Does anyone still travel ECO-style?

Sep 28th, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 174
Pixelpower-

You and I are going to have to agree to disagree on this subject, but at least we agree that Africa is a fabulous place!

Monica
MonicaH is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 04:44 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Nyama,

Thanks for taking time away from your packing to post that link. I'll hang onto that.

This was such an interesting thread that I printed it out to read away from the computer when I had time. Probably not the best move in light of what is being discussed.
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 05:01 PM
  #43  
cw
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
WayuU: "If it is as Patty says, that the eco friendly ones are the high cost ones, then I can definitely say that I can't afford it. It shouldn't HAVE to be more expensive, at least not much more."

Unfortunately it does seem to be that way, in all "eco" purchases. At home (US) buying organic/free range/local farm-raised food products is more expensive than buying the "regular" products (sometimes, a lot more expensive). These goods won't be cheaper until more people create a demand for them. And even with that, I'm not confident the price will be less.

I sympathize with you completely, but right now it is more expensive for a hotel or vendor to run a business that is sensitive to the world's ecological problems.

It just doesn't seem right or fair, but there it is.

CW
cw is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 06:12 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
So what is an eco-friendly camp??

All the guests are flown?

Bush walking, tracking and walking safaris only? Vehicles rarely used?

All structures made of local grasses and reeds?

Electricity and lighting by solar?

Policy of removing their trash from the park?

Stick in a few more and there won't be a camp to go to.

luangwablondes is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 04:13 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 54
"Bush walking, tracking and walking safaris only? Vehicles rarely used?

All structures made of local grasses and reeds?

Electricity and lighting by solar?

Policy of removing their trash from the park?"

Wow, sound like heaven. Wouldn't that be great.

Many of us do not care if there are any camps or lodges (in the egoistical sense). Simple moveable tents close to nature is the best experience for us. Less camps and lodges = less rich tourist with their materialistic needs = greater experience for me and others, though it's not good for the preservation of the fauna in the long run.
WayuU is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 06:50 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
My impression of shark diving nd whale watching is that they are just that - looking at the animals in the wild. Although the sharks are baited so that they breach...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 06:51 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
ooops, posted on the wrong thread, please disregard the above post
Momliz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 06:53 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
I thought many Fodorites would love answering Patty’s question, like some smug zillionaires love to applaud raises in park fees combining feeling really caring about the environment with the hope of more exclusivity and a lower risk of meeting European supermarket cashiers out on game drives, while I feel aggressive having to thrash bushes with my horns because my entire existence is threatened. Restricted numbers of visitors would be a lot more “fair”, but when, as in the case of Kenya, very few citizens can afford to visit the parks even though their fees are significantly lower, it’s quite ridiculous to talk about fairness.

I’ve chosen a less expensive camp instead of a camp with gold eco-rating. Now that I know that I found a job after returning home, I could have gone to Basecamp (that even with gold-rating really is too “budget” for most Fodorites), but the main reason I don’t regret my decision is that they wouldn’t give me even the - at least symbolical - discount that I think I “deserve”, like some people seem to think they deserve over the top pampering without having to bother about ecological footprints. As eco-rating is more about what camps do than about what they don’t do, I don’t really believe that expensive camps leave a smaller ecological footprint than less expensive camps. If you take the bus to a campsite run by local people with just some ecological toilets, cold showers, locally grown food and walks instead of drives, you will have wasted far less resources than if you fly (or drive) to any of the two Kenyan gold eco-rated camps (the “midrange” Basecamp and the wacky expensive Campi ya Kanzi). Solar panels are expensive to acquire (saves money in the long run though), but skipping hot water and lighting isn’t less eco-friendly than having these things with the help of solar panels.

I think we should try to separate personal preferences from this discussion. Like some other people in this thread, I think travellers who want pools and baths with rose petals are real idiots and that those kinds of things destroy the safari ambience, BUT the point here is that it’s wasteful. In theory, at a place with plenty of water, solar water heating and recycling through some wetland system, rose petaled baths wouldn’t be a bad thing, but Ngorongoro Crater Lodge isn’t that kind of place and there it is bad.

One problem with Kenya Ecotourism and its rating is that the whole thing is a bit too close to the tourism industry. Though it’s possible that the problem only exists in my suspicious mind.

As to the bronze rated camps, it looks like they just have to have done “something” eco-friendly and Bushbuck Camp (where I went instead of Basecamp) would fit there perfectly. There are flush toilets and paraffin lamps that aren’t too “eco”, but also:
There’s no generator.
There’re no permanent structures.
There’s a solar power battery-charging thing.
Camp staff consists of local people.

Much emphasis here on Fodor’s is put on anti-poaching and the like and camps that support such initiatives. At the same time Fodorites don’t think twice about flying distances that would take much less than a day by road. What use is anti-poaching if eco-systems crash completely as they will with climate change? I’m shamefully ignorant about these issues, but all serious scientists seem to thing that disaster is inevitable without radical changes. Still, there’re knowledgeable and environmentally conscious people who fly, so I do it as well hoping that nobody notices and that better aviation fuel is being developed. Is it really? When the definitive stop to all this comes you’ll see me sailing along the Suez. Are seasickness pills produced in an environmentally friendly way?
Nyamera is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 174
Nyamera, your points could certainly be made without the name calling. I am far from an idiot (and I am sure the many of us that have taken a bath or dipped in a plunge pool aren't either.) I always find it interesting that people need to resort to such things to try and make their point...dosen't really help get the point across. Let's try and stay mature about this and continue to have the discussion.
MonicaH is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:29 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Monica, my point was actually that name-calling wasn’t necessary in this thread. If it were, I would have thought of something cleverer than “idiots”.
Nyamera is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:08 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 54
Nyamera:
"so I do it as well hoping that nobody notices and that better aviation fuel is being developed. Is it really?"

