If you’re drawn to natural landscapes, love travelling with a purpose and are passionate about protecting wildlife, you’re likely to enjoy a conservation safari. This gives you the opportunity to travel to Africa and visit stunning locations whilst helping to preserve the environment and support local communities.
Environmental protection has become increasingly important as threats such as poachers, global warming and deforestation loom overhead. Many people now want to help preserve the environment and its inhabitants so that future generations can enjoy it for decades to come.
There is a plethora of conservation safari initiatives out there allowing you to get involved and help out. The best ones to go for are those which are low volume, with small groups and lodges in order to reduce impacts on the environment.
It is important to select an environmentally-responsible provider in order to reduce impacts on the local ecosystem. Ensure that your provider is committed to things like using solar power, reducing plastic usage, sustainable food, funding charities and using wastewater recycling. Keep in mind that opting for a hike is more eco-friendly than driving or going in a helicopter.
Here are the benefits of going on a conservation safari:
See Africa from a fresh perspective
Whether you’ve been to Africa before or it’s your first time, this mode of travel offers you a truly unique and memorable experience that you can’t get anywhere else. A conservation safari allows you to view the gorgeous landscapes and enjoy African culture whilst doing so with a purpose. Whether you’re hiking to track endangered rhinos or absorbing local culture whilst teaching school children, this is a fulfilling way to experience Africa.
Improve your health
Going on a conservation safari is also great for your health and wellbeing. The great outdoors provides a host of health benefits, from improving your vitamin D levels to reducing stress. It can also give you a sense of perspective and help you to feel more grounded, connected, alive and present as opposed to busy and scattered. The natural environment also tends to be more beneficially stimulating than the city – between the smell of the earth and the sound of birdsong, all your senses are engaged. This can help to calm you and improve your overall wellbeing.
Support local communities
Conservation safari gives you the opportunity to support small businesses and local communities as opposed to large global corporations. You have so many options, too, from helping to train the next generation of chefs to nurturing gardens that will feed entire towns. Wildlife lovers have the option to help rangers and vets take care of local animals and track endangered species. All your money should go towards supporting the community and any local charities, which means you can feel good about your spending!
Reduce poaching rates
As it turns out, high-quality tourism is actually exceptionally important for preserving the African wilderness and its animal inhabitants. This is because tourism brings in money to fund wildlife reserves, local businesses and anti-poaching patrols. The economic downturn in Zimbabwe in 2003 saw tourists stop coming in and poaching increase significantly due to the need for money and meat, suggesting that the preservation of wildlife becomes less of a priority when people are hungry. Once tourists started to return and the economic situation improved, poaching rates lessened. Additionally, the presence of tourists and tour guides can help deter poachers.
Experience Africa anew by going on a conservation safari; enjoy the beauty of the nation whilst supporting local communities and wildlife and learning new skills.