Community Upliftment + Conservation
Written by Julie Graham
Transformative travel is becoming a growing trend as the world becomes increasingly more aware of its impact on communities and the environment – an impact that can have hugely positive effects, if done right. This trend is particularly prevalent in Africa where travelers feel a responsibility to ensure that their contributions are going towards making the world a better place – whether this be in uplifting local communities, or aiding towards environmental conservation, both of which provide the fundamental make-up of this extraordinary continent. Africa has a whole host of eco-conscious initiatives and we are seeing more and more lodges and hotel groups making great strides in their efforts to provide, preserve and protect.
Here are some ways in which you can make your next visit to some of Africa’s most sought after destinations one that can contribute to making the world a better place:
Wild and untamed, Tanzania is home to some of the world’s most astounding wildlife and pristine beaches and is a dream destination for travelers to Africa. A proud member of the Sanctuary Retreats portfolio Sanctuary Swala – located in the spectacular Tarangire National Park – is committed to conservation and responsible tourism.
One such example is the lodge’s beekeeping project which not only serves to preserve the natural environment, but also provides a reliable and valuable source of income to the local community. Sanctuary Swala has provided the local villagers of Mwika (located on the border of the national park) with the knowledge, skillset and materials to preserve these important pollinators of the world’s food crops with hives, and all honey harvested and sold goes back into the project and the community. While visiting the lodge, guests will have the opportunity to visit the village, meet the beekeepers, and understand more about this important initiative.
Namibia is a firm favourite safari destination, characterised by vast desert landscapes, pristine coastlines and exceptional game viewing. Natural Selections – a collection of outstanding safari camps and mobile safaris across Africa – have a strong presence in Namibia and are united by the common aim of providing exceptional experiences, coupled with the opportunity to make a difference.
One such initiative in Namibia is focused on the desert dwelling giraffes located in the northwest of the country. Despite these magnificent creatures being seemingly plentiful across Africa, they are all under threat. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) aims to raise awareness of the circumstances that are leading towards the plight of these stately animals. The GCF has also established a children’s programme in Namibia which aims to inspire the children through the national school curriculum to become responsible environmentalists that can carry the legacy of conservation into the future. Your stay at any Natural Selection lodge or camp contributes towards these programmes.
A tropical paradise located on the east coast of Southern Africa, Mozambique is an idyllic beach destination for travelers. Azura Retreats offers guests an opportunity to make an enormous impact on the environment, as well as giving back to the community. They have a range of beautiful resorts scattered around Mozambique that have not only been built by the local community itself by hand, but also by using sustainable materials found on the island. Solar panels, eco-friendly products and sustainable measures taken have not compromised on their promise of luxury and the resorts have managed to find a way to marry both.
Azura Retreats are also proud members of the Pack for a Purpose initiative which allows travellers to bring supplies for schools or clinics in need, making a very real, lasting impact on the local communities – particularly to children and families.
Stay at Azura Benguerra on our 16 Day African Photo Safari.
South Africa is the proud home of a truly iconic game reserve – the Kruger National Park, a wildlife treasure covering close to 2 million hectares with a healthy rhino population, despite widespread poaching. A lot of the success of this comes from initiatives to combat the illegal slaughter of these magnificent animals.
Initiatives like the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) of which Royal Malewane is a proud founding member. The team at Royal Malewane are extremely passionate about wildlife conservation and go to great lengths to ensure that these animals are protected. A stay at this extraordinary luxury lodge affords guests the opportunity to support this cause (and many others under The Royal Portfolio Foundation) as well as learn from the most qualified guiding team in Africa about the complex ecosystems of the bushveld.
Most renowned for being the home to renowned attractions such as the mighty Victoria Falls and wild Zambezi river, Zambia is a land full of adventure and beauty. Royal Chundu offers travelers an authentic Zambian experience that serves to uplift the community in a massive way. In fact, 99% of the entire team at Royal Chundu are local, coming from the neighbouring villages. It is one of the few community-run lodges in Africa and hospitality training is available for anyone in the community wanting to be involved.
Royal Chundu also sources all its food locally from local fishermen and village vegetable and fruit gardens, who are also supported through a Seed Project whereby seeds are donated to anyone wanting to grow crops for the lodge. With most supplies being sourced locally (including building materials, linen, artwork) the impact has an immediate effect on the communities and their families and all guests who stay at Royal Chundu contribute to a ripple effect of change that spreads far and wide.
Stay at Royal Chundu Zambezi Island Lodge on our 10 day Zambezi Island and Botswana Safari.
Thinking of planning a trip to Africa and leaving your positive footprint behind? Get in touch with one of our LuxVenture® experts at Ker & Downey® Africa to ensure the very best in luxury, adventure, and travel that can transform lives.