The start of a New Year is a time to reflect and remind ourselves of the differences we can make. We learned in 2020, how quickly life as we know it can change. 2021 saw the world slowly getting back to normal and Mashatu Game Reserve was delighted to welcome back guests to our piece of paradise. It is through the income derived from our visitors that we are able to maintain and protect this truly unique wilderness area.
Travel has now resumed, and Africa is open. Many travellers have adopted a new attitude to travel, and sustainable travel has become a serious consideration when planning a trip.
As custodians of this unique wilderness area, Mashatu has several initiatives in place to ensure the long-term sustainability of our reserve.
- Two of our four camps are run on solar energy, and we are planning to be fully reliant on solar very soon for all camps.
- We have a low carbon footprint; we cover an area of 31,000 hectares (76600 acres) with only four commercial camps.
- We offer some non-motorized activities such as cycling, walking, horse riding and photographic hides, thereby lowering carbon emissions.
- We provide all guests with re-usable water bottles to reduce plastic waste.
- Mashatu Game reserve supports Children in the Wilderness (CITW) a life skills and environmental education program focusing on children living in villages near the reserve.
- Mashatu is a member of the Pack for a Purpose organisation, where guests can fill the empty space in their suitcases with much needed supplies for the children when visiting Mashatu. The supplies are then used for the CITW Wilderness programs and eco-clubs in the surrounding communities.
- All guests staying at Mashatu pay a daily contribution to the Mashatu Conservation Trust, and these contributions are earmarked for conservation, community, and culture. The Conservation Trust ensures that the wildlife and their habitat are conserved, through protection, research, and education.
While planning your travel for 2022, here’s a few things you can consider doing to make your trip more sustainable:
- Take fewer but longer trips – Instead of doing a few short vacations, rather take one long one, and fly only once. The biggest contributor to your carbon footprint when travelling is the flight. On this note, Mashatu is the perfect reserve to spend 5-7 nights, moving between our different camps.
- Switch off your geyser, appliances etc when leaving home on holiday.
- Only opt to wash your towels every 3 nights or at the end of your stay.
- Do laundry in areas which are known to have more water, rather than in drier areas.
Remember, Africa needs you. Ultimately without tourism, many wilderness areas would collapse. Mashatu, like all wilderness areas relies on tourism, but now more than ever, we encourage our guests to travel consciously.