Everything you need to know about ethical travel


Enjoy your holiday with the satisfaction of helping rather then hindering the area with our guide to ethical travel.


With the subject of climate change on everyone’s mind, ethical travel is of ever increasing significance. It’s important to be aware of the small changes that can be made to avoid potentially detrimentally affecting local habitats. Sustainability lies at the core of Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in South Africa, where a host of environmentally conscious choices have been made in the building of the property and how it is run on a day-to-day basis. If you’d like to be a jet-setter with a conscience, discover how you can travel responsibly with eco-sensibilities in mind.

Avoid buying plastics

When it comes to the environment plastics are causing an environmental disaster and a real cause for concern for anyone who is interested in ethical travel. Every plastic water bottle that is bought takes on average 450 years to degrade, a million of them are sold every minute. For this reason, try not to purchase plastics while on your travels. If you do have to buy them, then always re-use whenever possible.

Always take your rubbish with you

It is important that wherever you are, you never leave rubbish behind. Litter pollution doesn’t just make the landscape look ugly, but it can also have a harmful effect on animals. Always remember to recycle when you can, or even pop any food waste into a compost.

Ethical Travel

Respect the landscape

Always be considerate when visiting historical sites, protected wildlife and forestry, and ancient archaeological sites on your travels. A lot of time and effort goes into conserving these grounds so it pays to be careful and to stick to expected protocols. Try not to pick flowers, however pretty they might be, or poke and prod ancient ruins too much. A cornerstone of ethical travel is to leave no trace of your presence in the landscape.

Ethical Travel

Partake in physical activities, and avoid using motor vehicles

We all know how easy, and effortless, it is to just jump in the car. However, why not try to walk, run, bike or hike on holiday. Physical activities aren’t only good for the environment, but being at a slower pace allows you to take in more of the beautiful surroundings, and it’s good for your health too.

Conduct diligent research

Before you jet off on your travels, take some time out to research your destination.  This can help you to carefully choose ethical travel companies and organisations, as well as educate you on the local culture and surroundings. As a result, you’ll be able to make decisions on your holiday that are both culturally and environmentally sensitive.

Ethical Travel

Avoid animal exploitation

Be aware of any animal exploitation that you may encounter on your travels. Think twice before participating in animal activities and rides, or when purchasing a souvenir that is made from any animal body-parts, shells, skin, teeth or even coral.

Conserve water and energy

Whilst on holiday, consider the duration of your showers and contemplate whether you really need that bath. Additionally, re-use your hotel towels more than once and refrain from having your linen changed too frequently. It is also important to limit energy use whenever possible, which includes using your air-conditioning or the radiator less, and turn off all of the lights and taps when you leave your room.

Ethical Travel

Even after you’ve arrived back at home, you can continue to live with these eco-sensibilities in mind. Find out more about the environmental and sustainability ethos of Red Carnation Hotels, the award-winning Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, and our partnership with the TreadRight Foundation.

 Image Credits: Lead image iStock/fcscafeine. Plastic bottle in the ocean iStock/lindsay_imagery. Woman collecting litter iStock/asiseeit. Stonehenge iStock/jessicaphoto. Colourful bicycles iStock/Milkos. Planning a trip iStock/Csondy . Elephant with child iStock/MHGALLERY. Shower head iStock/georgeclerk

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