As a Namibian based tour operator and travel agent, Chameleon aims not only to conserve but to also give back to our beautiful country as much as we can. There has been a significant increase in awareness for conservation and responsible tourism in the last few years and rightly so, however, at Chameleon we have always sought to work with local communities, employ Namibians and protect our environment. When you are in Windhoek, we are happy to recommend various shops and craft centres that specialise in Namibian products for you as a tourist to take home with you and thereby giving you the visitor, the chance to directly support local people and their companies. You may also have the opportunity to join a township tour where you can visit a shebeen, try traditional food, join cultural events and so forth. Generally speaking, if you are also visiting other African destinations those same opportunities will be extended to you.
We strive to employ as many Namibians as possible, often training individuals with little or no work experience to help get a foot on their career ladder. If you are on a private–guided or small group tour, we will hire local guides to show us the sights and endeavour to utilise nearby community camps and lodges that actively support their communities, whether assisting with charities, schools, medical centres etc.
TOSCO: We actively support a number of conservation
programmes here in Namibia includingTOSCO – a
non–profit organisation linking the tourism
industry to local people, conservation organizations and research. By
supporting conservation projects and local people who share their land with
wildlife, TOSCO Trust contributes to safeguarding Namibia’s natural
assets. Research projects supported include Desert Lion Conservation,
Kwando Carnivore project, Namibian Dolphin project, Desert Elephant
conservation and Giraffe Conservation foundation. Other work includes
Living with wildlife: support people living with wildlife outside of National Parks providing the following
Pack with a purpose:You can also pack with a purpose – bring perhaps a couple of t–shirts you don’t want any more and donate, a pair of shoes, blanket etc – we can find a good home for most items – in winter there is always a collection in Windhoek to help those more needy. Alternatively, our guides will take items out into the bush and help those in local communities. Just leave the items with us at the end of a tour and we will do the rest. You can find out more here https://www.packforapurpose.org/
Essentially we are very proud of our country and care very much about the amazing people that live in it. Chameleon endeavours to have a minimum impact on the environment whilst our clients experience this incredible land. Examples of how we reduce the impact on our environment here in Windhoek Chameleon Backpackers and Guesthouse we use recycled water from the showers/hand basins where it is then cleaned and processed into the toilets; use low energy light bulbs; solar panels fitted for hot water supply; recycle plastic, paper/cardboard and glass; we are due to install a worm plant which will be used to recycle waste food and create compost for the gardens. Countrywide, Namibia and many of the surrounding countries have limited clean water supplies and we ask all visitors to be aware of their own consumption of water – not to take lengthy showers, run the tap whilst cleaning teeth etc – these all have an impact and with just a little bit of thought every individual can make a difference. Note that Namibian Government has also taken the negative impact of plastic bags seriously and have banned them from parks such as Etosha.