Sustainable travel is a top priority for many travellers around the world. But did you know that being a part of something meaningful also contributes to your personal happiness?
We don’t think many need scientific facts to back it up, but if you did, travel does make us happy (at least according to this CNN article!). Why?
As the article highlights, “experiential travel is about presenting the customer with the surprise of the “unknown,” the luxury of “unexpected choices” and the empowerment of “overcoming hurdles” (such as scaling a peak) so that he feels he has completed a “journey towards self-actualization.”
Here’s how else experiential – and more specifically sustainable travel – contributes to your happiness:
A new view
Ah, a fresh perspective. A new view can work wonders. Sometimes all it takes to recharge and reset is simply stepping out of your daily existence and into another. There’s something about exploring a new corner of the world that leaves us immensely grateful and appreciative of the smallest things.
Memories with a difference
Sure, you’ll return home with the most wonderful memories and longing to return, but making sustainable travel a conscious choice means that the impact of your stay – on yourself and your vacation destination – is much more impactful. The memories that will always remain in your heart are the interactions you’ll have with the locals. And when you choose sustainable travel products and experiences, you’ll have heaps of these interactions.
A positive influence
Word of mouth is the most powerful sales and marketing tool for any travel business or product. Your stories and experience can influence another traveller to also choose a sustainable travel product – so your holiday will have a positive ripple effect beyond just you and the community.
As more and more travellers become conscious of their carbon footprint, by choosing a meaningful travel product, you can sleep easier at night knowing you have left a direct and positive impact on people that truly need it the most. Many people in the world, and specifically in Africa, worry about having access to clean drinking water, medicine or food on the table for their families. It is the economic benefits of travel and tourism that these communities need the most.
Go beyond sustainable travel
The New York Times reports that the next step in sustainable travel is regenerative travel. Regenerative travel aims to go beyond sustainability – protecting the environment and communities – and instead aims to positively regenerate them. In other words, regenerative travel actively works to not leave the environment how you found it but improve it.
Whether you want to call it sustainable or regenerative travel, it turns out the Zambezi Queen Collection has been practising and advocating this type of travel long before it had a flashy name!
The Zambezi Queen Collection remains the largest tourism and hospitality employer in the Chobe River region so we don’t take our duty lightly. We directly support 130 households and more by employing 130 staff members, as well as providing ongoing training and mentorship and other initiatives that our guests love to get involved in.
From sinking eco-friendly boreholes and solar panels in nearby villages to providing assistance in various forms for the Ndunas (the leaders of local communities), providing transport for locals that need it, new boats, financial and educational assistance and more, we treat our role in the community with the utmost respect.
Read related content: The Zambezi Queen Collection community initiatives
There are many opportunities for our guests to get involved in some of these initiatives! Let us know when booking so we can advise if possible during your visit and so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
Here’s how our guests can get involved in sustainable travel projects:
Bring seeds – Past guests donated seeds during a cultural tour so that a vegetable garden could be planted in a local village. Enquire upon booking if you’d like to do the same. NB: please do check before travelling if this is permitted with a destination’s entry and exit regulations.
Buy local – Remember to bring local currency with you so you can shop up a storm on your cultural excursion! Not only will you get to learn about village life, but you’ll get an opportunity to buy the beautiful, handcrafted items made by the talented villagers. All profits go directly to them. Favourites to buy include carved wooden bowls, stunning beaded jewellery and other crafted and beaded items. Our gift shop on the Zambezi Queen also offers many crafts for sale from these small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Buy a plushie – Our Forever Wild Project uses funds raised from the sale of plush toy wild rhinos to provide the learners of Kasika Primary School with much-needed uniforms and stationery. Ask how you can purchase items as these make wonderful souvenir gifts for kids.
Read related content: Choose sustainable travel
How to travel more sustainably
- Say no to single-use plastic, and remember to carry your reusable shopping bags, cutlery, straw, water bottle and coffee mug.
- Don’t use the teeny tiny toiletries in plastic bottles that are supplied in some hotels. Rather, bring your own environmentally-friendly lotions and potions in reusable containers (the Zambezi Queen Collection uses refillable soap, shampoo and lotion bottles!)
- Be water-wise and ensure the hotel isn’t changing your towels or linen more often than absolutely necessary.
- Don’t print documents. Use eDocs and the iCloud to save documents you can access later via your smartphone or devices.
- Consider travelling in the off-season. This has an important positive impact by staggering impact at tourist ‘hotspots’ and supporting local communities year-round.
When you travel as a guest of the Zambezi Queen Collection, you can enjoy travelling in style and comfort knowing that your journey makes as much of a meaningful impact on the community as it does on you.
To enjoy a sustainable safari, contact us today. View our special offers here.