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African Beach Safaris And Responsible Tourism

May 14, 2008
For most people An African safari and especially an African beach holiday is a once in a life time experience to remember. Often travelers opt for a beach experience after an African wildlife safari or a cultural safari or even a busy African business trip.

A beach experience helps you unwind. But what most people don't realize is that an African beach holiday/vacation can do more bad than good to the environment and the locals.

Most people have the understanding that tourism in developing countries actually helps the locals and the country as a whole. This however is not always the case. Especially when you consider the fact that huge businesses are often involved in the lucrative tourism industry.

Travel is big business and in fact a billion dollar industry.

As with anything when profits come before anything else including the environment then it is easy to see how some places that have been created as tourist areas can do more damage to the environment than good.

For starters some African governments have been selling prime beachside locations to foreigners, sometime displacing the communities nearby and other time affecting even their livelihoods by making some beaches exclusive. In some areas of Africa virtually all the infrastructure is foreign owned from the shopping centres to the restaurants, hotels and curio shops.

In some places this has lead to local resentment.

so while on an African beach vacation or safari, doing some of the following can make a big difference in the lives of the locals and the environment.

Whenever possible buy souvenirs from locals- When you do this you are supporting the local community because much of the money you spend on huge establishments hardly trickle to the locals.

Game fishing isn't exactly a game - The effect of picking off the ocean's largest and finest creatures could kick off devastating chain reactions. This surely isn't worth it when you consider that it's for fun and not for food.

Be gentle with coral - Avoid touching coral while scuba diving or snorkeling because coral is a living thing. Also be careful with your flippers because one careless swipe of sand can easily suffocate a patch of coral.

Avoid buying or collecting marine souvenirs - The collection of seashells whether habited or not can be damaging as it deprives another creature that relies on it of a home. The hermit crab for example lives in seashells.

Avoid all-inclusive resorts whenever possible - Some all inclusive resorts even though providing travelers with pretty much everything from food, entertainment and including souvenir shops, the sheer scale of such resorts can be a problem for the often delicate marine environment. Some of these all inclusive resorts are even fenced off from the outside world not to mention that they are sometimes situated in private beaches.

Smaller is sometimes better- Smaller resorts could be much better for you and also for the environment.

Finally if you are going to use a travel agency or a tour operator for you African beach safari then look for eco friendly packages and tour operators that care about the environment and the destinations they serve.
About the Author
Jerry Wanga is editor of http://naady.com is an online website on photo Safaris and other top African safari destinations including Kenya Safaris ,and Tanzania safaris. You can view more info on the website.
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