It is ironic that in spite of climate playing hugely in our favor this year, Covid 19 has unleashed its massive power over Africa’s world of safaris and conservation.
In 2019 we experienced a devastating drought that had a huge impact on the countries of southern Africa. Bush fires were flaring in the Okavango Swamps. The world panicked over images of the Victoria Falls drying up. The animals of Etosha Pan in Namibia were under threat of dying from dehydration.
Finally, late in 2019, the rains came. The Eastern Cape in South Africa is now green again. The Victoria Falls is at its highest level in 20 years. The water from the mountains of Angola is flowing steadily into the swamps. Desert areas in Namibia are abundant with wildflowers. It’s going to be an incredible year from a scenic point of view.
Sadly, due to Covid 19, there is nobody to experience it all. This lack of tourism is going to have massive implications for the local communities. They depend on tourism-related jobs for their livelihood. When people have no access to food, they are forced to poach. Our wildlife in Africa is under huge threat. What many people don’t realize is that game lodges play an enormous role in uplifting local communities and protecting wildlife. The lodges not only have staff salaries to pay but need income for their community support and conservation programs. Through tourism, the lodges empower their communities and educate them in conservation and the rehabilitation of wildlife areas.
Due to these conservation programs, poaching has recently declined in many reserves. We have world class lodges and service offerings but they are very expensive to maintain. We cannot afford to let this slide. It is imperative that we continue to support the amazing work done by the safari industry. We need to do this so that our children’s children will continue to be able to experience wildlife in its natural habitat.
Your African safari vacation is so much more than that. It is a contribution to the conservation of wildlife and to the people of Africa. It is deeply appreciated. We hope that when Covid 19 is over, we will be able to welcome you back and by doing so, be able to make further strides into protecting our wildlife areas for generations to come.