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Safari operator goes carbon neutral as tourism sector calls for sustainability

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With Earth day having passed on 22 April, The World Tourism Organisation announced that the number of signatories to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism had surpassed 500.

Ila Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park, Zambia. Picture: Green Safaris

Some of tourism’s biggest names such as Expedia and Booking.com are the new signatories to the declaration, which is a voluntary commitment by organisations to halve their emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

Green Safaris is well ahead of its target and while the pandemic presented its own set of challenges, it nevertheless helped them recover 100% of their carbon emissions, making them the first safari operator to claim total carbon neutrality.

Green Safaris is a sustainable tourism operator that started with the opening of Ila Safari Lodge in Zambia’s Kafue National Park. It won Zambia’s best eco-lodge award and was the first lodge in the country to offer silent safaris through its electric game drive vehicle and eboat.

With the majority of their lodges, land and water fleet powered by solar farms, provision of no single-use plastics and growing or sourcing most of their own produce, they are perhaps painting a picture of what sustainable tourism will look like in the future.

‘As more people travel, we also have a responsibility to shift towards more sustainable operations,’ commented Vice Chairman of Expedia Group, Peter Kern when signing the Glasgow Declaration, adding that we need to ‘equip our travellers with sustainable options that match their values’

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