top of page


Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Sustainable Travel | Kruger National Park Safaris

Travel holds tremendous potential. For the traveller, it offers a path to experience, education and personal transformation. For local host communities, it provides a means to economic benefit and cultural exchange.

However, developments across the tourism industry are not always rosy. Over the years, we’ve seen our share of rapacious tourism development and the cumulative effects of individual actions conspiring to harm local cultures, economies and the environment.

So what can a traveller do? The cynic says nothing, the hopeful say plenty. And that's where sustainable travel comes in as part of the journey.

We would like to share with you some of our insights into travel within Southern Africa.

# 1. Remember first that you are a guest

Come bearing respect for your host country and its people, and demonstrate this by your actions and engagement. In return, you’ll maximize the likelihood that you will be treated in kind.

# 2 Release your inner child

Don’t be afraid to show your curiosity when you travel. Not only does asking questions satiate your curiosity and enable you to learn more about the place you are visiting, but it offers a gateway of exchange and engagement with local people. Consider starting with simple topics like food, markets, and children (ages, names, etc.) and you just might find a conversation that leads to family, life, politics, and more.

# 3 Eat local. Stay local

Patronize local businesses. When you travel, maximize the likelihood that local people are benefiting economically from your visit. The tastes of Africa are plentiful and the accommodations are unique especially within our National Parks.

# 4. Reduce your single use plastics to not leave a trail of waste in your wake

The more we travel, the more we see how plastic and other waste — water bottles, straws, take-out food containers, plastic utensils, etc. – is contaminating water sources and destroying the environment in places big and small.

# 5 Here are a few recommendations to reduce plastic waste when we travel:

Bring your own refillable water bottle with you and refill it with filtered water. More and more hotels and restaurants have big filtered water jugs with free or a low-cost refill.

Re-use Ziploc and other plastic bags for packing, if you need to use them. Let's face it, sometimes having a plastic bag is useful for packing as it serves as a sort of waterproof container for clothes and other items in the case of rain as well as for shampoos and lotions that may spill into your luggage, save and re-use your packing plastic bags over and over again.

# 6 Animal interaction in camps and wildlife areas

If you are asked to keep your distance from animals, or not to touch them, heed the request. Unwanted attention can cause stress and anxiety on animals, sometimes resulting in altered behaviour or even worse, abandonment of their nests and young.

In addition, avoid activities like elephant riding, photo shoots with lions, swimming with dolphins in swimming pools and other wildlife encounters where the animals are kept in captivity only for the tourist attraction.

# 7 Reward environmentally friendly hotels and establishments

Consider giving preference to businesses that recycle, source produce locally and engage in environmentally friendly developments. These days, this means more than not washing the towels and sheets every day.

Mind also how the establishment treats and invests in its local employees. Do your research to be sure that the establishment is the real deal (e.g., look for reputable sustainable tourism certifications), and remember that actions speak louder than words.

Kruger Park Sightings

Mission Statement & Introduction Sustainability for Nhongo Safaris

NHONGO SAFARIS (PTY) LTD commitment to sustainability is based on international guidelines and ensures that our businesses activities and services do not negatively impact the environment and the interests of our communities therein. We actively commit to a range of philanthropic activities that ensure the well-being of our natural and cultural resources.

This policy and guide have been designed to inspire and help lead us through different sustainability objectives within our operations and routines.

NHONGO SAFARIS (PTY) Ltd is committed to protecting our environment, uplifting our people and promoting best practices, as well as working closely with suppliers and partners who share these ideals.

Nature Conservation:

Believing that by protecting Africa’s natural heritage, we will assist in sustaining destinations that will become increasingly attractive to foreign visitors whose needs will further stimulate job creation and local economies.

Customer Experience:

Customer satisfaction, including aspects of sustainability, is monitored and corrective action taken.

Exploitation and Harassment:

NHONGO SAFARIS (PTY) Ltd has implemented a policy against commercial, sexual or any other form of exploitation or harassment, particularly of children, adolescents, women, minorities and other vulnerable groups.

Local Entrepreneurship:

NHONGO SAFARIS (PTY) Ltd supports local entrepreneurs in the development and sale of sustainable products and services that are based on the area’s nature, history and culture.

Conserving Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Landscapes:

NHONGO SAFARIS (PTY) Ltd support partners and operators who comply with sustainable animal welfare practices and follow ethical recognized wildlife conservation regulations and stands, which do not put any guest or animal at risk.

Our Planet Is Important To Us

Every three minutes an animal or plant species disappears. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and improving our environmental performance.

Travel ECO Friendly | Kruger National Park Safaris

Our Goals Include:

  • Maintain continuous monitoring and reduction of our direct environmental impacts and wherever possible, our indirect impacts, as well

  • Know how environmental issues affect our business and be responsive to them

  • Consider environmental factors when making business decisions

  • Make employees more aware of environmental problems

  • Protect wildlife and support green initiatives

Highlights of 2022 by one of our Guides “Amanda”

Happy New year to all our followers and guests that have enjoyed safaris with us! There have been so many highlights in 2022 that I am excited to share with our readers.

