Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris
Ecotourism & Conservation in Zambia
By traveling with Cheesemans’ to Zambia, you can be assured that your safari is designed with the preservation of the environment as its elemental ambition. For example, our operator uses water from boreholes with valves preventing overflow. They provide reusable bottles for drinking (avoiding single-use plastic when possible), use only environmentally friendly cleaning products, and employ soak-a-ways on septic tanks to clean and filter soiled water before it seeps into the ground. Solar energy heats water, and camp-constructed, efficient stoves made from 44-gallon drums provide the cooking apparatus for staff. Every effort is made by the camp to let nothing go to waste by finding secondary uses for everything; for example, leftover food becomes compost; jars become storage for dry goods, and plastic containers (when unavoidable) are used to make ice blocks.
Zambia’s ecotourism industry invests in both environmental conservation efforts and community development initiatives. All the revenue from your safari stays in the local economy; in addition, a portion of your trip cost is donated directly to the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund which is divided equally among Conservation South Luangwa, the Zambian Carnivore Project, and Project Luangwa. CSL and ZCP focus on antipoaching and research activities as well as the peaceful coexistence of farmers and wildlife, and Project Luangwa prioritizes education and gender equality issues. Along with Project Luangwa, our operator developed a tree-planting program in which volunteers work with schools to encourage children’s understanding of the value in restocking forests with indigenous trees. Additionally, they made an agreement with the local chief to keep the lands adjoining the camp designated as conservation areas to ensure that the riverside is kept solely for the subsistence of wildlife. The ecotourism industry in Zambia acts as custodian of the environment and contributes to the subsistence of the human community while working to create awareness of the value in preservation of the ecosystems.
How Can You Make A Difference?
How You Can Actively Contribute
- Give a talk about your experience to a local wildlife or nature group or host a virtual webinar to reach a much wider audience!
- Post your experiences on social media so others can learn more.
- Submit a written, video, or audio testimonial for Cheesemans’ to share with future travelers.
- Support local vendors if you buy memorabilia to take home.
- Travel in small group sizes to limit the impact on the environment and wildlife.
- Refill the reusable water bottles provided for you by the camp rather than obtaining single-use plastic containers.
- Ask for the lodging to not replace your towels or bedding during multiple night stays.
- Use biodegradable soap and shampoo to save waterways.
Organizations You Can Support
Project Luangwa – This NGO, through partnerships with local tour operators, seeks to improve health and education in the South Luangwa area. Their initiatives include sponsorships for vulnerable students to stay in school, Girls’ and Boys’ Clubs to offer support and foster growth with gender-related issues, and provision of eco-stoves for health and safety as well as conservation of forests.
Conservation South Luangwa – CSL works in coordination with Zambia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife to support the coexistence of people and wildlife in the South Luangwa Valley. They implement multiple antipoaching practices such as foot patrols, aerial surveillance, and sniffer dog detection. They also work to minimize damage done by wildlife to local farms to reduce conflict between the people and the animals.
Pack for a Purpose – This nonprofit assists travelers in making meaningful contributions to help meet needs in places they visit by providing wish lists for community projects. Travelers are encouraged to say, “Thank you” by bringing in items that may be difficult to acquire locally.