Save the Rhino
I went to a talk from the Save the Rhino Trust at the Royal Geographic Society yesterday evening. It was positive news for this endangered animal in Namibia and the most encouraging thing was that the local communities have totally bought in to living with wildlife generally and elephant, lion and rhino particularly. They benefit from the tourists who visit their areas, jobs are created and local produce and craft items bought, helping to stimulate local economies without compromising their cultures.
This got me thinking about how government attitudes can influence the tourist experience and how communities benefit. Namibia has adopted an enlightened approach from the start (the first Government to include its flora and fauna protection in its Constitution) and promoted local accountability for protection, development and renewal for local wildlife. This has taken the form of Conservancy areas being set up for the benefit of the people and wildlife in the area. They started with 4 Conservancies 16 years ago and there is now 62 and more being applied for.
These organisations often build and run their own lodges and campsites or collaborate with others. This ensures that tourist money feeds directly back to the community.
For further info on how your holiday to Namibia supports local communities, contact me at Experience Holidays or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org