One of my main highlights of course is the return of our international visitors where slowly the doors of tourism are opening again.

We at Nhongo Safaris specialise in overnight trips, and this gives us the luxury of time and patience to sit at a sighting with no time constraints.

Patience is a virtue, so they say, and this is one of the traits I try to explain to my guests.

I had a lovely solo traveller who had been researching malaria in South Africa and decided to enjoy a safari. Our first morning drive was great. We found lions and very small cubs finishing off a buffalo they’d caught a few days previously. In the afternoon we decided to head out and see if maybe some vultures or hyenas were at the carcass. When we arrived, there was nothing, not even a single vulture. We sat and chatted, deciding to stay. We just enjoyed chatting at this days old kill, greeting people, drinking our coffee and enjoying the peace. After about an hour, something moved in the bushes, trying to drag the carcass away. Great, maybe a hyena was there Afterall! We sat there waiting for any sign of the hyena but much to our surprise, a leopard walked out from the bushes and had another go at trying to move the carcass. Had we not just sat there, we would never have seen this amazing sighting. So patience really is a virtue.

When out on a drive, we travel quite a distance and due to the habitat, much time is spent looking at grass, trees and beautiful scenery as you’re on the lookout for wildlife, so we entertain ourselves sometimes. I had a lovely family from Portugal who were so much fun and appreciated everything. The two brothers were adorable! Kids can sometimes get bored driving around but not these two. They entertained themselves and I remember on one drive, we all decided to sing as loud as we could. ‘the lion sleeps tonight’ was obviously a good choice. It was, I have to say, possibly the worst rendition of the song ever, completely out of tune and we only knew the ‘wee um um my way’ part of it. So imagine a safari car driving past with four adults and two kids singing completely out of tune, but, we didn’t care. We were all just in hysterics and this set the tone for the rest of the trip. I still keep in contact with my friends from Portugal as I do with many of my guests… Arrive as strangers, leave as friends.

There have been some very interesting and unexpected sightings over the year. A couple I remember as they’re bitter sweet, where you’d have to be a fly on a safari car to just see the expression on my guests faces!

Dwarf Mongoose

We were finishing off our safari, doing a short morning drive around camp before breakfast, when we drove down a steep road. We stopped when we saw movement and then sighted a business of mongoose sitting warming up on a termite mound. One of my guests absolutely loved the dwarf mongoose so we decided to sit for a while and watch them. They are really adorable and watching them playing together, foraging for food, was very interesting and entertaining. Lots of ooohs and aaahs followed as the cutest babies came out, playing on the logs together, chasing each other and being just generally cute. Then, completely out of nowhere came a bird of prey which snatched one of those babies. We watched in silence as the bird carried it away. Absolute silence followed and my guests did not believe it. “Did that just actually happen, wtf? It's like being in a situation where you’re not supposed to laugh but you can’t help it” said some of my guests. I couldn’t speak or look at one of my guests who was also trying not to laugh at this tragic scene we’d just witnessed. All I can say is we drove back to camp in silence, all except for one guest who was still mortified by what she’d seen. Asking if I thought the mongoose had survived. All I could say was that there was a chance that it could have fallen out of the eagles grip and maybe return to its family all the while looking in the distance, driving as quick as allowed, hoping my guest didn’t notice the eagle proudly and happily eating its prey 100m off the road.

Another sighting that I had never seen before and also I hope will never see again. I’ve always loved just sitting and watching baboons as their interactions with each other are so close to ours, you can sit for ages comparing their behaviour to humans. We were out one afternoon and came across a large troop of baboons. My guests were loving just sitting there and watching them. The babies running around playing and screaming at each other, their mothers immediately coming to their rescue from a fight they’d actually started. We watched the interaction between the impalas and baby baboons which was very, very cute. Then we heard a scream like nothing I have heard before. My guests were asking if one of the young ones were hurt? We looked around desperately trying to locate where the screams were coming from then one of my guests said the big male baboon has something in its arms, carrying it up the tree. We all took out our binoculars (Big mistake as we then had a real closeup) and to our horror, we saw the alpha male baboon with a baby steenbok in its arms, eating it alive! Although really not nice to witness but very rare to see. A steenbok is the size of a baby impala so quite a feast for the baboon. We were all traumatized, nature from a human perspective can be very cruel but remember animals don’t go shopping to buy food, they have to hunt for their supper. As horrible as it was to witness, we all realised we’d seen something very rarely witnessed and it actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip.

There really are so many highlights from 2022, I could actually write a book. I am overjoyed to have tourism opening up again and being able to welcome our old and new friends to one of the best places on earth.

A happy new year to everyone and thank you for your support and hopefully you will travel with us in 2023, ready to make new highlights and happy memories.

Best wishes,

Your Nhongo Safaris Guide Amanda

1 Comment

Nhongo Safaris
Nhongo Safaris
Dec 30, 2022

Looking back over 2022, it was a really upside-down year. As we battled continued lockdowns, then opened for business, only to be locked down again with the Omnicron variant. We sincerely hope that this disruption is behind us, and we can look forward to some good business in 2023. To all a very "Happy New Year 2023".

bottom of page