The Conservation Travel Foundation was founded in 2006 by Tristan Cowley, later also a co-founder of Ultimate Safaris. From the onset, the objective of the Foundation was to partner with Conservation Travel to bring about tangible, positive impacts on ecosystem conservation and on the socio-economic development of rural communities in Namibia.
The early efforts of the Foundation raised a mere few hundred dollars a year. It now raises, and deploys, in excess of US$ 250,000 a year for conservation and rural development projects in Namibia.
Innovation and determination by many remarkable people and organisations have given Namibia one of Africa’s most amazing wildlife recovery stories. Desert-adapted black rhino, elephant, lion, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and giraffe have all emerged from populations on the brink of local extinction, to roam north western Namibia in healthy, if fragile, numbers. Throughout the country populations of wildlife of every description have increased dramatically – due in no small part to the establishment of Community Conservancies on Communal Land, the advent of legal ownership of wildlife on private land, and a facilitative Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Conservation minded travelers are already making a positive impact as they embark on their life enriching journey, just by visiting Namibia. However, the effects of this can reach even further, and much of the real impact comes from partnerships formed with like-minded individuals and entities with similar values.
Children in the Wilderness is a non-profit organization supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris, which aims to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of children in Africa
Children in the Wilderness increases children’s awareness, bridges cultural divides, broadens horizons, builds confidence, provides opportunities for new friendships, positive life choices, and reveals career opportunities
Desert Lion Conservation, or the “Desert Lion Project”, as it is often referred to, is a small non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of desert – adapted lions in the Northern Namib. Our main focus is to collect important base-line ecological data on the lion population and to study their behaviour, biology and adaptation to survive in the harsh environment. We then use this information to collaborate with other conservation bodies in the quest to find a solution to human-lion conflict, to elevate the tourism value of lions, and to contribute to the conservation of the species.
Addressing the conflict between people and wildlife requires striking a balance between conservation priorities and the needs of the people who share their land with wildlife. Managing human-lion conflict in the arid environment of the Kunene Region is complex. Sporadic and variable rainfall patterns, typical of arid environments, result in large overlapping home ranges amongst the lions that often clash with local farmers in search of suitable grazing for their livestock. However, lions are important to the growing tourism industry and there is an urgent need to manage the clashes between people and lions in the region. Understanding the population demography and behaviour ecology of the lion population is essential to this process.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Their successful, integrated approach includes close collaboration with local governments and communities as well as partners from around the world
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has more than 50 years of successful conservation work in saving gorillas based on a holistic model with four key parts: direct, daily protection of gorillas; scientific research on gorillas and their ecosystems; educating the next generation of scientists and conservationists in Africa; and helping local people with basic needs, so that communities can thrive and work together
African Parks is a non-profit conservation organization that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks currently manage 19 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 14.2 million hectares in: Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
The organization was founded in 2000 in response to the dramatic decline of protected areas due to poor management and lack of funding. African Parks utilizes a clear business approach to conserving Africa’s wildlife and remaining wild areas, securing vast landscapes and carrying out the necessary activities needed to protect the parks and their wildlife. African Parks maintains a strong focus on economic development and poverty alleviation of surrounding communities to ensure that each park is ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable in the long-term
The African Pangolin Working Group (APWG) was established on 27 June 2011, following an inaugural meeting by a diverse group of people who all have one passion in common – understanding and protecting pangolins in Africa
The APWG’s objectives are encompassed by its mission statement: “The African Pangolin Working Group will strive towards the conservation and protection of all four African pangolin species by generating knowledge, developing partnerships and creating public awareness and education initiatives”
The Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) works collaboratively with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, NGOs and the private sector to develop, implement and manage: anti-poaching operations, field equipment and supplies for rangers and support teams, anti-poaching ranger training, conservation security planning and implementation, information systems and networking, technology and systems for anti-poaching operations, community livelihood programs, habitat restoration initiatives, and education and awareness delivery
ZEF has, in collaboration with their partners, built an anti-poaching reaction ranger base, conducted multiple aerial surveys, supplied equipment and rations to rangers, run training programmes, held collaborative workshops, funded three deployment vehicles, a patrol boat and driver/coxswain, funded a dedicated light aircraft for Flying for Wildlife, set up a highly effective illegal wildlife crime unit with Zimbabwe Republic Police’s MFFU, and kickstarted a crucial community-based sustainable habitat programme around tree planting and innovative cookstoves
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants in the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy
Amboseli was chosen because the elephants were relatively undisturbed in the sense that they were not fenced in, were still moving freely in the ecosystem, and were not being heavily poached. The Amboseli Trust for Elephants aims to gather base-line data on the biology of a “natural” population and most importantly they want to study elephants by following individuals over time. More than 40 years later, some of the same individuals are still being followed since 1972 as well as all the Amboseli elephants that have been born since the start of the Trust. Much of what is collectively known today about wild African elephants is based on these studies
Working to protect the legendary ecosystems and astounding biodiversity of East Africa through conservation efforts that directly benefit wildlife, wilderness and the local Maasai communities
The world increasingly relies on many traditional communities like the Maasai to protect the ecological treasures that exist within the land that they own. But the incredible wilderness and wildlife of Africa’s grasslands and the famous culture of the Maasai people both face daunting threats to their long-term survival. The fate of both rests with the Maasai themselves as they work to figure out how to benefit from their incredible natural resources while protecting and preserving them at the same time
The Trust funds and operates a range of programs aimed at protecting wilderness and wildlife. Our success comes from promoting sustainable economic benefits to the local Maasai community, thereby encouraging their active participation as stewards of our critical ecosystem. Lease payments for conservancies, carbon credits, wildlife monitoring and security, conservation and ecotourism employment…these are just some of the ways MWCT is creating a cutting edge model of successful community-based conservation
Project Ranger fills a critical gap in wildlife monitoring, surveying, and anti-poaching operations of existing NGO’s in Africa through an emergency fund supporting those on the front-lines of conservation. Contributions from private individuals, foundations, and corporate partners will supplement budget deficits with local ground partners by funding salaries, training, and operations of wildlife monitors, rangers and anti-poaching personnel.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s ripple effects are broad; leaving virtually no industry, economy, or continent immune. As travel and tourism has been brought to a standstill, many wilderness areas are left vacant and workers left with uncertainty of personal income. This “perfect storm” of conditions is leaving many endangered animals highly vulnerable to wildlife crime.
Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with an innovative methodology that focuses on the interdependence of wildlife and human health in and around Africa’s protected areas. CTPH has three integrated strategic programs: Wildlife Conservation, Community Health and Alternative Livelihoods. Poverty alleviation and improving rural public health will contribute to greater biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in and around Africa’s protected areas.
Conservation is rooted in earning the support of the local communities who share a backyard with some of the most biodiverse wildlife in the world. Many of the most isolated and impoverished families live around protected areas in Africa—their lifestyles imposing an imminent threat to the survival of wildlife and habitats and eventually, themselves. Land encroachment, competition for food, and the spread of zoonotic disease between people, wildlife and livestock are all grim everyday realities.
CTPH has three main strategic programs: Gorilla Conservation, One Health and Alternative Livelihoods. Poverty alleviation and improving rural public health will contribute to greater biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in and around Africa’s protected areas.
The Mother Africa Trust was born out of the belief that, through effective volunteer eco-tourism and legitimate community collaborations a better future can be built for the rural communities in Zimbabwe. The Mother Africa Trust has facilitated the socio-economic development and empowerment of rural communities in Matopos and Hwange District.
Ever since we began in 2006, Mother Africa has worked tirelessly to make a positive and lasting difference in Zimbabwe. Mother Africa Trust’s top mission is to establish effective and sustainable projects that will improve the living conditions and the economic status of disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe.
In recent years Mother Africa Trust has made significant positive steps towards offering children an equal opportunity to learn. Particular emphasis is given to orphans and vulnerable children as these make up a higher percentage of school dropouts if ever there were luck to see the doors of a classroom. Our Academic Scholarship programme offers full funding to deserving students from identified rural communities. The programme aims to support children who have not had the same educational benefits or opportunities in life as others.
MOTHER AFRICA TRUST PROJECTS
Drought Relief – Food Programme
At the heart of biting economic problems is a severe drought that has left many people in Zimbabwe facing extreme poverty and food insecurities. The rural populace is among those seriously affected, with many people going all day and night without eating. Everyday children turn up for school on an empty stomach, which makes it hard to focus on lessons. There is urgent need to scale – up assistance to drought affected people, and The Mother Africa Trust’s goal is to provide the much-needed relief to school children and vulnerable families that include grandma and child-headed families.
Lion Proof Bomas
Human – wildlife conflict has become one of the main threats to the continued survival of lions in Hwange National Park, and a significant threat to villagers living around these wildlife areas. Villagers have lost many livestock to predators and sometimes their lives are in danger as they try to protect their main source of livelihood. The lions are often killed in retaliation or to prevent future attacks. In seeking a solution to this, Mother Africa Trust has been building lion proof bomas for villagers in most affected areas. Lion proof bomas are kraals or enclosures that keep cattle safe at night and prevent them from being attacked by predators. Since 2018 Mother Africa Trust has built 9 lion proof bomas for villagers and they have proved very effective in mitigating conflict.
Human – wildlife conflict will not be solved overnight, but with your help we can attempt to reduce number of livestock and lions lost.
Scholarships and Education
Help us to give more disadvantage and orphaned children in the rural communities of Zimbabwe a chance to reach their potential in life. Your contribution can enable us to remove more children from the streets and also empower under-resourced rural schools with educational equipment and better learning facilities.
Sustainable Community Projects
Keeping with the model of empowerment, we have initiated two projects to benefit vulnerable families; the goat gift project in Matopos and the Road runner chicken project in Hwange. The goal is to allow these less privileged families to provide for their own support through the profit that comes from the production and reproduction of goats and chickens. When you help these families, you are investing not only in their welfare, but you are unlocking their potential.
The Mother Africa Anti-poaching Unit (MAAPU) works tirelessly to prevent all forms of poaching in the Ivory Lodge concession that borders Hwange National Park. These brave eco-guards frequently undertake anti-poaching operations in the concession removing snares and apprehending poachers. Through providing basics like shoes, backpacks, patrol equipment, camera traps and accommodation we can make sure that even the rangers protecting rhinos in Matobo National Park have the best chance to stay safe and protect wildlife. Together we will succeed in protecting the future of our planet.
Build Mgadla Primary School
Mgadla villagers in Matobo District have taken an initiative to build a school that will benefit more than 250 children between the age of 5 and 13 who are currently walking 8 – 10km to get to the nearest school. Many children are delayed starting school as they cannot manage to walk long distance. The first classroom block which comprises of two classrooms, is now at window level, and villagers having been providing pit sand, river sand, bricks and labour while we assisted them with cement, window frames, door frames and a professional builder. Your kind donation will help this desperate community roof this much needed classroom block.
Wild Horizons has been built over decades of family values to provide amazing experiences for visitors throughout Zimbabwe. Elephants became part of the Wild Horizons family in 1992 when four elephants needed a better home. Since that day, Wild Horizons has had an unwavering belief that the elephants welfare takes precedence. Whether is is during a rescue, the rehabilitation or release, it is all about the elephants’ future. That strong conservationist ethic has provided expansive training for the elephants’ keepers as well as a safe haven for elephants ever since
Wild Horizons main goal is to ensure the elephants have the best care and quality of life in the most natural environment. The team works all year long to care for our elephants as well as contribute to local and worldwide efforts for better education and conservation
Painted Dog Conservation’s (PDC) mission is to create an environment where painted dogs can thrive
PDC put together a conservation model that will really work in the long term, and make a significant difference to the painted dog population in Zimbabwe. PDC employs more than 60 people from the local villages to run conservation, education and outreach programs
In 2017 the IAPF’s Akashinga program was born and the first all-female, armed anti-poaching unit in the world was recruited and trained in an abandoned trophy hunting reserve in Zimbabwe. In the first 2.5 years Akashinga helped drive an 80% downturn in elephant poaching in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley, one of the largest remaining populations left on earth. Akashinga’s bold goal is to employ 1,000 female rangers that protect a network of 20 nature preserves under IAPF management by 2025
Akashinga is a platform for women to change the world for the better. It is women carrying out one of the most demanding and respected jobs in the world while thriving at it and building their own lives, their families and their communities in the process
The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a Zambian-registered non-profit organization dedicated to conserving large carnivores and the ecosystems they reside in through a combination of conservation science, conservation actions, and a comprehensive education and capacity-building effort
ZCP now works across Zambia in most of the country’s key ecosystems for large carnivores and their prey following a three-pronged interdisciplinary approach to fulfill its goals, and the success of this work fundamentally rests on our diverse and effective collaborations with local, national and international partners, agencies, organizations and institutions that collectively provide the expertise, resources and energy to address the myriad conservation challenges facing Zambia and the region.
By making bold, and often pioneering, investments into areas that are ecologically and economically vulnerable, Asilia aims to turn the surroudning areas into viable conservation economies, benefitting both the local communities as well as the environment
Asilia acknowledges that people and nature are inseparable partners, so they work closely with communities, authorities, NGOs and industry partners to achieve the best possible long-term outcomes for all concerned. With the help of guests at the accommodations, who contribute a levy of US$5 for each night that they stay with at an Asilia property, significant positive impact is made towards the goal of empowering these areas, including the communities and wildlife that call them home
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of disabilities in children aged 0 – 14 years is unknown, with published estimates ranging from 6% to over 20%. What’s more, 90-98% of children with special needs are assumed to be out of school. This leads to incredibly low literacy rates (only 3% of adults with special needs in Sub-Saharan Africa are literate) and severely limited professional opportunities
To overcome these challenges, children with special needs require the same opportunities to attend formal school and learn in inclusive environments. Through the Home-Based Education Programme, we provide individualised education plans for children and their families with the objective of seeing 95% of these children enrol in primary schools. These education-plans are delivered firstly in children’s homes, in conjunction with their parents, by community caregivers who have received extensive training on the biological, psychological and social challenges faced by children with special needs
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (VCS ID 1202) is Zambia’s first Verified Carbon Standard verified REDD+ project. Lower Zambezi National Park forms part of a globally significant trans-frontier conservation area home to important elephant, lion and other wildlife populations. The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project provides a vital buffer area to this important park, protecting over 60 kilometers of threatened boundary. This project partners with 7,182 people in Rufunsa District to conserve the forest through a set of livelihood and community development initiatives
The Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project has achieved 7 successful VCS verifications and has also achieved `gold` level validation against all three categories of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard for its exceptional climate change impacts and community and biodiversity benefits
Project Luangwa is a charitable organization formed by a handful of Safari Operators of South Luangwa as a part of the commitment to responsible tourism. Their aim is to create an effective, coordinated approach to helping local communities improve their long-term economic prospects whilst avoiding a negative impact on the environment and wildlife
Project Luangwa believes as a charity operating in Zambia that by developing and improving education in schools and creating training opportunities families have the chance of a lasting and sustainable income
Conservation South Luangwa was formed in 2003 by a handful of like-minded safari operators and concerned stakeholders whose vision was to help protect South Luangwa. CSL is dedicated to protecting South Luangwa, it’s wildlife and habitat through a combination of law enforcement support (anti-poaching), human-wildlife conflict mitigation, veterinary work and community outreach
Since CSL was created, there has always been a firm belief in keeping it a majority Zambian staffed organization, the most obvious reason being sustainability and ownership. What started as a team of 5 dedicated staff fifteen years ago, has now grown into a team of 85 wildlife conservationists
Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) is a non-profit organization committed to the protection of wildlife and to the sustainable use of natural resources in the Lower Zambezi in Zambia
Since its humble beginnings with basic support to the wildlife authority, CLZ has grown and increased its activities and efforts in the Lower Zambezi. Not only has CLZ’s support to DNPW increased substantially over the years, the organization now also runs an Environmental Education Programme (2004), a Community Scout Unit (2013), a Community Engagement Programme (2013), a Detection and Tracking Dog Unit (2015) and a Rapid Response Unit (2018). CLZ also hosts the annual Safari Guides Training courses and exams for the Lower Zambezi (2001)
Charity Begins At Home supports education, wildlife, land conservation, infrastructure and health programs impacting South Luangwa, Zambia. It is the charitable arm of The Bushcamp Company, a National Geographic award-winning safari lodge also located in South Luangwa. Donations from U.S. residents are collected through Friends of Charity Begins At Home, a 501(c)(3) registered charity, and distributed to responsible local organizations in South Luangwa that support the people, wildlife and sustainability of the region
Through borehole drilling, health education, and better access to medical support, Charity Begins At Home is helping improve many of the health services that most people would take for granted
Bushcamp Company Online Magazine – 2020
The Wildlife Conservation Network created the Rhino Recovery Fund (RRF) with the goal of protecting rhinos from wildlife crime and restoring their landscapes, improving the health of rhino populations and benefiting local people
RRF targets the two biggest threats to the world’s five species of rhino: the illegal rhino horn trade and rampant habitat loss. To combat the rhino horn trade, RRF invest in projects aimed at stopping rhino poaching in Africa and ending the trafficking and demand for rhino horn. RRF also support projects that are restoring habitat so that Africa and Asia’s remaining rhinos can recover in intact, functional landscapes.
The threat to pangolins is severe and there is no time to lose, that is why the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) and Save Pangolins created the Pangolin Crisis Fund in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
The Pangolin Crisis Fund (PCF) has one goal: Eliminate the demand, trafficking, and poaching crisis that puts all eight species of pangolins at risk of extinction
The PCF aims to achieve this goal by investing in the best projects to stop the poaching of pangolins, stop the trade and demand for pangolin products, and raise the profile of this little-known animal
Created by the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Lion Recovery Fund funds game-changing conservation actions by the most effective, vetted partners who work collaboratively to bring lions back
Through strategic investments and collaboration with other public and private donors, the Lion Recovery Fund aspires to double the number of lions in Africa, regaining those lions lost over the past 25 years. Lion Recovery Fund are committed to seeing thriving savannah landscapes where Africa’s people, its economic development and its lions all co-exist
To battle this surge in ivory poaching, the Elephant Crisis Fund is identifying and supporting the most effective projects and partners in Africa, and in ivory consuming nations, to end the ivory crisis and secure a future for elephants. The ECF exists to fuel their efforts, encourage collaboration, and deliver rapid impact on the ground – even within 24 hours of a poaching crisis
Launched by Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Elephant Crisis Fund is the most flexible and responsive fund geared towards emergency assistance and innovative investments in both NGO’s and governments combating the poaching, trafficking, and demand elements of the ivory crisis
The Elephant Crisis Fund supports the best efforts from the most trusted organizations working to save elephants. The ECF funds the best ideas. It provides equal access to funding for both large and small, international or grassroots organizations, based on the merit of their projects to deliver impact for elephants and to stop wildlife crime
The Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism Project has undertaken a series of activities since 2009 to safeguard the Kyambura Gorge ecosystem
Today, Volcanoes Safaris and Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust are the single largest stakeholders in the Gorge ecosystem after the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. Without the intervention of VS and VSPT, the survival of the gorge and chimps would be under severe threat
With international attention on conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas, the Mgahinga part of the Virunga volcanoes in Uganda was turned into a national park in 1991 to provide protection to the wildlife from poaching and habitat encroachment. The creation of the park required the Batwa to be removed from their homes in the mountains and be displaced in a modern world unfamiliar to them. The Batwa ended up squatting in nearby farm land. They earned a living through occasional labor or begging. With limited education, adapting to the modern world has been a difficult journey. They do not have resources or land and suffer from acute poverty, malnutrition and poor health
A group of about 18 Batwa families from those displaced live in makeshift shelters on a tiny rocky site at Musasa, about 4km from the entrance of Mgahinga National park and Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge, surviving as best as they can
Volcanoes Safaris has now built a permanent village for the Batwa community and their families. About 10 acres of land has been purchased to allow them to build homes, a community centre and have land for agricultural and recreational use. The homes were completed in early 2018 and the official launch of the village took place at the end of May 2018