Wednesday 25 November 2020 benchmarked a notable day for tourism operators, travellers and communities impacted by the safari industry.
More than 30 million tourists visit Africa every year for both business or tourist activities. This is, however, only approximately 10 percent of the people who travel across the world annually.
Tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation. In light of the pandemic, tourism has arguably taken the biggest hit in the world ‘shutdown’. Yet, safari operators’ impressive responses to the CV-19 pandemic and continued involvement with conservation and community projects proves the industry’s commitment to protecting its natural environment, as well as guest and staff wellbeing.
The concept of #WorldSafariDay was inspired by safari operators’ dedication to preserving their homelands’ natural resources and the interconnected factors that make a safari a truly authentic and memorable experience - Africa’s wildlife, its people, culture and experiences. This year, #WorldSafariDay celebrates the rejuvenation of an industry that has such a positive impact on Africa’s wildlife and people.
For example, in 2006, Beks Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean professional guide and business owner, started ABC and its Foundation with the vision to immerse guests in the authentic African safari experience. His mission included the creation of meaningful interactions with the local communities surrounding ABC’s camps in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia.
Fast-forward 14 years and the Foundation’s work is seen in more than 40 projects in six different communities. Supporting conservation, education, self-empowerment and income-generating community projects, the Foundation’s team, as well as ABC’s staff, remain present in these communities. Their work positively effects as many as 13 000 households and 55 000 people. By donating 2.5% of its revenue, ABC is able to support the Foundation, ensuring any kind donations go directly to the projects that need them most. Regardless of 2020’s limited tourism , ABC and its Foundation prioritised projects that could not afford to remain at a standstill.
One of these projects includes launching a ranger protein supplement and recruitment initiative to address poaching in the remote north-eastern region of the Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. Funded primarily by ABC, the project entails equipping an anti-poaching picket base with enough boots on the ground to make an impact. The funding will add a further eight rangers to the anti-poaching unit, along with equipment and rations for at least one year. ABC hopes to inspire neighbouring operators and associations to seek ways to help to combat illegal hunting when reviewing the project’s success.
“World Safari Day supports responsible safari travel and encourages enthusiastic explorers to choose to travel to Africa,” says Beks Ndlovu. “It’s another reason for us to remind ourselves and our fellow safari operators to continue doing what we do best, give back to communities, and add value to conservation initiatives and the causes that help to make a positive difference in the lives of those impacted by the industry.”
How you can partake in World Safari Day:
- Visit worldsafariday.com and read up on the latest news relating to industry leaders who inspire, safari culture, wildlife and experiences
- Make a direct contribution in one of the ABC Foundation’s projects: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/68391/african-bush-camps-foundation/
- Donate by bidding on the ultimate safari: https://africanbushcamps.com/auctions/?ult_auc_id=21381
- Tips on doing your ‘bit’ on safari: https://www.go2africa.com/african-travel-blog/easy-ways-give-back-african-vacation
- Book our World Safari Day Package: https://africanbushcamps.com/safaris/the-very-best-of-zimbabwe/