As far as possible try to book direct flights. Takeoffs and landings create most of an aeroplane’s carbon emissions. Besides, you’ll not only be helping the environment but also cutting down on travel time.
One of the biggest evils, not only in Namibia but worldwide, is bottled water. As a general rule water in Namibia is safe to drink, therefore pack a reusable water bottle. To further cut down on plastic bring your own reusable straws, shopping bags and even reusable cups for takeaway coffees or teas.
There are busses and shuttles to most of the main towns, but since Namibia is a big country most tourists will rely on a rental car to get around. Do some research before renting a vehicle as tarred roads and most of the gravel roads are generally in good condition and big fuel-guzzling 4×4’s are not always required. Consider renting a smaller car that will be more eco-friendly.
Walk, cycle or skate to really explore towns. Not only are these modes of transport carbon-free, but they allow you to experience these places a lot better than from behind a car window.
Look for eco-friendly accommodation on your own or visit the Eco Awards Namibia website – the country’s own sustainable tourism certification programme.
Do not give money or sweets to children and villagers as this often encourages begging. Rather ask your tour operator in which ways you would be better able to sustainably support these people, or support local NGOs who provide education and other social support.
Always respect nature. Roads are there for a reason, never drive off-road with your vehicle unless it is a marked track. When hiking, stay on hiking trails to avoid unnecessarily destroying vegetation. When camping, only stay in designated campsites and take everything along with you when you leave.
Namibia is rich in wildlife, which is one of the reasons why so many tourists visit the country each year. Do not spoil the experience for other people. Always keep a safe distance from wild animals as they are unpredictable. By chasing after them for that close-up shot you put yourself, others and them at risk. Don’t be that person who takes a selfie with a wild animal.
Never feed wild animals as this encourages them to approach humans for food and cause them to be killed when they become aggressive and possibly injure other tourists.
Use local tour operators that subscribe to sustainable and green practices. Tour companies usually have easy-to-find information on their sustainability on their website.
Always be courteous and ask permission before taking someone’s photo. Namibia is rich in cultural heritage and you will learn a lot more when you engage with local people rather than just take a photo and walk away.
As a country with two deserts, it goes without saying that water is a very scarce resource and should always be used wisely. Before you set off on your trip, research ways to be water-wise and always remember that saving water is something that should be ingrained in everyone’s daily routine no matter where they live, green traveller or not. (Read our tips for saving water here.)