Responsible tourism has to come from a real desire to make a difference. Going green because it is trendy and marketable does not help conservation and communities. For over 14 years we have worked hard to make a difference with responsible tourism.
Use of renewable energy
All our camps run on 100% renewable solar energy and at Mukambi Safari Lodge we were the first in Zambia to install the most environmental friendly battery technology (LiFePO4). The Freedom Won battery gave Mukambi the opportunity to reduce its Carbon Footprint and greatly reduce our negative environmental impact, whilst maintaining the high standard of service.
Responsible tourism is of the utmost importance. Mukambi Safari Lodge along with staff accommodation and all facilities operates entirely from the sun and the Freedom Won battery. The battery can withstand the high ambient temperatures in Zambia with no related concerns about lifespan.
Mukambi strives to be plastic-free – We have water bottles for our international guests which are reusable and can be filled at the water dispenser. These are a wonderful keepsake too. We have introduced glass and biodegradable straws, glass refillable amenities, and biodegradable packaging on all our goods from Lusaka PLUS we use eco-friendly cleaning materials. We also have a fantastic vegetable garden, growing as many of our own herbs and vegetables right here at the lodge. This minimizes packaging and transport on these grocery essentials AND adds extra special homegrown flavour to your meals.
Conservation plays a major part in Responsible tourism and everything we do in Kafue National Park. At Mukambi we work closely with several NGOs, including Zambian Primate Project(ZPP), Panthera and Zambia Carnivore Programme (ZCP), as well as Department of National Parks and Wildlife, supporting anti-poaching as well as other conservation goals. Learn more about ZCP below.
The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a non-profit Zambian registered organization dedicated to the conservation of Zambia’s large carnivores and ecosystems. Together with the Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife we have a three-pronged approach to our work:
- Conservation Science: aimed at identifying and evaluating the primary threats to Zambia’s large carnivores and their ecosystems through long-term, field-based work.
- Conservation Action: Guided by science, our actions are aimed at addressing both immediate and future threats such as snaring, habitat loss, disease, wildlife trafficking, and other factors.
- Conservation Empowerment: To ensure sustainability, we endeavor to make our efforts as Zambian-led as possible, and we develop conservation leadership through training, employing and educating aspiring conservationists in all aspects of the work. We also conduct an array of educational programmes in both primary and secondary school levels, support students from secondary level through to international graduate degree programmes, and run intensive training programmes tailored for women in conservation, conservation biologists and wildlife vets.
We currently work with the country’s largest remaining populations of wild dog, cheetah, lion, leopard and spotted hyena, primarily through three field-based projects: the Luangwa Valley, the Greater Liuwa Ecosystem, and the Greater Kafue Ecosystem. We work closely with the country’s wildlife management authority, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and collaborate with numerous local and international NGO’s and academic institutions. Currently, our collaborative work provides the only scientific data on large carnivores and their prey throughout much of Zambia, and we are proud that our findings are utilized extensively in guiding conservation policy in the country.
Did you know? African Parks are now in Kafue National Park
African Parks is working with the Zambian government to better manage the Kafue National Park. A ceremony was held in May 2021 to officially hand over motor vehicles, air assets, equipment and first quarter salaries for the conservation and management of the park. Many turned out to see the new helicopter flying into the Chunga airstrip where new anti-poaching officers will be trained to join the regular patrols now working in the park. It will take time, but we are already seeing changes in our area, the biggest of which is the programme of road grading which makes for a far smoother ride during game drives, not to mention less wear and tear on the vehicles which you can imagine take a fair battering driving around the bush for up to 8 hours every day in tough terrain.
Support of local communities
Long-term conservation only can be accomplished in close cooperation with the local communities. Some of the projects we launched to support the local community included a borehole for clean drinking water, giving the Mukambi Women’s Group an outlet for their handmade crafts in our curio shop, and supporting the local chieftainess with farming inputs, like oxen, ploughs and fertilizer. We also have a job training programme and 50 members of the local community now have permanent employment.
Guests at Mukambi can visit the projects to learn more about conservation and the local communities.
The Azimai Women’s Group
A group of women (wives of our staff members) get together on a Saturday afternoon to make various crafts that they then sell to several lodges throughout the Kafue National Park. They make bags, clothing (dresses, shirts, headbands) from local chitenge material, baskets of recycled plastic bags, beaded bracelets, basically small stuff guests can carry in their suitcases. It creates an extra source of income for their families.
Forming a part of our Responsible tourism, over 14 years ago we started our Mukambi Community School to provide education to the local community in an area where no good schools exist. The results are spectacular; the well-equipped school now provides 92 local children with a high standard of education, and we have five teachers in permanent employment. Conservation is an important subject at our school. The school received generous funding from a donor a couple of years ago, which meant they could invest in iSchool Tablets, through which the pupils can engage in active learning as well as developing key IT skills for later in life. Every year all the grade 7 pupils graduate with flying colours and have attained places at secondary schools throughout Zambia. The school is supported by a charity called Cikoko, which you can read about more below.
- Guide Training: For the guides to train and write their guiding exams
- First Aid Training
- Mukambi sends a chef and either a waiter/room attendant to do a 2-week placement at a lodge/hotel in Lusaka. This offers great exposure to other work environments other than Mukambi.
Art for a Cause
Heinrich Filter is a South African sculptor whose keen eye for nature is accurately reproduced in his detailed works. His love for the African bush has been an enduring hallmark of his life – from his early days spent walking Southern Africa’s game trails through to adulthood working as a professional safari guide.
In bronze on stone base
Limited edition of 12
Height 71 cm x width 47 cm including base
Limited edition of 9
Bronze on Stone base
Height 21 cm x width 29 cm incl. Base
Limited edition of 24
Bronze on Stone base
Height 19 cm x length 29 cm incl. base
Heinrich creates many splendid African wildlife beauties and through his art we can drive awareness about conservation & communities and the challenges each are facing during these difficult times. Sales of each sculpture through the Mukambi platforms will generate a donation towards the Mukambi Community School. An exciting collaboration that is the essence of our story… together we are stronger.
Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Ref: Mukambi Art
Positive Impact Travel
The sustainability of the lodge allows the continuation of community and conservation projects in the Kafue National Park. As a safari company we work together with the community and the conservation programs to strive towards our goals of sustainability and protection of an important ecosystem and the livelihoods of people and wildlife within.
As the old African proverb says ~
Alone you can go fast but together we can go far.
COVID-19 Outbreak – What we are doing
The Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world has brought us all into unchartered territory. It is unclear where this will lead and uncertain how long it will take, but for now, Mukambi Safaris remains open to those that can travel i.e the Zambian market who is not under lockdown. Although we remain open at this time, the news of global lockdowns and grounded airplanes is heart-breaking for all of us here at Mukambi Safaris, and for many of our friends in the travel and hospitality sector across the world, the effects are pretty devastating. Our thoughts and blessings go out to all. We are doing everything we can to ensure our staff are not sent home and will look after our total Mukambi family as best we can in these challenging times. All staff have switched to a single day shift working in the vegetable garden and the grounds around Mukambi. The lodge has also introduced a range of measures to protect guests and staff whilst minimising disruption and maintaining our high standard of service. In terms of physical measures, improving hygiene has been our key priority: we have increased the cleaning of high-touch areas, including door handles, push plates, work stations and reusable equipment. As well as our usual antibacterial pump soaps in the washrooms, new hand sanitizers have been purchased and placed throughout the lodge for staff and guests to use freely.