LONDON (CBS) — As electric vehicles hit the streets, they’re proving popular off-road too. The eco-friendly vehicles are giving tourists in Africa quieter and cleaner safaris.
“If you drive here silently you will of course get much closer to animals,” says tour guide Sylvester Mukenye. So, safaris are going electric and doing away with the rumble of the engine and toxic fumes that animals can smell a mile away.
A joint Kenyan-Swedish venture is doing just that, helping companies to go green by swapping out diesel engines for electric. “When you’re doing the game drives, it feels like you are just floating through the grasslands. We like to say that Emboo River Safari vehicles are running on sunshine because it is all solar-powered,” says Valery Super, co-founder of Emboo River Camp. Super says the change has saved the company around $150,000 dollars a year on operational costs.
Switching gears to a greener adventure is getting a warm reception. One tourist, Jason Hart, says, “We really share their core values in terms of trying to not disrupt the eco-system here, and enjoy it, but also be respectful of it.” That’s what you want in a safari: To experience the call of the wild without the roar of an engine.