Eco-Tourism as seen by Wilderness Safaris
www.African Safaris and Traveland our colleagues whom we
represent, offer you an Africa of vast, wild spaces and
unparalleled luxury, embraced by a commitment to care - of
land, wildlife and people - for which, to name just one
company, Wilderness Safaris, has received worldwide acclaim.
The exclusive camps and lodges we have chosen to list on this "Safari Directory", are synonymous with the most breathtaking locations, personalized service, interpretive wildlife experiences and fine cuisine.
Wilderness Safaris delights in sharing the wild places of Southern Africa with their guests in a responsible manner. These magnificent remote areas provide a means, for both their guests and themselves, of reconnecting with our natural spirit 'something often neglected and forgotten in the modern, fast-paced world in which we live.
Their aim is to share what they have learnt over the years, on a journey that constantly changes their own lives, and which we hope will touch and change yours. At the same time, Wilderness Safaris believes that the future of conservation in Africa depends on the attitude of the communities living next to these wild areas.
For too long the needs of these communities were neglected by people involved in conservation work. The twin benefits to the community of tourism ventures and employment create a true appreciation for the value of the land and its wildlife.
Finally, they aim to create safaris that are educational, explorative, fun and insightful of our guests* needs. We look forward to you joining us on our journey.
Wilderness Safaris' Credo:-
At Wilderness Safaris we believe that in the world's wilderness areas lies the preservation of humankind. We want to make a difference in people's lives by enabling them to find new paths, and by leaving a legacy of conservation for our children. Since 1983, Wilderness Safaris has specialized in privately hosted safaris and memorable wildlife experiences in the most remote and pristine areas in southern Africa. Our goal is to share these wild areas with guests from all over the world while at the same time making use of the benefits of tourism by contributing to the local communities, helping to ensure the future protection of Africa's spectacular wildlife heritage.
Why Choose Wilderness Safaris :-
There are many safari companies in Africa and a vast array of areas to choose from so why choose Wilderness? You will notice that our brochure focuses on the incredible wild places in which we are privileged to operate and less on our lodges. These magnificent areas, far off the beaten tourist tracks of Africa, represent for our guests and for ourselves a way of reconnecting with our primeval nature and spirit that often gets trapped in our busy everyday lives. The locations and the feeling of being in true, prime and remote wilderness areas means everything to us. The way we host our guests enhances the physical beauty and spirit of these pristine areas. Passionate and dedicated people run our camps. Our aim is to share with you all we have learnt: - on game drives, on foot, by canoe or mokoro.
The key to a successful African safari is to ensure that the company you choose is truly capable of providing what you are looking for in terms of the reserves in which the lodges and camps are situated, the wildlife viewing opportunities, the design and style of the camps and most importantly the knowledge and quality of the guides and staff.
The reserves we profile are large, exclusive and offer unbeatable experiences. We have displayed these areas in our brochure knowing that each camp and lodge has a superb location. Here are some good reasons why we feel you should consider choosing Wilderness Safaris to host you in southern Africa:
* We have 21 years of experience in running southern African safaris.
* Dedicated conservationists and guides own and run Wilderness Safaris and in doing so, they do what they enjoy most.
* We have the best locations and are privileged to traverse over vast acres of prime, mostly completely private African wilderness.
* Even though some of our camps are located within countries where malaria can occur, we have a superb malarial safety record. Our camps are sprayed regularly and are far removed from populated areas where malaria may occur. Many camps have the new "Mossie Magnet" machine that further helps to minimize the mosquito numbers.
* Through The Wilderness Trust, we support strategic conservation causes across southern Africa
* We contribute directly to the upliftment of the communities who live closest to the parks and reserves in which we operate. This ensures that these communities become conservationists in their own right and do not have to turn to poaching to survive. We turn the potential poachers into ardent conservationists
* By working with communities, we have converted close to half a million acres of land into prime wildlife reserves and conservancies That now have formal conservation protection.
* Wilderness Safaris is recognized worldwide for our efforts in conservatIon. We don't practice conservation in name only. In January 2003 Wilderness Safaris was awarded the "Oscar" of the eco-tourism industry - The World Legacy Award for nature based tourism presented by Conservation International & National Geographic. In October 2003 Wilderness Safaris received the prestigious ASTA Environmental Award
* Our camps are small and intimate - most have less than 10 rooms.
* We have a no hunting policy in all our reserves, so animals are relaxed, enabling us to offer the best possible game viewing.
* Repeat guests form a huge portion of our business and many of our guests have been on safari with us more than 10 times.
* We ensure that the camps have their own individual flair. Although the design of each camp varies, each lodge or camp has a warm homely atmosphere. We are not offering a sterile hotel chain in the bush.
