If you’d asked us just a few weeks ago whether travel could feel any more essential to us, we would’ve been sure to say no. But with the world at a standstill, and OutThere launching The #Experientialist to keep our readers inspired through virtual escapes, our appetite for the world’s most raved about destinations has everything but decreased. Wanting to go further afield than ever before, we’ve been eyeing getaways with the declared goal of conserving the unique natural habitats they’re in: one, in particular, has stood out.
Wilderness Safaris hold a solid reputation amongst the world’s most discerning travellers, and understanding why is as easy as spotting a herd of giraffes in a steppe. Having operated for over 35 years, and featuring an enviable portfolio of 40+ luxury camps across seven African nations, they’re perfectly placed to drive eco-tourism in the area. And their designated Sustainability Fund has just made an exciting announcement.
In a move that sees Wilderness Safaris strengthen their close relationship with the Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit (SAPU) of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, funds have been allocated to ensure continued anti-poaching efforts for the next eight months. It’s fabulous news, but more importantly still, we’d like to think it signals a shift within luxury hospitality in remote locations as a whole. Arnold Tshipa, Wilderness Safaris’ Zambezi Environmental Officer, explains:
‘As the largest national park in Zimbabwe, Hwange is a significant tourism asset to the country and we will do what we can to help preserve it, ensuring that we always have eyes on the ground to curb poaching in the area’.
Just last year, rangers have been able to cover more than 2,203 square km of ground through 273 foot patrols, and a whopping 5,448 square km with the help of another 191 motorised teams. Seeing future funds will continue to trickle down from sustainable tourism driven by a desire to see Africa’s unique wildlife in its natural habitat, strengthened ties between conservation and luxury travel might just be our favourite development to come out of the current lockdowns. In any case, the Africa enthusiasts we are, we can certainly see ourselves hopping on a champagne-laced safari – and if it helps preservation, all the better!
Photography by Sarah Kerr, courtesy of Wilderness Safaris
OutThere believes in boundless travel, but in Zimbabwe, life for LGBT+ citizens can be difficult, with discriminative laws in place. OutThere travellers are unlikely to experience any negativity while staying at international hotels, but public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum, particularly off property. When visiting any country, you should be fully aware of the implications of its laws and be sensitive to and respect local customs and regulations, so as to ensure an enjoyable, safe holiday.