The killing of Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion resurrected questions surrounding the legitimacy and sustainability of hunting in Africa, and the continent’s conservation challenges. The latest global demographic statistics released by the UN predict that by 2050, Africa’s population will have doubled, putting increasing pressure on natural resources and the continent’s remaining wild places. In contrast, wildlife populations are shrinking as a result of poaching, wildlife trafficking, and habitat loss due to human encroachment and the exploitation of natural resources. But it’s not all doom and gloom on the subcontinent.
‘Rhinos Without Borders’ is an ongoing joint venture between Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond to relocate 100 rhino from South Africa to Botswana, which is known for low density of rhino and the best anti-poaching record on the continent.
Wilderness Safaris, in partnership with the Botswana and South African governments, also has a brilliant rhino-translocation program, moving black and white rhino from South Africa to Botswana.
While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid is a cutting-edge organization that works to reduce consumer demand for the likes of rhino horn and ivory via high-profile media campaigns in Vietnam and China.
Government-managed national parks and game reserves are increasingly buffered by community owned conservancies and privately managed wildlife concessions which help to protect wildlife while providing a steady flow of income into local communities. By choosing high-end lodges and camps that are modelled on a successful low-impact, high-revenue tourism formula, you’ll know that your tourism dollars are going back into conservation projects and community programs with tangible benefits.
Click through for 12 great lodges and camps where your money is being well-spent.