Those who travel are redefining how they travel. A new generation of travellers are seeking out destinations offering them a closer connection to the simple life, and opting to stay in places that respect their environment. This change in mindset has infiltrated the types of holiday people are booking, with a shift towards earth-conscious people wanting to stay in places that are eco-friendly, tread carefully on the environment or tightly partnered with charities. When it comes to luxury holidays, environmentally aware holidaymakers want to ensure that they’re giving back in some small way.
Most safari lodges and camps in South Africa do help, but there are a few where you can become actively involved in the safari experience. These are not volunteer programs but rather safaris that make a difference, while still offering a signature safari experience. The following 3 camps/lodges within the Sun Destinations portfolio offer a safari with an impact.
Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape’s Great Karoo
Roam Private Game Reserve is located on 5000 hectares of malaria-free scrubveld in the Great Karoo, an ancient and endless semi-desert landscape covering 400,000 square kilometres in its entirety.
The focus at Roam is on eco-tourism and providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the remote wilderness of the Karoo. There are 3 accommodation options, each catering for a different type of guests. The Manor House is an exclusive use house ideal for families, the Explorer Camp is ideal for adventurers and the Roam Safari Lodge is perfect for couples.
Roam has an incredible conservation program that affords guests an opportunity to become involved and help with various conservation initiatives on the reserve. Guests can help tag and band birds for research purposes, help with veld monitoring, track cheetah, and learn about the day-to-day running of a reserve.
The idea at Roam is to offer a conscious safari experience; one where guests enjoy the activities synonymous with a typical safari experience, but also help to conserve their “holiday” environment.
Ugebezi Explorer Camp in the Blue Canyon Conservancy
Located in the heart of the uncrowded Blue Canyon Nature Conservancy on 10 000 ha of mixed savanna, acacia and mopane thickets; lies the intimate and rustic Ugebezi Explorer Camp. This discreet tented camp offers an immersive, hands-on safari experience where the focus is on conservation, walking safaris and getting to know the Kruger wilderness. There are only 4 tents, which means an intimate and personalised safari experience. A main bedouin tent houses a classic and tastefully decorated lounge area, complete with chocolate colour leather couches and wooden artefacts and games.
Ugebezi is actually an extension of Nkombe Rhino, an NPO set-up to support an APU. The organisation is owner by professional rugby player, Joe Pietersen, who subsequently launched the rustic explorer camp. Guests at Ugebezi are encouraged to get involved in all aspects of camp life while enjoying the core activities of a standard Kruger safari experience. Ugebezi is closely linked with Nkombe Rhino, and even offers monthly conservation projects as part of the safari experience.
Ugebezi Explorer Camp is for those wanting to actively become involved in a conservation project while combining it with a typical mobile safari camp experience.
Ugebezi is due to officially launch in Sep 2019, but the Nkombe Rhino conservation projects are currently underway.
Gorilla Safari Lodge and Crater Safari Lodge
Gorilla Safari Lodge and Crater Safari Lodge in Uganda offer guests an opportunity to enjoy tracking both gorillas and chimpanzee. The cost of the permit for tracking these primates comes with a hefty price tag, but there’s good reason for that. The proceeds from the permits get poured back into primate conservation and research. But that’s not all, when you’re
Wilson’s Village is a haven for abused women seeking shelter, buy their handwoven goods and is especially linked to Crater Safari Lodge.