Do you ever just want to go to a place where nature surrounds you and shut out the world? Log off from social media and switch off all those phones, tablets and laptops?
If you are like me, and you need to be at one with nature to re-energize, then I have a treat just for you ! Let me take you to a a pristine island surrounded by the clearest blue waters of Lake Malawi.
For years, the island lay untouched until 1996 when it was opened for tourism, and a temporary camp, Mumbo lodge, made of local reeds and bamboos was put up to ensure minimal disturbance to the environment.
There is so much we have to offer and I think that there is a genuine concern to have these eco systems to be kept intact.
Mumbo Island lodge is one of a kind, with no electricity, only bucket showers and utilizing sawdust to flush the toilets, it offers the perfect opportunity to explore the Island on foot, bird watch, star gaze and take dips into the cool waters.
This lodge is part of the tourism sector trying to save our environment and empower indeginious tribes. We have lost 25% of all bird species, 24% of mammal species, 11% of plant species, and 24% of coral reefs according to The International Ecotourism society (TIES).
Like the case of Egypt where tourists’ boats are endangering sea life and coral reefs in the Red sea.
“Some boats have a size of 48 meters or 50 meters, but unfortunately, based on the Red Sea ‘s Coral reefs and its eco – system, is not designed for these sizes,” said Heba Shawky, head ofthe Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association.
Tourism inclined at protecting nature is important because tourism accounts for 4.9% of global emissions mainly through transportation and hotels according to the eco-tourism society. With increased numbers of tourists there’s intense pressure on resources and scenic landscapes. So I had a conversation with conservationist Shaban Senyange from Uganda on the sustainability of tourism. This is what he had to say.
“So if you are talking about eco-tourism you are basically talking about responsible travel, a lot of people call it responsible travel cause what you are trying to do is your trying to conserve the environment at the same time while improving the lives of the people around the protected area, right ?… eco tourism is important now that we are living in a continent that is being swept by a wave of poaching, you know we are loosing a lot of endangered species and not just species but eco-systems as well. Uganda for example is loosing 1000 hectares of forest annually. And if you really go down to the major cause of this, is because the people around these protected areas, around these pristine habitats that attract a lot of tourists don’t get immediate or derived benefits from the resource and I think thats what we are looking at…’‘ said Shaban Senyange.
He also shed light on what the future holds for responsible tourism…
“I think the future of eco-tourism is bright especially right now there is so much focus around mitigating climate change and all these other key elements affecting biodiversity in African countries, it has just become an intense way of marketing African countries, if you are looking at diversity or looking at eco-systems. There is so much we have to offer and I think that there is a genuine concern to have these eco systems to be kept intact. Because without the animals. Without the eco systems, they are not going to be able to bring in money,“said Shaban Senyange.
So on your next trip, I challenge you to have fun but also be responsible! Think of how you treat the places you visit and the foreign communities you encounter. And you can share all that with me on social media.
Until our next escapade, remember people will travel anywhere for good food says Danish chef Rene Redzepi! What do you think?
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