Ecotourism is a term you see bandied about in increasing numbers. It’s a principal Saragossa Game Reserve believes strongly in- but what does it mean for the man on the street? Why is ecotourism so important? We take a closer look.
Man has been taking holidays as long as history has been recorded. From ancient Romans touring Britain to laugh at the ‘barbarians’ to Victorians spending a summer in India, man has always loved a little adventure. Until recently, however, that adventure would come at a cost to the locales visited- desecrated wildlife, local people’s interest squashed under the needs of the moneyed visitor, national monuments lost to tourism-inflicted damage. That era has changed- and South Africa [and Saragossa Game Reserve] is leading the charge.
Ecotourism is subtle- and you, the traveller, lose nothing by it. In fact, the entire tourist experience is deeply enhanced when your providers, local government and all involved parties are working together for a sustainable, bright future! Ecotourism boosts, rather than depletes, the local economy. It preserves wildlife heritage instead of destroying it. It helps the country paint itself in a far more favourable light, uplifts the poor and celebrates our rich natural resources.
Ecotourism seeks to embrace and celebrate the varied cultures of the area around them. Local people are brought into the process, allowing the poor and previously discounted to have a real say in the tourism activities around them.
Maintaining biodiversity is key in Ecotourism. Visitors can get caught up in the idea of the notorious ‘Big 5’, and forget the thousands of other species that make up the stunning, lively natural environment that allows them to exist. Just take a walk at Saragossa- not only do the magnificent hers of buck and giraffe contribute to the unique face of South African wildlife, but the tiny insects, scorpions and frogs all help create the world that allows these magnificent beasts to flourish. Why not come learn more about these fascinating micro-creatures with us this National Wildlife Day [4th September if you’re taking notes]?
Ecotourism allows everyone to win- service providers like us at Saragossa Game Reserve, the wildlife and people of the land, and most of all you, the visitor. Make your contribution to the future, and come celebrate with us today.