* We Take our responsibility to the environment seriously and look for the same sentiment in our guests. Wildlife and Wilderness is our prime motivation and the main reason why our guests choose us. It's an opportunity to escape the pressures and excesses of city living * a life changing experience, a journey of self discovery and enrichment.
* Wilderness guides take a more holistic view of the environments we operate in and give our guests a broader and more rounded experience than other more traditional areas of Africa where the emphasis is sometimes solely on the "Big 5" and spas in the bush.
* Our credo is what everyone working for Wilderness agrees on, prior to joining the company - and what we do as a company to guide us in our day-to-day decision making.
* We are a group of likeminded
companies and individuals who strive to provide the finest
possible safaris in Africa's truly wild places. Marketing
and operating under the Wilderness Safaris umbrella, these
companies, which operate independently in each country, are
driven by core values.
They are all holistic, conservation-orientated, non-consumptive, caring and ethically driven operations.
* We believe that low volume, low impact, non-consumptive tourism is the most successful way to create a sustainable engine for economic growth in a country, for its peoples, our staff and partners. Our activities must help stimulate these economies, so that all stakeholders help protect the environment and its wildlife.
* Everything we do as a travel and safari company must add value: from the countries in which we operate, the environment, the local communities, the people who work for us, our guests, our partners and Finally, the company.
* We put the environments in which we work above everything else. Our company's ethos means we can say no to guest's requests if that request compromises our principles (i.e. is harmful to the environment, their safety Or the safety of our employees).
* We recognize that one of our primary resources is our staff. They are, in every respect, the interface between our products, the environment, our guests and our clients.
* We believe that it is our responsibility to employ from, train and help uplift the communities in the areas where we are represented. We wish to promote the prosperity of these rich cultures, the wildlife that surrounds them and the unspoiled places they occupy. We aim to provide the framework to enable these communities to fully embrace their environmental and cultural heritages and become the custodians of the future.
* On our safaris and in our camps, we host, entertain and educate our guests, striving to give them holistic experiences that will produce new (or reaffirmed) conservationists and create guests for life. At he end of the safari, our guests should become the new ambassadors for Wilderness Safaris and for Africa taking Africa's messages of hope and conservation success around the globe.
* Hosting guests is our primary concern. We endeavor to create an ambience in the camps that makes our guests feel as though they are in their hosts' home. Our employees have to enjoy interacting with guests and understand that our future depends on how well we look after our guests and how much they enjoy their stay with us.
* Guides, their knowledge and the way they interact with our guests can make or break a safari and Wilderness firmly believes that we have gone the extra mile to train our guides to a level that is unrivalled in the industry. They also have a genuine love for their countries, what they do and the people they meet.
* We always live by the principle of 'under promising and over delivering' and always act in all our dealings with integrity! Our vision and goals
Around 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity can be found on only 5% of the earth's surface. The key to the continued species diversity on the planet is to be found in the sustainable protection of this 5% - the areas known as environmental "hotspots". These are areas of extremely high species diversity (or "endemism"), that are found nowhere else on earth. The core philosophy of Wilderness Safaris is to run a good business ensuring that southern Africa's most pristine wilderness and wildlife areas remain sustainably protected - while delivering a great experience for our guests and fair returns for shareholders and stakeholders. Wilderness Safaris tourism projects must help protect and nurture these wild places and our environmental "hotspots". Nearly every region where we have developed a low-density tourism operation, is in an area of high species diversity and/or is a key wilderness area. We are proud that our projects have helped to protect these reserves and have often increased the amount of land under conservation protection.
We achieve this protection by hosting guests in remote areas and by sharing the income streams with the governments, villagers and communities who live on the periphery of these great wild areas and reserves. When rural villagers are brought directly into the tourism mainstream through our unique partnership models, we are able to nurture the potential poachers and convert them into the best gamekeepers. The benefits of tourism through this model dividends, cash, jobs, training and community upliftment) while at the same time conserving the land are what is needed in Africa to ensure that rural communities have the necessary incentives to protect their wildlife and neighboring reserves. It's a true win-win model for everyone.
Our guests experience the ancient drama of Africa's great wildlife spectacle - a theatre to which people are drawn again and again. It begins in the intimate lodges and camps, located in many private game reserves and national parks across the continent, blending evocative architecture with innovative cuisine and personal service. We welcome each guest as a friend, and hope to offer the traveler with a rich experience which leaves them enlightened uplifted and even spiritually renewed.
From our lodges and camps, our guests embark on game drives and guided walks, probing the wilderness. Guests are guided by rangers, game scouts and trackers who are rigorously selected and trained, for it is their interpretation which unlocks the mysteries of the wild, introducing guests to a New philosophy based on harmony with the forces of nature.