Does anyone still travel ECO-style?

Oct 16th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #81  
sniktawk
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Obviously I have missread the thread, or missinterpreted the comments of people. It is interesting to note that you did not feel it necessary to say this earlier given the comments made by atravelynn on 25/9/2007. Never mind I stll tick by my thoughts!
 
Oct 27th, 2007, 09:32 AM
  #82  
 
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I'm always doing this during my trips, but during my recent 4-week Zimbabwe safari I also had this and similar Fodors threads in my mind - asking all camp managers and guides for their opinions about latest developments in the safari industry especially regarding the luxury segment with all its amenities.

The answers weren't surprising, I already heard them on earlier trips: EACH of them doesn't like it, and that also includes voices from the most upmarket camps in this country. "It is no longer the way to really experience the African wilderness" was a common and still moderate answer, while some of the more straight opinions would certainly be immediately censored if ever published on this forum.

So it appears that only the safari marketing and sales managers in their urban offices and their certain clients from overseas like the "modern" way, while all the people who are living and working in the bush and really love the wilderness dislike it.

Interesting perspective - being client in a camp and nobody likes you. But of course, staff is too professional that they let you know. Most of these clients are not aware of this situation, and some just don't care. (Just a few days ago I experienced some very fine examples of this "we need 100 litres water per day to feel happy" client species. If they would know...)

Browsing through this forum it looks like We all love the African bush and wilderness, but sometimes I'm wondering what kind of love this is. If enjoying it is based on requirements such as importing all the amenities of our urban and technical life styles, I hardly would call it by this name. It sounds more like the enthusiasm for the perfect stage setup of a reality TV show.

But who cares? Humans were always great in polluting and re-forming their environment, all in the name of progress and comfort, and as the super-predator our species isn't known to be very social - the most egoistic and aggressive are leading the rest of the pack, which means making most profit in our modern world. The safari industry is now driven by a lot of money and has changed forever. As a camp owner told me some days ago: "I don't like it but I must go upmarket. Otherwise I will loose my concession and could no longer work and live in the environment I love."

It's a pity.


Sidenote to the keen safari photographer, not quite unrelated to this topic:

I spent my last evening in Africa with Eric Gauss, former fashion photographer for Vogue and also former picture editor of Travel Africa magazine, who now lives and works in Zimbabwe. At the campfire we had an interesting discussion about African wildlife images, and Eric made a very true statement: "Taking pictures only between 06:00 to 08:00 and 16:00 to 18:00 doesn't capture the true African wilderness. It only represents what international media agencies want to sell you as perception of Africa in our stylish world. A day in the African wilderness has 24 hours, and that includes all the harshness of the midday sun."
nyama is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 10:16 AM
  #83  
 
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Nyama, Thank you for sharing your observations, comments, and conversations. Very interesting and thought provoking.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 02:31 PM
  #84  
 
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Nyama,

My thanks, too. Somehow it's heartening to hear those views from the camps, even though the majority feel they can't opt out of the modern trend.

I love this truth, too: "At the campfire we had an interesting discussion about African wildlife images, and Eric made a very true statement: "Taking pictures only between 06:00 to 08:00 and 16:00 to 18:00 doesn't capture the true African wilderness. It only represents what international media agencies want to sell you as perception of Africa in our stylish world. A day in the African wilderness has 24 hours, and that includes all the harshness of the midday sun."

A friend of mine recently displayed an Outback landscape taken at the unfashionable midday hour, and commented: "Oh I love this (harsh) light." Try to tell most photographers that they are missing a big part of the real world.

John

afrigalah is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 07:19 PM
  #85  
 
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Nyama,

That's precisely my point ..... why have the absurd and bizarre siesta hour? I wish operators recognize this and allow for activity even off those regimented hours ...... sure, they charge an arm and a leg for luxury, so i don't think any of the operators are complaining.

I myself was a victim of a bizarre incident involving a cheetah sighting at mid-day and wasn't invited to the sighting. Probably because it was off those hours? who knows...... it is a camp newly transformed into the luxury driven segment. Oh! and i did spend money on a private vehicle too .... makes things even more ridiculous and i am still Pi***d off right now!

Oh! Nyama, travel agents have a huge part to play in all the modern comforts being pumped up for their clients. But, as we all know ..... to each their own!!!

Hari
HariS is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 07:25 PM
  #86  
 
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Nyama,

I'm surprised camp operators in Zim have plans to renovate camps etc etc., at the moment. Are there really many people going there? Also, i figure .... people being fussy enough to want heated plunge pools etc etc., on safari aren't really going to ignore travel warnings and the like?

Hari
HariS is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 10:24 PM
  #87  
 
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Hari -- I've put my answer in the "Mufambe zvakanaka, Nyama!" thread,
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...4&tid=35072820
nyama is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 05:53 PM
  #88  
 
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I ran across this tonight and remembered this thread.

This is a good read and for me it was info I didn't know and wasn't brought up in this discussion (apologies though if I missed a similar reference).

I did have to google the areas in the article to find the camp names...many of you may know without the extra work.

http://www.ecotourism.org/WebModules..._NTanzania.pdf

tinlizzy2 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:20 AM
  #89  
 
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Having a audit would definitely make it easy.

But why not use common sense when evaluating - which mostly can only be done on site but published for others:

- water management
- waste water menagement
- waste management
- solar power
- refillable individual water bottles
- if ther is a bathtub - don't use it!
- don't book with a venue which offers plunge pools
- plan nursery where pissible
- no CHARCOAL for heating bucket showers etc.
- no plastic butter, jam etc.
- no portioned spirits
- cool box instead of minibar

A lot can be evaluated prior to the stay.

It just depends on what people expect.

Raising awareness will definitely help - now after most high-end camps have added the spas, swimming pools and plunge pools based on people's request and expectations ;-)

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:50 AM
  #90  
 
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Thanks Jochen for starting this thread. Topic is more important/relevant in today's context than ever before!!!
HariS is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:50 AM
  #91  
 
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(and it keeps those Middle East threads lower down too)
HariS is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:20 PM
  #92  
 
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Always important to keep this in mind. Safari expectations seem to incorporate more un-eco concepts as the concept of travel to remote and wild places becomes more common.

I hereby pledge not to use any of the bathtubs I encounter.
While I also would not use the plunge pool, it is usually already full.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 18th, 2010, 05:28 PM
  #93  
 
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Yes, agree w/Tome, remove the thread or the free ad above, which is the reason it got revived.

And while I'm here: What crap about bathtubs and plastic jam jars. OK, it doesn't hurt. Sure, awareness is raised. But this is such a teeny, tiny part of the world's environmental problems it's ridiculous. How about the fuel that is spent to get you to Arica?...among about a jillion other huge problems.
LAleslie is offline  
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