*As seen in The Logbook
Seeing the Serengeti from the air offers a different perspective on the sheer scale of Africa and is a unique and enlightening way to see some of the continent’s most thrilling natural activities. As featured previously, Serengeti Balloon Safaris were one of the first operators to offer air tours and in many ways, the two founders Colin McKinnon and Tony Pascoe have pioneered this industry.
Known as innovators who continuously seek improvement to stay ahead, (or above), of the game, 2020 is going to be an interesting and impactive year for this operator. With their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, this year will see Serengeti Balloon Safaris take steps to develop themselves and demonstrate how safari companies can, and should, operate.
Currently, they are in the process of developing a sustainability policy which will be closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainability Development goals. This will help formalise their commitment to make their people, environment and country more sustainable.
To achieve this, they’ve had to identify the most important measures for the required criteria, work ways to improve and report on them on an annual basis and through a systematic approach, continue to improve. These changes not only cover environmental factors like hydrocarbon use and waste management, but also staff training and improvement on social and cultural measures.
This includes achieving Travelife and RTTZ accreditation. This process began in 2019 and will continue throughout this year and beyond. The certifications have different levels of good practise and as a business they are striving to seek higher levels as they continue to progress.
The motivation for this comes firstly from a belief in sustainability and eco-tourism and secondly from the fact that tourism is an essential part of conservation. Their upfront approach to becoming more sustainable is also an action which they hope will inspire other businesses around them and within their industry to do the same.
To create real change, Serengeti Balloon Safaris have set themselves the task to really understand what it will take for them to be more sustainable. Instead of just ticking boxes on a sheet. For example, reducing a carbon footprint is one of the most well-known sustainability methods, and as one specific part of an overall strategy it is easily measurable and can be offset.
As such, as a company they will be offsetting their carbon footprint through Carbon Tanzania. Taking measures from their 2019 accounts, including diesel, gas, petrol consumption and air plane tickets and making an equivalent payment to Carbon Tanzania within the first quarter of 2020 to use on their offsetting projects within the country.
Offsetting has measurable effects but the most important impact for their customers is the reassurance that their activities are carried out in the safest, most responsible and most sustainable way. Other impacts include happier and even more motivated staff, a better protected environment and an overall better safari experience.
SAFARIS BY AIR
With 80 locally employed staff working on the ground and in the air each safari lasts approximately five hours with one hour spent in the air. As Tanzania’s pioneering and most experienced balloon safari company it is the skills and know-how that are applied to each safari that keeps the balloons aloft as much as the hot air.
To operate safe, high quality balloon safaris in this environment is a challenge but it is also the most magical environment in which to experience the wonders of the natural world.
PRICE/NIGHT : $599
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 754 688 806