Guess you did not read my post in this thread. Yes, it is, is the answer.
WayuU is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:36 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
WayuU, I read your post, but I suppose I thought you were exaggerating. Could you give some details?

Could you also tell which NGO you’re working for and how much they’re paying you? Now someone will tell me I’m really rude. :-S
Nyamera is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:01 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
What camps/lodges are eco friendly?

If camps charge an arm and a leg - example 6 paw, 7 paw etc etc., they are usually marketed as properties with all the luxury/spa/silk duvets/8 meals a day etc etc etc., just to attract clients to pay the price ..... so, can't be eco friendly?

Hari
HariS is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
PS: yes, they do need their travel agents to pump them up by talking about the heated plunge pools and all the other BS!!!
HariS is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 12:07 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Just learned more about this organization that is actually headquartered just 20 minutes from my house. At this link you can calculate your carbon levels for a trip and then pay to have them offset with certified projects that not just balance out your carbon emission but also help people in developing nations. It's $80 to offset my roundtrip flight to Botswana in November.

http://www.sustainabletravelinternat.../index.php?c=1

Pixel: Sorry that I over simplified the issue that started the thread for you, I'm glad that you further explained the impacts in the Crater. My main point of comparison was simply to demonstrate that we all have impacts to consider.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 05:39 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 54
As everything dealing with the oil industry (like replacing the oil dependancy), it's a David vs Goliat fight as the oil industry will do ANYTHING to keep it's dominance over the fuel needs in the transportation sector. They buy up patents everywhere all the time and destroy them or vault them.
We would have had better fuel alternatives already serveral decades ago if it wasn't for the power the oil industry has.
That said, there are (as their have been for decades) new and old alternatives being studied. Atm the most interresting in aviation are:
Bio-derived fuels, methanol, ethanol, liquid natural gas, liquid hydrogen, and some synthetic fuels. Liquid hydrogen being one of the most interresting right now. There was a larger project with solar powered planes that worked out quite well, but it is no longer in progress.

Boeing says its new 787 jetliner, scheduled to enter service in 2008, promises to be as fuel-efficient per person as a hybrid car traveling with two passengers.

All, or most, airliners and airports are in the process of making their landings much more fuel efficient with more gliding into the airports. Lots of fuel is used in the landing process, and of course the take off.

Here is a car project running on compressed air, later to be charged by solar panels:
http://www.theaircar.com/

I work as a system engineer/computer technician at Greenpeace. My yearly salary is almost US$ 40000.
But to realize the value of the salary you would have to know it's purchasing power.
I live in Sweden.
WayuU is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:24 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Nyamera, Topis are not known for their diplomacy and at times can appear to be rude to those who do not understand the unique behavior of this fascinating species.

Thanks for the carbon link, Predator. I know of a travel company that automatically includes the carbon offset in the price of their small group trips. This company is also in Colorado—Natural Habitat.

WayuU, Thanks for the info, both the general and the personal. It puts your comments in perspective.

When I think about larger lodges vs. remote camps that must fly in all guests and supplies and I consider vehicles with 6 passengers vs. the private vehicle, I’ve come to a conclusion: Micato ranks high on the eco scale. I have not taken a Micato trip and don’t have plans to take one. All those group trips that are sometimes shunned by Fodorites are more eco from a vehicle-use standpoint than trips for one or a couple.
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:49 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Lynn: yes, Natural Habitat Adventures located in Boulder as well. It was actually through their catalog that I learned of Sustainable Travel International that they are working with to form their carbon neutral trips.

For everybody elses knowledge NHA is calculating and neutralizing the carbon emission for the entire trip except for the flight to and from the trip which they recommend the traveler pay for via Sustainable Travel International. A great policy in my opinion but one that will leave them at a higher price point for a good reason. Something to consider for those that like the small group trip travel.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:53 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 212
There is a problem with securing water, caused by the neglect of the dams, boreholes and pipelines installed during the 1950s and 1960s and by the road widening and canal works which have blocked and diverted water from streams (to safeguard the tourist road network) and the Gorigor swamp either to tourist lodges or directly to Lake Makat, no longer flooding the crater during the rains.
It is recognized that all the NCA and lodge staff also have a huge impact on the water problem. (Aren’t they building a major infrastructure to relocate the accommodation for all NCA and lodge staff from their current location within the property to Kamyn Estate by 2008).

How can tourists (part of the problem) become part of the solution? Could we pay a surcharge, or give a contribution toward: the repairs of waterworks, knockdown of a few roads/canals, redirect the streams, removal of the red water fern /other alien species, employment of anti-poaching patrols, etc.?

Tourist wishing to take “long, hot baths in deep tubs” could pay a fee contibuting to local Maasai community projects (community health of livestock and people, education of adults as well as children, greater support of Maasai enterprise programs –outside of the boundaries).

I would encourage limiting the number of cars that can enter the Carter daily AND further would back Crater tours conducted by NCA staff with vehicles seating for 12. Would I prefer it? No. But to preserve this World Heritiage site I could learn to live with it for the greater good.

Khakif is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 10:19 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
I would pay more for a "greener" lodge, and I would pay more to help subsidize water problem solutions. Actually, I say that but in practice, I don't know if I could pay more. But, it only makes sense that the people that are part of the problem should be part of the solution.
Momliz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:49 AM.