Travellers are becoming more conscious in their travel choices. There is a positive trend for evaluating destinations and activities and deciding whether your participation would be beneficial or detrimental. For a long time a wildlife safari was just that, an opportunity for travellers to view wildlife in their natural habitat. But now, we cannot speak of wildlife without mentioning conservation. And in that spirit, we cannot go on a safari holiday without talking about and even doing something about conservation. More and more we find that travellers are actively seeking out conservation experiences on their safari and use it as a factor when making their choice of where to go or who to use.
But what does a conservation experience entail exactly? It definitely varies. Depending on where you are, what the focus is in that area or perhaps what you yourself have selected. It can range from walking with anti-poaching scouts and assisting with clearing snares from the bush – to assisting with tagging and collaring an endangered rhino. We’ve rounded up some African conservation experiences that conscious travellers can take part in on their safari.
Conservation for Kids – Journey to the Pride Lands in East Africa
This is the perfect activity for budding young conservationists! The junior ranger program teaches kids about the importance of conservation and gives them a taste of game ranger activities such as animal tracking. This safari holiday also takes guests to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary that has an association with the Jane Goodall Foundation. Guests also visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Trust where guests see the work the staff do with orphaned elephants who will eventually be released back into the wild.
Contribute to Gorilla Protection on a Uganda Gorilla Adventure
Gorilla numbers in the wild have increased in the past few years which is a wonderful conservation success story and is in large part due to the conservation fee that travellers pay to have a gorilla trekking experience. These permits are important measures for conservation, contributing directly to gorilla conservation funds, as well as controlling the number of people who are exposed to the gorillas, protecting them from stress and over-familiarization with humans.
This activity is a bucket list item for wildlife enthusiasts, spending an hour with a troop of gorillas in their natural habitat is a rare once in a lifetime opportunity, the rangers who take you to meet the gorillas spend all day tracking and protecting these largest living primates and can tell you all about their behaviour and habits.
Rhino Conservation Safari at Camp Jabulani
In the past few years, rhinos have been the face of African conservation due to an alarmingly rapid rate of decline from poaching, but with the various dedicated anti-poachers measures taken by Safari lodges and game parks we are starting to see a turnaround. Travellers who are interested in witnessing some of these measures can book a Rhino Conservation safari in South Africa where they will have the opportunity to observe a conservation team track, dart and sedate a rhino, in preparation of microchipping and ear-notching for future identification purposes. They will also gain unique insight into Rhinos and their behavioural patterns.
We need Bees! Learn more at Grootbos, a Unique Fynbos Kingdom
Did you know that if bees go extinct humans will have four years before they too meet the same fate? This is especially alarming when we are faced with the fact that bee populations are under significant threat. At Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, only 2 hours outside of Cape Town, guests have the opportunity to take part in a Hive to Home experience where they learn about the intricacies of beekeeping and gain valuable insight into the crucial role of bees.
This beekeeping project is a part of Grootbos’s overarching conservation focus, the entire concept of Grootbos has to do with conservation – from their location on a protected unique biome to the activities and initiatives they run that benefit the local environment and communities. Guests will don their beekeeper hats (literally) and after becoming familiar with the beehives harvest some honey that they can taste and even take home.
Elephant Collaring Conservation Project
Do you know the origination of the term the Big Five? The animals in this group are known as the most challenging to hunt and a successful kill was considered a great achievement for trophy hunters. Luckily photographic safaris have completely changed the definition of the Big Five, however many of these animals are still under threat. Elephant tusks are still sought after in the black-market and these grey giants are under grave threat from poachers.
GPS collars on elephants help deter these poachers and also alert game rangers to attacks. At &Beyond Phinda in South Africa, guests can take part in an elephant collaring conservation project which involves taking part in an expert helicopter darting flight, followed by an elephant capture, and then assisting with the collaring itself.
Meet with Anti-Poaching Scouts on the Great Trans Africa Lodge Safari and Botswana Wildlife Breakaway
Our small guided group safaris The Great Trans Africa Lodge Safari and Botswana Wildlife Breakaway visit Hwange National Park where guests have the opportunity to engage with the scouts of an Anti-Poaching Unit (APU). This informal gathering takes place in the evening around the campfire after guests have returned from their game drives and the scouts have returned from their patrols. The scouts will share what motivates them as well as mentioning any successes of the day. Guests are invited to ask questions and find out more about the finer details of conservation, or simply just to connect with local members of the community who spend their days patrolling the bush protecting wildlife.
If any of these safaris sound like something you would like to take part in, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and chat to one of our consultants about how you can have a conservation focused safari. We will be happy to tailor the most suitable option to you.
Your booking makes a difference: With every booking to the value of R10,000 / US$1,000 / EUR1,000 or more a donation of R50 / US$5 / EUR5 will go to the Grow Africa Foundation. Click here to see the projects your booking is supporting.