Last month, Murray and Sean travelled to Rwanda and Kenya on an African safari. They were joined by a group of travel advisors from the US who’d never visited eastern Africa before. Their itinerary included top travel highlights, great game viewing, learning about current conservation projects, and just enjoying the beauty of East Africa.
But they also chose to make a difference in the communities and wild areas they travelled to. Here is a list of 3 simple ways that you, too, can make a difference on your own African safari.
Book Activities that Support Local Communities & Wildlife
Rwanda is one of the last places on earth where you can see mountain gorillas in the wild! The Volcanoes National Park is currently protecting 12 families of mountain gorillas. Additionally, the Dian Fossy Foundation is safeguarding 4 additional gorilla families who are visited if the first 12 families are fully booked.
Your visit isn’t only supporting the conservation of endangered primates, it’s also creating much-needed employment for the guides, porters, trackers, and anti-poaching teams of local Rwandans. Ten percent of the fee that each tourist pays goes back into the local communities. And we highly recommend paying an extra USD 10 for a porter … those backpacks and camera bags can get heavy on the sometimes-slippery climb up to the gorillas!
Support A Local School with Pack for a Purpose
We donated some school supplies to Kampanga School, Rwanda, with Pack for a Purpose.
During his visit to Rwanda, Murray visited Kampanga Secondary School in the small village of Kinigi. It’s located close to the Volcanoes National Park and is an easy stop for visitors to Rwanda who choose to visit. Murray and our group of travel advisors brought supplies along for the children – even this small way of giving back is important and welcomed by the local communities.
The school itself provides education to about 2300 learners in junior and high school, with about 43 kids per classroom. This makes social distancing difficult at school – but there are currently plans to build more rooms. Facilities like soccer fields and play areas are limited. The Rwandan economy is struggling, and they rely heavily on tourism. Any small donation or contribution makes a considerable difference in the lives of these children!
Choose the Right Accommodation on Your African Safari
The Giltedge group visits the canine unit at Segera Retreat which employs locals and keeps surrounding conservancies safe.
During Sean’s trip to Kenya, he stayed at Segera Retreat and Cottar’s 1920 both of which are committed to sustainability. Both reserves follow the four “C’s” of conservation, community, culture, and commerce; and contribute time and money to the conservation of the camp’s game reserve.
Segera Retreat helps neighbouring villagers by creating income-earning projects like beekeeping and conservation agriculture. They founded their own anti-poaching team who use trained dogs to patrol the Laikipia National Park. Cottars 1920, on the other hand, are focused on their community: 40% of their employees are from the surrounding Maasai community.
If you want to include a visit to a local community or bring a gift for a school but are unsure where and how your help will be best received, just chat to your Giltedge Africa Travel Expert. We will guide you in choosing the right hotel, lodge or retreat that is truly creating positive change on your African safari.