Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990)

Principles of Ecotourism

Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:

- Minimize impact.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
- Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate.

 

Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is proud to affirm that:

• The lodge is a joint venture (JV) enterprise between the 2,000+ members of the Wuparo Conservancy and private investors.

• The JV Agreement is a very detailed financial agreement that commits the lodge to pay a monthly fee and a annually significant
percentage of net revenue to the conservancy.

• 95%+ of the lodge employees are from the local community.

• The whole of the electricity and hot water utilized at the lodge, tents, staff and managers accommodation is produced with
solar energy.

• The lodge undertook and had approved a full EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) from Ministry of Environment.

• We follow a good practice in our waste management and implement a recycling policy.

• The lodge was built utilizing as much as possible natural a locally purchased material and partially utilizing recycled materials.

• The lodge is committed to purchase the maximum amount of local goods and services from the local community, as well as to
develop the ability of the community to expand their production of items the lodge can utilize.

• Nkasa Lupala Lodge is a member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and is committed to follow the Principles
of Ecotourism.

• The Lodge application for the Namibia Eco Awards is in progress.

VISION

To ensure that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge natural and cultural environment is ethically managed and profitably operated according to the highest possible international standards, practices and guidelines in sustainable tourism, environmental conservation and biodiversity protection and cultural heritage preservation.

MISSION

In line with our commitment, Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge mission is to:

- Offer an eco friendly holiday experience reducing Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge overall impact on the environment, in particular focusing on the key areas of energy, water, waste, wildlife and all other items used in our operations.

- Promote and enhance our eco friendly practices and responsibilities to guests, visitors and staff, overall increasing awareness of the need to be environmentally responsible.

- Promote the need to reduce our carbon footprint to all Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge guests and visitors to Mamili NP (Nkasa Lupala NP).

- Monitor our waste consumption and implement waste minimisation initiatives to reduce our annual waste, and increase the volume of waste which is recycled.

- Monitor our energy usage and minimise consumption by both staff and guests.

- Continue to research, develop and implement new environmentally sustainable initiatives for the entire Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge establishment.

- Provide trainig and empowerment for local comminities to achieve sustainable development in the region.

- Co-operate with MET (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) and WWF, utilising the Game Count tool for park and the conservancy area.

- A close relationship with the local NGO’s in preserving and sharing culture and conservation of the environment

Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge Environmental Strategy


Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Architecture and Landscaping that Nkasa
Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided


- Deterioration of natural beauty through concrete buildings or permanent structures.
- Informs and educates guests, staff and locals on natural and cultural issues of the area.
- Non-consideration of passive design in cooling systems and therefore dependence on air-conditioning systems.

Improving Architecture and Landscaping

- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge infrastructure “blends” into the local environment.

Choosing appropriate Construction Materials

- Most of the materials used to build Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge are renewable materials.
- Use of as little cement and solid materials as possible.
- Purchase of natural construction and maintenance materials harvested locally by communities, including reeds, thatch, mopane wood poles, etc.

Guest Education and Involvement

- Often negative impacts on the local culture and ecology caused by guests arise from the fact that they know little or nothing of the local culture or ecology.
- Guests are encouraged to get to know life in the local community through organized visits to Sangwali village.

Potential Adverse Social Impacts of Local Resource Use that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided


- Large-scale developments in relatively underdeveloped areas put a great deal of pressure on local resources such as water, energy and sewage treatment.
- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, on purpose, was designed to be small and low impact. It takes its water from it’s own channel, generates its own electricity and has its own solid waste and sewage treatment systems.

Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Energy Use that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided


- Fossil fuels, as used for the diesel generators, can cause environmental damage during transport and use.

Clean Energy Use Practices

- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge utilizes solar panels produced electricity and it’s totally energy self sufficient.
- Water for the guest luxury tents, staff and kitchen is heated by solar power.

Improving Water Use Practices


- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is using a small portion of the water from the close by channel. No negative impact to the swamps or the neighboring National Park has been observed.
- Guests and employees are constantly reminded to save water, especially during the dry season month of June through October. The watersheds and pipes are strictly monitored on
a regular basis for leakage and water saving devices are installed at the hotel.

Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Solid Waste that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided

- Solid waste produced by lodges can cause serious contamination and visual degradation of surrounding areas, threaten human health and represent significant disposal costs.
- Traditional tourists produce far more solid waste than private households.
- In wetland areas, solid waste problems arise around rivers/channels flowing into the Park and polluting the swamps and floodplains.

Improving Solid Waste Disposal and Product Purchasing Practices

- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge waste policy evolves around the three “R’s” of reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste.
- The lodge minimizes packaging, buys in bulk, recycles, uses reusable products and composts organic waste.

Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Wastewater and Sewage that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided

- Inadequate or non-existent sewage and wastewater treatment can lead to severe environmental damage, human health impacts and economic costs.

Improving Wastewater and Sewage Treatment

- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge makes a strong effort to avoid products that negatively influence wastewater. For example, all detergents used are biodegradable.
- All wastewater is directed into underground septic tanks that are located throughout the lodge grounds and then filtered into the grounds through drain fields. No wastewater enters
the channel surrounding Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge.
- Due to the abundance of water in the Mamili area and the elevated costs of installing water treatment plants, no treated wastewaters are used for the irrigation of the gardens at the lodge.

Potential Social Impacts of Tourist Presence that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided

- When tourism is not developed in a culturally sensitive manner, the presence of tourists can result in a unwanted changes, anger and conflicts in local communities.

Improving Tourist Interaction with Local People

- Staff at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is made up almost exclusively of residents from the Wuparo Conservancy.
- Guests are constantly educated about the different culture and acceptable behaviors.

Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Tourist Transportation that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided

- Poorly maintained and operated transportation can cause noise, pollution and habitat degradation.

Improving Tourist Transportation Practices

- Vehicle access is restricted to very limited areas at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge.
- Vehicles used for transportation are in perfect mechanical conditions and exchanged for new cars ass soon as possible.
- Car transfers to Sangwali village are optimized, even for guests, whenever possible.

Potential Negative Environmental Impacts of Recreational Activities that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has avoided

- Even low impact recreational activities can have significant cumulative environmental impacts if not carefully controlled.

Improving Recreational Activities

- Guests at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge understand their role in conserving the environment through orientations, written materials and guide explanations.
- Game drives and Boat cruises in the park/conservancy are only allowed with a trained Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge guide. No touching or feeding of wildlife allowed.
- Our boat uses a 4 stroke engine, to minimise sound and fuel consumption.

Supporting Projects that Benefit the Local Community

- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge employs only local people for its full time staff, even in management positions.
- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is supporting the contruction of a Kindergarten in Sangwali.
- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is committed to purchase the maximum amount of local goods and services from the local community, as well as to develop the ability of the community to expand their production of items the lodge can utilize.
- Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge supports local craft producers.