The Bushcamp Company in Zambia has won the prestigious National Geographic World Legacy Award in the category ’Engaging Communities’.
An international committee of 23 experts led by Costas Christ, editor-at-large of the National Geographic Traveler Magazine and chairman of the World Legacy Awards picked 15 finalists from over 100 entries representing more than 50 countries. The awards went to travel and tourism companies as well as organisations and destinations that have made a commitment to sustainable tourism. They include big resorts, small eco-lodges, wildlife reserves and geoparks.
The Bushcamp Company operates six bush camps in the remote south of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park as well as the Mfuwe Lodge just inside the main park gate. The park is the place where the African walking safari was pioneered.
Judges said The Bushcamp Company won because of their close cooperation with local groups and their supports for community projects in the Luangwa region. Initiatives include protecting resources for wildlife and promoting education and healthcare. The video above gives some insight into the work being done among communities by The Buschcamp Company.
This was the second time the National Geographic World Legacy Awards were presented at ITB Berlin, the global travel industry’s leading – and largest – tourism trade show. Several African countries are represented at the show.
George Stone, National Geographic Travel editor-in-chief said the winning entries of the World Legacy Awards show how best practices in tourism can help to enduringly protect the best destinations around the world for future generations.
The Bushcamp Company was one of five winners representing five categories at ITB Berlin.
In the category ’Earth Changers’ – ecologically responsible companies featuring green technology such as renewable energies and zero-waste systems – the winner was Mission Hills from China.
The ‘Sense of Place’ category – which recognises tourism companies pledging to protect historical monuments, archaeological sites and local cultural heritage – was won by TIME Unlimited Tours, a New Zealand company run by Maoris that operates eco-tourism and environmentally friendly tours of the country.
The category ’Conserving the Natural World’ recognises companies that conserve nature, restore natural habitats and protect rare and endangered land and marine species. The winner was Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda from Mexico. This NGO was involved in creating and maintaining the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an area in the heart of Mexico that is rich in bio-diversity.
In the category ’Destination Leadership’ the winner was Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark in Ireland. This project was conceived by a group of local companies, villagers and municipal authorities. Their aim is to protect Ireland’s most beautiful natural landscapes and ensure a quality experience for visitors.