Our Responsible Tourism Policy
‘On Safari, everyone is capable of making a difference’.
On Track Safaris was founded to provide funding for our work in wildlife conservation. By joining an On Track Safari guests are already helping to contribute towards our conservation work. In addition guests are afforded an opportunity to gain an understanding of our conservation work. In this way we hope guests will help to spread the message of what real African conservation is and what the needs are.
When purchasing items such as artwork, meals and souvenirs, we recommend that visitors buy locally produced goods and support local artisans. In this way, visitors are able to help sustain the local community, contribute towards conservation and enrich their own lives. During your stay there will be opportunities to purchase goods from local artists, market stalls and restaurants in keeping with the ideals of fair trade.
Our guides will advise on a ‘fair price’ if requested, however it is worth noting that a relatively small sum can make a huge difference to peoples lives and guests are asked to consider this when bargaining with market stallholders. Do not buy products that exploit wildlife, aid in habitat destruction, or come from endangered species. Our staff are encouraged to develop their own skills in producing goods such as art work for sale. 100% of the proceeds from these sales go to the originator.
Conservation – Our management and safari staff have many years experience in wildlife conservation and are actively involved with ongoing conservation projects. Will and Carol Fox (the founders of On Track Safaris) are dedicated conservationists. Will is chairman of the On Track Foundation is Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has worked extensively in leopard research since 2007 as the founder and manager of the INGWE - Leopard Research program.
Each of our safaris aims to provide an insight into the real issues associated with wildlife conservation. The extent of this element is tailored to suit individual and/or group interest and is normally established prior to each safari.
All safaris are conducted in a responsible manner with respect for the location and wildlife.
One of our key aims is to reduce the dependance on single use plastics, with this in mind our guests are given a metal water bottle that can be filled from appropriate points within lodge accommodation.
We hold an informal chat with newly arrived guests at the start of each safari. This is intended to inform guests of environmental and conservation matters associated with their safari and answer any questions or queries.
We believe that everyone is able to help make a difference towards conserving our environment. When on safari or in the bush, we operate a policy of ‘bring out what you take in’ i.e. we leave no litter or man made products behind.
Game drive vehicles do not deviate from existing roads and tracks, however guided foot safaris will access game trails which cannot be reached by vehicle. When on foot, stay on the trail as deviating can cause erosion and other environmentally harmful impacts.
Respect wildlife. Viewing animals from a safe distance is fine. Touching, feeding, or affecting their behaviour is not.
Do not litter. Even if you see a local person littering (and you probably will), set an example and dispose of your garbage appropriately.
Recycling facilities are extremely limited in South Africa. Avoid products with excess packaging; opt for beverages in glass bottles as they tend to be re-used.
Use only biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
Without doubt one of the biggest issues in worldwide, is water conservation and preservation of this most important resource is at the top of our agenda. Our guests are able to contribute towards water conservation during their stay. For example taking showers not baths and conserving water from a reduction in the laundering of towels and linens.
On Track Safari conducts administration functions in an environmentally responsible way. We aim for a paper free office and prefer to conduct our business via internet.
We strive to achieve a paperless office in the following ways:
Encourage suppliers and our bank to use e-mail and electronic transfer.
Maintain our own records on magnetic media.
Use website and magnetic media as marketing tools rather than brochures.
Respect cultural differences. Local customs and traditions may be different from your own. Take the time to learn what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. Always ask permission to take photos of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. If you do take a photo, offer to send copies back to them and make sure to follow through with your promise.
Our safari staff are encouraged to develop within the company. Staff receive a reward package made up of a fair base salary, accommodation, their individual performance and that of the company. Personal development lies at the corner stone of the OTS staff policy. Individuals are encouraged to develop within the organisation to achieve their goals and where applicable to produce conservation based items for sale (100% of the proceeds going to the originator).
All of our food, bathroom and kitchen supplies are from local sources and as far as possible, we aim to use a combination of organic, fair-trade and sustainable products. In the case where a local supplier has no formal policy in place, we conduct our own assessments, which help to highlight those areas of supply which fall outside of our desired criteria and require improvement. Records of these assessments and our policy are available to all visitors on request, as part of our ‘open book’ policy.