The concept of responsible tourism emerged some decades ago, shortly after the concept of sustainable development, and is imbricated in the global environmental movement. A definition, adapted from the report Our Common Future of the Brundtland Commission (1987), could be applied as “tourism in natural areas that meets the choices and the needs of the present and the future”.
This tourism gives high priority to the role of preservation of the local ecosystem, sustainability of the wellbeing of local communities, and guests - the possibility to become immersed in the wilderness, in a safari camp in harmony with its natural environment.
Chiawa Camp has, since its inception, always understood its responsibility towards wildlife as the natural heritage of mankind: to live in harmony with the natural environment we have to help in deepening the commitments towards sustainable development at all levels, from local to global.
Chiawa Camp's basic ethos is to consider communities as stakeholders and ultimate beneficiaries of conservation. Its dedication to responsible tourism is more than just a marketing term. Grant and Dave Cumings became Honorary Wildlife Police Officers in the 1980's, when they first started exploring the Lower Zambezi National Park.
The whole area was totally devoid of any protective presence and the poaching was more serious than they ever could have imagined. It was during this time that Conservation Lower Zambezi was formed, to fill the gaps in conservation activity. Since then, Grant himself has played an important role in the Board of CLZ.
In Chiawa Camp’s philosophy, the priority is to conserve rather than to consume. Thus, the principles of sustainability in Zambia are a main goal in order to respect, and nurture the essence of the environment. It has affirmed its determination to promote the pillars of eco-tourism inside Chiawa Camp, and outside, for the local human community and the wildlife. This has been done through Zambian conservation projects, education, social development, and through safeguarding the earth’s natural resources by respectful practices for a green future.
This commitment has led to Chiawa Camp in 2010 being awarded 3rd place in Best Ecological Lodge in Africa and being acknowledged as One of Fifty Great Green Places To Stay Worldwide in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2006.