The threats which face wildlife and wild places in Africa are many and complex! In order to preserve this for future generations we need to be pro-active and support effective organizations that are focused on this. Safari travel is playing the most important role in conservation right now! It will play an even bigger role in the future. The only way that wildlife and wild places will be preserved is through expanding areas under formal protection and these need to be funded by successful tourism initiatives.
We take 1% of the value of every trip booked with us, out of our pockets, to support these projects or organisations, because we want to make a difference!
In addition to supporting these projects, we select safari providers who are actively protecting wildlife and supporting local communities. "The communities that live alongside the world's parks and reserves now hold the key to the survival of our wilderness areas and to its wildlife - they will need to 'own' the wildlife through being integrally part of, and at the heart of an inclusive safari tourism industry; if not, these communities will own the wildlife in their cooking pots! Conservation tourism is a route to developing a thriving wildlife tourism industry in partnership with local communities, so that these communities start to see wildlife as their asset and not a menu item - these communities, in turn, become the best conservators." Colin Bell
The conservation organisations below are a just handful of the many that are doing great work in Africa, but we believe these are some of the really important ones worth supporting.
African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. They currently manage 15 national parks and protected areas in nine countries covering 10.5 million hectares: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zambia.
The organisation was founded in 2000 in response to the dramatic decline of protected areas due to poor management and lack of funding. African Parks utilises a clear business approach to conserving Africa’s wildlife and remaining wild areas, securing vast landscapes and carrying out the necessary activities needed to protect the parks and their wildlife. African Parks maintains a strong focus on economic development and poverty alleviation of surrounding communities to ensure that each park is ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable in the long-term.
The geographic spread of protected areas and representation of different ecoregions, makes this the most ecologically diverse portfolio of parks under one management across Africa. Their goal is to manage 20 parks by 2020, protecting more than 10 million hectares. Read more on their website
Panthera is the only organization in the world that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.
Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global strategies for the most imperiled large cats: tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas, and leopards.
Representing the most comprehensive effort of its kind, Panthera partners with local and international NGOs, scientific institutions, local communities, governments around the globe, and citizens who want to help ensure a future for wild cats.
Panthera’s grants program, the Small Cat Action Fund (SCAF), additionally supports conservation and research initiatives on many of the smaller wild cat species around the globe. Read more on their website.
The Wilderness Wildlife Trust, an independent non-profit entity associated with the Wilderness Safaris Group, supports a wide variety of projects across Africa. The projects and researchers that it supports address the needs of existing wildlife populations, seek solutions to save endangered species and provide education and training for local people and their communities.
The Trust focuses its work in three key areas:
Research and Conservation – including species studies, monitoring of populations and understanding human-animal conflicts.
Community Empowerment and Education – such as community upliftment and the Children in the Wilderness programme.
Anti-poaching and Management – including aerial surveys, anti-poaching units and increasing capacity for researchers in general.
The goal of the Trust is to make a difference to Africa, her wildlife and her people. Read more on their website
BIG LIFE FOUNDATION
Protecting over 1.6 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa, Big Life partners with local communities to protect nature for the benefit of all.
Since its inception, Big Life has expanded to employ hundreds of local Maasai rangers—with more than 30 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, 13 Land Cruiser patrol vehicles, 3 tracker dogs, and 2 planes for aerial surveillance.
Co-founded in September 2010 by photographer Nick Brandt, conservationist Richard Bonham, and entrepreneur Tom Hill, Big Life was the first organization in East Africa to establish coordinated cross-border anti-poaching operations.