Flatdogs Camp is the first tourism business to be awarded Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) Certification in Zambia! Reviewing the results of Flatdogs’ independent audit, FTT was in complete awe of the extent of its commitment to the people and conservation of the destination.
Positioned on the banks of the Luangwa River, Flatdogs Camp offers a gateway to exploring Zambia’s magnificent South Luangwa National Park and takes its responsibility for both conservation and community in this unique ecosystem seriously. From supporting Conservation South Luangwa and entering into an extended conservation agreement with the local Chief, through to grey water recycling, minimising waste, significant investment into a solar energy installation, and careful consideration of the most sustainable approach to building!
Its commitment doesn’t stop at the boundaries of the camp though. In addition to offering regular game drives to local school children so that they can experience the wildlife that travellers come to see, Flatdogs Camp addresses the local challenge forest clearing for firewood and charcoal by engaging local schools in tree planting for a long-term reforestation solution, as well as making 80% more efficient cookstoves to reduce the fuelwood demand.
Flatdogs Camp also helped to establish Project Luangwa in 2010, providing educational and gender support to the communities in and around Mfuwe. Project Luangwa’s programmes include support for women’s rights and independence, expansion of the infrastructure of the local school, and sponsorship of school fees for underprivileged children. Extensive financial and in-kind support is also provided to Chiyembekezo Preschool, including uniforms and teacher salaries, while local farmers are supported to protect their crops from wildlife, and regular procurement of fresh local produce is consciously managed to maximise economic benefits without distorting local market dynamics such that prices inflate to beyond the reach of local people.
FTT General Manager, Lisa Scriven, remarked that, “businesses like Flatdogs Camp just get it. They understand that the complexity of doing business in remote areas puts them in a unique position to find solutions that make sense not only for their business, but also for the long-term benefit of the people living alongside them. These aren’t always the easiest options, nor are they the quickest to implement, but they are always the ones with the greatest chance of sustained success.”
Jess Salmon, one of the owners of Flatdogs Camp, said, “We could not be happier to become part of the FTT family! We hope that this Certification will lead to more Zambian operators following our lead and to us working together to protect this beautiful country and the wonderful people who live here”. Tourism businesses in Zambia that would like to join Flatdogs Camp and the like-minded community of businesses committed to Fair Trade and responsible tourism are invited to reach out to FTT or visit www.fairtradetourism.org for more information. Select “login” to register and start your