The saying goes that when you support a small business, an actual person does a happy dance. In our case an actual person, a wild place, countless wildlife and a whole lot more people do a happy dance too. One of the hallmarks of a great safari destination is its care of People, Land and Wildlife. For us, hitting these three markers is a critical non-negotiable for where we choose to take our guests. We will only ever encourage you to visit camps that DO GOOD.

Here are a few camps below that inspire us with how they show up for the Economy of Wildlife.

LONDOLOZI & THE GOOD WORK FOUNDATION (GWF)

Your safari helps to reimagine education in rural South Africa. Londolozi is a Patron and founding donor of the Good Work Foundation (GWF) which established the first prototype digital learning centre in the Londolozi Village.

From these humble beginnings, GWF has grown and developed as a futuristic EDU model which operates in support of the formal schooling system and is able to deliver access to world class education to the remote villages of rural South Africa. In 2012 the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus (HDLC) prototype was established, located about 100 kilometres from Londolozi and close to the border of the Greater Kruger National Park.

This campus is an ecosystem of learning, which was not only designed to supplement the existing schooling system but was also intended to prepare learners technically and emotionally for the arriving digital cloud economy, the fourth industrial revolution and facilitate access to gainful employment with the education and training received. The success of the GWF is shown by the amazing results being achieved at both its central innovation campus in Hazyview and the six satellite digital campuses, which have been systematically established in the villages adjacent to the Sabi Sands.

By 2022 this network of campuses will have the potential to provide digital education facilities for over 26,000 students from the area. This programme has become a beacon of cooperation and co-creation, as many of the lodges in the Sabi Sands have stepped forward and joined Londolozi by committing long-term sustainable funding to GWF to continue the ongoing operations of these satellite campuses. This collective investment by our colleagues in the industry will serve to unlock untapped human potential currently residing in these rural villages.

As of the end of 2020, the GWF was responsible for the education and learning improvement of 7 473 children between the ages of 10 and 18 and the skills-based training of 385 adults. These learning centres are situated in rural areas often far removed from the access to governmental infrastructure. Furthermore, at the last census, 81% of adult learners were woman and 50% of the children were girls. This has been achieved at a cost of about US$1.50 per child per day of digital learning.

Londolozi has – to date – donated in excess of R6 million to GWF, on average R1.5 million per year since 2015 and provided many other “in kind” forms of support. They raise on average R150 000 per year from guests who generously support the foundation with added donations. We are, as a result, directly responsible for the provision of digital learning and skills-based training of 427 children and 26 adults a year.

WILDERNESS SAFARIS & LITTLE KULALA, NAMIBIA

Wilderness Safaris began back in 1983 and from its humble beginnings has become a big safari player, with a focus in Botswana. They have numerous conservation projects to commend but we’ve chosen the story of Little Kulala as one to highlight here.

When Wilderness Safaris began operating at Little Kulala in Sossuvlei (Namibia), the area was being used for subsistance farming and an ambitious programme was undertaken to remove internal fences and livestock. As the ecosystem regained its health, wildlife began to come back of its own accord. Then, the fence that divided the Kulala Wilderness Reserve (KWR) and the Namib Rand Nature Reserve was dropped, and while those between KWR and the adjacent Namib-Naukluft National Park remain, they are not an impediment to the movement of wildlife. The area has been given the chance to return to its former glory.

As this camp is situated in a highly water-distressed area, every effort to conserve water has been made by using water-efficient devices in the camp for both guests and staff. Energy-efficient lights and appliances and inverter air-conditioning units are used so as to consume less power than conventional lights and units. In order to reduce our use of bottled water, reverse osmosis filtration is done on site to provide guests with high-quality drinking water. Like all Wilderness camps, Little Kulala is managed and monitored against very strict in-house environmental standards, so only approved eco-friendly detergents and chemicals are used.

Along with this, Wilderness Safaris has partnered with Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit organisation that provides travellers with up-to-date information about required supplies for community-based projects. Guests who would like to bring along a contribution can view the needs list for Little Kulala’s community projects on the Pack for a Purpose website.

AND BEYOND & THE AFRICA FOUNDATION

Without conservation, no wildlife; without wildlife, no community upliftment; without community support, no conservation.

The Africa Foundation aims to facilitate the empowerment and development of people living within or close to Africa’s protected wildlife areas by forging unique partnerships between conservation initiatives and local communities. In this way, these conservation initiatives become both meaningful and relevant to these communities.

Africa Foundation’s methodology is based on a collaborative and consultative approach of working WITH community leadership. The foundation listens to the communities’ own identified needs, providing guidance where necessary. They continue to work directly with the community until the completion of the project, ensuring donor money and time is well invested. The projects that Africa Foundation supports are based on two important principles – they are grounded in community participation and are driven by local leadership.

In 29 years of work the Foundation has created 233 jobs, financed 915 Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF) bursaries, led 23 000 conservation lessons, given 56 000 community members access to water, directly supported 114 community schools and provided 4765 hippo rollers to transport water. There are eight major ongoing programmes active at the moment, which you can check out here.

What we love more than anything though are the personal stories. Mtumwa Hassan Ali, is one woman with a story who made the brave move to leave her rural community in Zanzibar in 2004 to following her dreams to become a nurse. During this time she was supported by the Africa Foundation’s CLEF bursary and last year after many years of hard work and study she took up permanent position as an ICU nurse at the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, Zanzibar. Read her full story here.

Mtumwa is simply unstoppable. Her intended next step (subsidised by a Chinese sponsorship) will take her to Beijing for an 18-month Masters in Emergency Nursing. She will be using 2021 to study the basics of Mandarin reading, writing and speaking to prepare herself for this goal. This remarkable woman’s story pays testimony to the support she has received over the years from her husband and aunt; to the opportunities enabled by the CLEF programme, and to her firm conviction that with passion and dedication, a woman can do anything. In the years since Mtumwa started her degree, there has been a steady increase in the number of female bursary recipients, predominantly in the field of education.

Safaris can be a force for good. At Wild Again we make sure that the experience is not only transformative and impactful for you but also positively impacts the land, wildlife and locals too. We aim to make you custodians of Africa because, really, she is all of ours.

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