Poaching, Conservation and Tourism
Our Africa specialist, Peter, explains the disastrous effects that poaching is having on the magnificent African wildlife. Take part in the battle for the conservation of the rhino, lion and elephant by embarking on a phenomenal safari experience.
I recently spent a month on safari in Tanzania and Kenya. Nineteen flights in eleven different aircraft took me to some of the most iconic safari areas in Africa: the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Selous, Laikipia, Samburu and the Maasai Mara among them. I was treated to mind-blowing scenery and incredible wildlife experiences, superb guiding and generous East African hospitality.
Watch an elephant herd move magnificently through a grove of doom palm and it's easy to forget that this is a continent in wildlife crisis. Throughout Africa poaching is out of control. The Selous Game Reserve, the largest ‘protected’ area on the continent has lost at least 75% of its 50,000 elephant to ivory poachers in the past ten years. You read correctly. At current levels elephant, rhino and lion will be brought close to extinction in the next decade. Well over 1,000 rhino have been poached in each of the past four years in South Africa alone.
However, there is hope! Remarkably, and against all predictions the global rhino population is still increasing. But only just. Everywhere I travelled brought me into contact with inspirational people who have and continue to dedicate their lives to the preservation of Africa’s natural heritage. Passionate people, working impossibly long hours, in tough and often dangerous conditions. For them failure is not an option. We as tour operators, and you as tourists have a vital part to play in the future of our planet’s most majestic wildlife.
Take Kenya's Laikipia. Home to one of the most well documented of Africa's conservation efforts, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. What has and continues to be achieved in this, and neighbouring conservancies in the name of conservation is remarkable. It's perhaps the most beautiful place I have ever visited: rugged mountains and rolling plains, a huge natural amphitheatre with the spectacular craggy peak of Mount Kenya watching over. There is something for everyone. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been, but anyone who has will tell you they think of little else than their next visit. Here the fight is on and the tide is turning. The security team use every tool available to them, from the sniffing power of bloodhounds to the eyes in the sky provided by Vulcan, the high-tech and philanthropy-focused company founded by Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen.
Throughout Africa there are remarkable stories of determination, conservation partnerships and dedicated individuals all committed to tackling the problem. How can you help? As Kenyan wildlife expert Jonathan Scott so accurately puts it in the Telegraph: “The bottom line is this: if we abandon tourism, we abandon conservation. When people ask me, 'How can we help?’ we say: 'By taking a safari.’ Wildlife-based tourism is not a choice but a necessity. It pays the bills that keep the game parks and their wildlife secure. Without the tourist dollars you might as well hand over all the remaining wildlife to the poachers.”
Our team at True Luxury Travel have run marathons and scaled mountains in the name of conservation - we aim to be walking, talking ambassadors for African wildlife. It's remarkable how few people are fully aware of the current crisis and the measures being taken to counter it. If you'd like to find out more about which areas of Africa need your help and how you can contribute to the fight against poaching, give us a call to talk to one of our Africa specialists.
Breakfast and other delights on the banks of the Ruaha River
Our Africa specialist, Anton, embarked on an exciting adventure in Ruaha, Tanzania. He describes his thrilling and unique experience on the banks of the Ruaha River during which he witnessed true life in the wild and the fights for survival that take place.
Pack Light in Africa - What to Pack for Safari
Knowing what to pack for your carefully planned safari can be a daunting experience. That is why our Africa specialist and safari guru, Peter, has created a list of things that you should and should not take the time to cram into your suitcase.
A Typical Day on Safari
It is not easy to put a safari in the Masai Mara into words. However, our Africa specialist, Georgie, has summed up her whirlwind experience in order for you to catch a glimpse of what your holiday could entail.
Modern technology has created a world in which we all feel as though we have to do everything at full speed. As our Africa specialist, Peter, recommends, it is highly worth taking a step back and giving yourself the time to enjoy your surroundings and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on a 'slow-safari'.
Bush Breakfast at Siwandu
Sarah Walker, one of our guests, describes her incredibly special experience at Siwandu. Filled with brilliant sightings and a surprise bush breakfast, Siwandu exceeded all expectations and created an extremely memorable trip.
Samburu and the Singing Wells
When thinking of Kenya, a safari is something that tends to immediately spring to mind. Our Africa specialist, Georgie, highlights that this is not all that this magnificent country has to offer. The cultural experiences and traditions that you will observe are truly fascinating.