Hot off the Press

Introducing the Safari Carbon Calculator

By | Monday, 5th July, 2021

In response to the need to better measure carbon emissions of single safaris, Wild Philanthropy has developed and released the Safari Carbon Calculator. An open-source tool aimed at supporting the climate commitments of tour operators, DMCs, and ground handlers, the Safari Carbon Calculator helps quantify the emissions on a safari-by-safari basis, giving those businesses the information they need to act. It was made available June 2021 and is free to use.


Travel-driven conservation sits at the heart of everything we do at Wild Philanthropy, supporting conservation aligned economic development and allowing a sharing of cultures and ideas. We do, however, understand that there are negative impacts from travel. The most obvious of these is the climate impact caused by carbon dioxide emissions, especially from air travel – international and domestic. Hence developing the Safari Carbon Calculator, an open-source tool designed to measure carbon emissions of single safaris.


Developed with the support of Journeys by Design, the Calculator has been specifically designed with the safari industry in mind. Focusing on the emissions of the highest emitting activities, the tool aims to quantify the carbon emissions from a single trip and so help travel businesses to understand their impact on the climate. In doing so, they are better placed to address that impact. Measured activities include international and domestic flights; private plane charters; helicopter, 4×4 use; and day-to-day accommodation use. vehicle, boat, balloon, and quad use; and day-to-day accommodation use.

An Interim Step

In and of itself, the Safari Carbon Calculator’s not the answer to carbon emission. For that, we all need to find ways of avoiding and minimising carbon emissions. We need to travel less, and when we do travel, to do so much more thoughtfully. However, as a way of giving the industry the means to measure carbon emissions, then it’s a useful tool. In this respect, it is simply an interim step while alternative mitigating approaches and technologies are developed.

Open Source Creativity

Free to use, it’s an open-source tool, and in the spirit of open-source creativity, this is the first iteration of what we hope will be many future versions. Each improvement will be the result of feedback from the people and organisations that are using it. If a success, it is hoped that it will be adapted by others for use outside of the safari sector, and indeed possibly beyond tourism itself.

If you would like to learn more and / or use the Safari Carbon Calculator, please download the manual and tool here, and do get in touch with Paul Herbertson in you have any questions. For more on our thoughts on travel and carbon emissions, see here. For Journeys by Design’s Three-Year Plan to become a net-positive business, see here