Basecamp is a non-profit tourism based organization that works with host communities and partner organizations in tourism destinations to create sustainable destinations in developing countries. We want to create a forum for host communities to demonstrate positive impacts of tourism on the natural, social and economic environment.
Basecamp work is defined by five core values – care, culture, conservation, climate and capacity. Within these values, we operate various projects aimed at developing sustainable destinations.
Basecamp works towards improved access to health and health information for host communities. We support infrastructure development – such as building health centers – and support access to clean water. We also run outreach programmes with a purpose to disseminate information and increase health awareness. For example, we run HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) drives for host communities in markets around our destinations and provide food supplements for victims of HIV. Basecamp also runs a comprehensive workplace HIV programme.
We are committed to sustainable land management and through supporting community conservancies we seek to ensure the core tourism resource – wildlife and land – is protected by host communities. At Naboisho Conservancy in the world famous Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, we conserve more than 20,000 hectares of wildlife land in partnership with the 500 Maasai owners of the land forming a crucial wildlife migratory corridor. Basecamp is also committed to the conservation of various species through moniotoring. We run a monitoring programme for big cats and elephants in Naboisho and other Basecamp Explorer destinations.
Basecamp pursues local opportunities for mitigation of impacts of climate change. We focus on tree planting on leased land that guarantees that for a minimum of 20 years, the trees will stand. These leased lands act as demonstration plots for those who wish to learn about trees as measures to mitigate climate change. Basecamp Explorer guests are taken to these plots as a strategy to spread global awareness about mitigating climate change impacts through the carbon reduction function of trees. Schoolchildren also visit these plots to increase their environmental awareness and to learn how to manage their own tree planting. We also support planting of trees in schools as we cultivate a future generation of environment conscious leaders.
Host communities are vital for the actualisation of sustainable destinations. At basecamp, we have committed to empower host communities and improve their capacity to make informed decisions concerning their resources. We support them by providing for education of the young people in the community through scholarships in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. We are driven by the need to create community champions who will stand up to defend their land and environment eventually creating sustainable destinations that empower them economically. We also empower communities by propagating knowledge about livelihood options that ensure economic and environmental sustainability.
Tourism can erode culture. We know this and that is why we have developed ways to creatively support host communities to use their culture to empower themselves economically without eroding their cultures. We work in developing countries particularly Kenya and India and we ensure that cultures are preserved. In Kenya, we work with host communities in Maasai Mara and in Lamu – two distinct cultures – with the same commitment to culture preservation. In India, we work with communities in Chandelao in Rajistan and at McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala.