Ecotourism. We are a responsible ecotourism and conservation company.
The reason we exist is to protect pristine wilderness areas and the flora and fauna - or biodiversity - that they support. We believe that in protecting these areas, and including the local communities in this process, we will make a difference to Africa and ultimately the world. In short, we believe that the world's wilderness areas will save humankind.
Through our safari operations and private access to nearly three million hectares of southern Africa's finest wildlife areas, we offer our guests a unique and life-changing experience. The Wilderness Wildlife Trust supports a wide variety of projects in southern Africa, within the categories of wildlife management, research and education. These projects address the needs of existing wildlife populations, seek solutions to save endangered species and provide education and training for local people and their communities.
The goal of the Trust is to make a difference to Africa, her wildlife and her people. Since its formation, more than 20 years ago, the Wilderness Trust has supported a wide variety of wildlife management, research and education projects in southern Africa, making use of a number of methods and types of projects to do so.
One kind of project studies and monitors a particular species in its natural environment and in so doing also contributes to its protection. The long-running Human-Elephant Conflict in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and the Wild Dog Research Project in Zimbabwe are cases in point. Ecosystem and vegetation research is one variation on this theme, with hands-on management and aerial censuses another.
Study of a species sounds like a purely academic pursuit, but within such investigation lie the seeds for its protection and survival. The better we understand a species and its environment, the more efficiently we'll be able to protect it in a world where the struggle for space becomes paramount and human-animal interactions become increasingly conflicted. Most of the Trust's projects have this as an ultimate objective and some amazing headway has been made, for example in the Lake Ngami Bird Monitoring Project, which brought the Lake and this Important Bird Area (IBA) to the attention of the Botswana government, resulting in its being declared a "no-hunting area."
The Trust is involved financially in a number of such projects, supporting research, habitat management, and practical conservation measures such as anti-poaching projects, while Wilderness Safaris contributes logistically in terms of human resources and equipment.
But conservation of flora and fauna is limited as long as the people who live in the vicinity are unconvinced or left out of the process. Financial and educational empowerment of local communities so that they benefit from the wildlife on their doorsteps is therefore vital, and as such, broad-based and comprehensive initiatives are in fact the bedrock of the Trust, providing skills, knowledge and education necessary to communities to value and manage their wildlife populations.
Rounding off this educational goal, the Trust supports students, schools via grants and bursaries, along with the support of Wilderness Safaris as an acknowledged leader in innovative formal and informal education projects. It also assists in funding the Children in the Wilderness programme, thus supporting its aim of educating the youth of Africa, inspiring and assisting them in preserving their magnificent natural heritage.