establish and expand responsible tourism within Africa while actively contributing to the protection and preservation of its amazing wildlife.
- Amanzi Travel is a partner in the “Know before you go” (KBYG) campaign and regularly checks the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to ensure it is in line with the latest recommendations.
Here are a few suggestions to facilitate your transition from tourist to responsible traveller:
- Learn a few key courtesy phrases in the local language, such as 'please' and 'thank you' - a little respect goes a long way to promoting goodwill. A number of the volunteer placements include basic language skills as part of the initial orientation.
- Remember the economic realities of the new currency: although most of your trip will be inclusive, there will be times when you will want to spend personal money and you may be charged 'visitor prices' as opposed to local prices. It is most likely that you earn a lot more than your patrons, so don't worry about overspending a few rand here or there.
- Bargain fairly, with respect to the seller. The perfect deal is where neither party feels ripped off; you will have engaged in a social custom with ease and good nature.
- Be aware of what you are buying as souvenirs and avoid the purchase of unethical animal produce such as ivory and tortoise-shell. If unsure of an item's origin, think hard before you buy.
- Be aware of the traditions or taboos of the host country, and follow the examples of the local guides if you are unsure about dress or behaviour.
- Arrive with a sense of the political, social, and economic situation in the host country: this awareness will facilitate your immersion into the culture and allow you to better understand the people you help and interact with.
- Above all, show respect for the different cultures and customs you may come across.
As part of a determined initiative to promote responsible travel, Amanzi Travel is now offering a carbon offsetting facility for flights. Whether booked through Amanzi Travel or not the carbon emissions generated can be calculated and an informed decision to offset made. The offset payments are made online using a credit card through WorldPay's secure payment service.
Travellers will then receive a certificate from ClimateCare noting the CO2 emissions offset through this service, www.climatecare.org.
Carbon offsetting enables everyone to take responsibility for their emissions by paying for CO2 in the atmosphere to be reduced on their behalf. Amanzi Travel has linked up with ClimateCare to invest in several relevant emission reduction projects all over the world. For example some of the projects funded will include efficient stoves in Cambodia and Uganda, wind power in China and biomass power in India.
The Uganda Stoves Project supplies efficient wood burning stoves to institutions such as schools. As well as reducing greenhouse gases produced from cooking, these stoves reduce the amount of wood fuel needed, helping to reduce deforestation. Cooks also experience the benefits of reduced indoor pollution since the stoves are less smoky, and because the stoves are taller they minimise damage to the cooks’ backs plus the food is easier to cook.