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Friday, April 13, 2012

When Does African Tourism Become Unethical

When Does African Tourism Become Unethical, there can be a fine line between cultural tourism and human safaris.




Cultural tourism is an organized tour that takes visitors to a place where they can observe "locals" in their indigenous settings. You can also visit cultural villages to learn more about how indigenous and inhabitants lived, and how the various languages, customs and traditions are celebrated. 



Enjoy dust dancing and singing by the locals; enjoy long tables groaning with food dishes. There can be a fine line between cultural tourism and human safaris. True cultural tourism offers an opportunity for interaction, perhaps alongside shopping opportunities, food demonstrations or craft lessons.

Human safaris focus on the opportunity to see, photograph and video local people in an exploitative manner; for example, a tour that takes vacationers to a tribal village, encourages vacationers to bribe locals with food or money to perform a dance and permits the vacationers to film the entire experience would definitely fall into the "human safari" category.


Concerns about human safaris are being raised in Africa, where tour operators are profiting from the exploitation of indigenous tribes and/ or poor living conditions. Many potential tourists are interested in an opportunity for interaction with indigenous people therefore there is a need for national policies to conserve each country's cultural heritage as more tourists visit Africa each year.


Market in human safaris along the road and automobile tours is flourishing offering a glimpse of “primitive tribal” to tourists driving through the streets or slums of Africa. High-end human safari companies and resort developments should carefully consider the impact of tour activities on the communities as not to interfere or negatively influence day-to-day life and ancient ceremonies, yet still give a memorable experience.



An inside look into cultural weddings, traditional dances, rites of passage for warriors and other practices could be a cross-cultural triumph if managed correctly. True cultural tours work closely with a team of accommodation suppliers and their surrounding indigenous villages to sustain mutually beneficial relationships with native African cultures supporting ethical activities that enhance the quality of life through employment, community programs, education, health and selling of arts and crafts


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