Doing the right thing

We don’t just think African cultures are fascinating and worth understanding in their own right, we also think that we, as travellers, should respect and level with our hosts when visiting their towns, villages and rural areas. We think it’s only right and fair that travel should be as ethical and responsible as possible. So Chapter 14: Responsible Travel maps out ways to limit your destructive influence on the environment and spend your money to maximise the benefit to both parties.

If you’re intrigued by everything from kopjes and kori bustards to rhinos and rhino beetles, and would like to take things a stage further, you may enjoy a field guide course or a nature reserve internship in Africa’s safari heartland. You’ll learn about habitats, flora and fauna and be instructed in practical skills by professional field guides. . .

(continued on p.208)

[Old stone arrowheads bought in Mauritania and Timbuktu. I had an 
interesting correspondence with an expat recently returned from 
Mauritania, who was concerned that removing such relics, which you
can buy cheaply in markets all over the Sahel (traders have piles 
of them), is to steal their cultural heritage. I think he had a 
point, although they're not rare or unique. What do you think?]

Don’t assume you can just help yourself. If you’d like to camp or draw water from a village well, seek out the chief first. Similarly, there will be times when the locals need shared services more than you; for example if all the buses are jammed with people rushing home to their families for a festival, think about paying for a taxi instead. . .

(continued on p.206)

Always, always greet peopleAfricans are masters of the elaborate, lengthy greeting. While you don’t need to go quite as far as they do, the very least you should attempt when encountering someone you know or opening a transaction is a courteous “Hello, how are you?”. . .

(continued on p.204)

As we say in the introduction to the book:

Give yourself plenty of time, turn your personal thresholds up to eleven, and let the fun begin. . .

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

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