Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent after Asia. There is nowhere quite like it in terms of wildlife and landscapes.
With a little conscious thought and preparation, you can ensure you have only a positive impact on the destinations you visit.
My five tops tips for responsible travel are:
1. Care about the wildlife. Take a "look but don't touch" approach to wildlife activities and avoid any attractions that involve performance, riding or closely engaging with wild animals. As a rule, any activity that an animal would not do in the wild is the result of exploitation.
2. Respect the local people and culture. Along with obeying local laws, this relates to dressing and behaving in a manner appropriate to the community. Learn about the people's way of life, be polite and keep an open mind. Ensure your interaction with locals, including children, is respectful and appropriate.
3. Go local. Enjoy locally owned and operated restaurants and bars. Shop in the local markets and stores and draw upon the expertise of local guides when booking tours and activities.
4. Conserve water. Much of the world suffers from a shortage of clean water and this is particularly true in Africa. We can help by reusing hotel towels, taking short showers and turning off the tap.
5. Reduce your waste. Ditch the plastic bag, refuse unnecessary packaging, dispose of your waste responsibly, pick up rubbish and recycle as much as possible.
- Natasha Mayers, Flight Centre Hamilton