South Africa is brimming with gorgeous plant and animal life, which lures millions of tourists every year. This wealth makes it vulnerable, threatened by over-population and pollution; exploited and generally run down. Therefore, those visiting the beautiful country of South Africa have a degree of responsibility to care for and protect this exquisite land.
When visitors come, they have many opportunities to make decisions that will benefit the destination..
We all know how harmful the gases released by various vehicles have proven to be. So, minimising our use of cars, buses and even aeroplanes will make a positive contribution to your destination. This can be accomplished by taking simple steps. These include taking the train, walking or cycling to nearby attractions, opting for direct flights to minimise the fuel consumption and joining tourist groups rather than embarking on solo travel.
Turn It Off
Be aware of the electronic devices in your guesthouse or hotel room and be sure to switch them all off before heading out for your day exploring South Africa. This includes air-conditioners, electric blankets, and lights.
Supporting Local Communities
Many towns and villages are home to communities (both urban and rural) that work and service the tourism industry. When visitors support these ones (whether they are game rangers, guides, drivers, shop owners, vendors, etc…), they make their presence a benefit to the community, which will then improve the quality of the attractions and activities in the area. You can support the local communities by contributing to a charity project, painting a nearby school or cleaning up pollution on a beach.
When purchasing ingredients, try to choose produce that has been grown locally. Support organic markets and informal vendors rather than purchasing food from major supermarket chains. It is important to avoid harmful packaging (such as plastic and polystyrene).
South African cities and towns have potable, clean water. However, most of the country is subject to water shortages and it is vital that visitors take every care to save water. Do not leave taps running while shaving or brushing your teeth and ensure that all of your taps have been turned off properly.
Many game reserves and parks in South Africa are involved in green or eco-friendly initiatives. Ask plenty of questions to learn about these and to see how you can get involved in a personal, practical way. It may be wise to make these enquiries before booking so that you are able to support those that support the South African people, animals and environment.
Being a responsible tourist encourages a positive mentality amongst others, creating a culture of people who care!