Just staying at a Lemala lodge helps to fund our many community projects, so you can make a positive impact while you travel …
Want to make a positive impact while you explore Tanzania? Just staying at a Lemala camp or lodge helps to fund our many community projects. Lemala has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, our whole ethos is about giving back and we’re passionate about respecting local cultures and the environment. However, in this part of the world, it’s not about donating a bit of money and hoping for the best – we have to make sure we’re helping in the most efficient way possible.
We believe one of the best ways to uplift communities is by providing employment and training opportunities. Of our 335 staff, only five percent are from outside of Tanzania, the rest are from towns and villages near our camps; we’ve also employed staff from a homeless centre in Arusha. People often come to us unskilled and we train them up to work in various roles – our guide training school is very successful. We’ve had long-serving members of our team who started as room attendants or cleaners but have since become safari guides or camp managers.
We also run an annual Leadership Academy where we invite speakers such as accountants, businesswomen and guides to talk to young people in our communities. The aim is to inspire kids and give them realistic career options. We’re especially keen to champion women in the workplace and six out of seven members of our management team are women. In particular, the guiding world in Tanzania is very male dominated, so we’re working to change that. We now have two fully-qualified female guides including Tanzania’s first, Mary Milanzi, who now leads tuk tuk tours in her hometown of Mto wa Mbu.
Your stay funds a number of other projects including a women’s shelter called Pippi’s House and a reusable sanitary pad scheme. This began with one of our staff, Isaya, who noticed that his half-sisters were off sick from school every month because they couldn’t afford sanitary products. He wanted to challenge the taboo of menstruation and used his savings to buy sanitary pads for school girls. We’re proud to support his project and provide packs of 10 pads for girls in need. This scheme has expanded and we now work with a lovely woman who comes into the school to talk about sexual health.
Eco-awareness is very important to us too. All Lemala tented camps operate 100 percent off-grid and are completely sustainable. We’ve invested a lot of money in solar power systems and reverse osmosis water treatment plants, which provide safe drinking water for our guests and surrounding communities. When we build a new camp, we use recycled steel where possible and decking that has been made from recycled plastic bottles. In fact, in just one year we saved around 300,000 plastic bottles from going to landfill. We also work with a scheme that employs local women to make biodegradable banana boxes for our guests’ packed lunches.
You can also be sure that when you stay with us, the cultural excursions we offer are ethical. For instance, we run private, authentic visits to Olasiti Village in Tarangire, where we have an extremely close relationship with Chief Lobulo. In exchange, we support the chief’s passion for education, helping to fund his school programmes. Guests can even donate a school desk and chairs made from recycled plastic for $135. When you visit the boma, you can buy hand-made curios straight from women, which I’d recommend rather than buying from a big shop in town. In a country where you can feed someone for less than a dollar a day, your $5 makes a big difference.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Gemma, who's travelled extensively in Tanzania. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it on their own. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot to enjoy your sundowner.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656