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How to Travel Sustainably on Safari 

24 May 2023 | By Author Thornybush | Experiences & Lodges & News & Photo Story & Uncategorised & Wildlife

Have you thought about gallivanting greener? This new way of travel is about celebrating travel in a more conscious way. We can’t always do everything perfectly, but by spending a few more seconds approaching travel a little differently, we can be the change to a greener planet. So if you’re planning on heading to Thornybush as your next safari travel destination, we’ve highlighted a few ways in which you can do it but put a lighter load onto this planet we call Mother Earth. Eco-responsibility starts with us. 

Fly Direct

Did you know that the taking off and landing parts on a flight can be when the most fuel is burned? So by flying direct to your destination, you can already set the tone for a greener vacation footprint. Chat with our reservationists at who will be able to help you plan the most direct route to our lodges. 

Carry-on, economically

It’s a tale as old as time that we should carry reusable coffee cups and refillable water bottles, but often we default to throwaway this, and single-use that when we travel. We at Thornybush supply all of our water in glass bottles but do urge our guests to bring along their own water bottles to fill up as they go. This goes too for that morning coffee on your game drive, bringing your own flasks is not only a great idea, but an economical one too. 

Mindful laundry 

We’re talking towels and bed linens. Water conservation is a global priority and one of the reasons why our housekeepers are heroes. According to Professor Willy Legrand at IU International University of Applied Sciences, washing and drying that towel you forgot to hang up can account for “20 percent of a lodges energy use and 15 percent of their water consumption,” so lowering the weight of laundry in hospitality directly reduces water and energy use. Also, sparing the waterways of all those chemicals enhances the halo of these seemingly small but seriously important actions. 

Community interaction 

Adding a social enterprise visit, such as the Thornybush Community tour to your travel plans creates a purpose-led experience. Not only is it an educational experience, and we know that knowledge is power when it comes to conscious travel. This is a great opportunity to spend time with the local communities to understand and promote why contributing economic support to our local communities inspires greater conservation efforts.

Enrich your soul

Participate rather than consume: seek authentic experiences that aren’t extractive or voyeuristic such as our walking safaris or immersive walking trails. These experiences aim to get you closer to nature, to touch, feel and ignite all your senses, plus learn valuable bush lessons on foot. 

Local love 

Show love to locally run and locally owned businesses, especially in economies that rely on tourism revenue like the safari sector. Our curio shops are full of locally sourced artisanal products that each have a positive impact on conservation and small business owners. 

Detox that digital clutter

Pack less, carry less, use less—but here’s one you may be neglecting: digital detoxing… in a different manner. This digital world we live in may trick you into thinking there’s no physical footprint, but data is saved on a cloud powered by energy- and water-dependent data centres. Try decluttering that cloud storage and anything redundant that’s taking up space on the cloud. It’s about saving quality over quantity, and being more in the moment—take in more with your eyes than an iPhone for more meaningful, lower-impact memories. 

Nature is nurturing

Spending time outdoors is a great reminder that we are not only connected to nature, but we are part of it too. So if this is your sign to book that safari, it is loud and clear! Neuroscience says being near greenery soothes the vagus nerve—vagus means wanderer in Latin—which sends good vibes to our vital organs, calming our breathing, digestion, and heart rate. You can also do your part in helping show nature the ultimate respect by funding its preservation. Ask about our conservation efforts and how you can do your part in preserving it.

Ask questions and be curious 

There is no better way of advancing awareness than being constantly curious and engaging with businesses—and each other. Conversation and community-driven togetherness is vital in tackling the spread of greenwashing. Talking about green is the first step in going green. It is by understanding the challenges that we can find solutions, and it is by asking the questions that we can find ways to do our bit to be lighter on this planet. 

Take it slow, linger longer

Think quality over quantity when it comes to your roaming, and, if you can, spend more time in each place. If you have flexibility, extend trips to try to combine work commitments with vacation time or make use of our always-on wifi and set up your office where the air is clean. By moving less, we spend less of the earth’s resources, plus when you’re on safari we can guarantee that once you’re here, you’ll want to stay forever.