25 years ago, when Next Adventure started offering custom, personalized safaris in Africa, it was considered an exotic niche experience for keen photographers, passionate birders and intrepid travelers. The entry requirements were complex, the standards of hospitality and guiding were inconsistent and there was virtually no glossy marketing photos or videos.
Today, from the biggest celebrities to the royal family, safaris are celebrated as the pinnacle of luxury and adventure travel but still out-of-reach or off-the-radar for many. As popular destinations face damaging overtourism, particularly during narrow peak seasons, rates have sky-rocketed, and more brands are focusing on the ultra-high end of the luxury market.
Here at Next Adventure, we believe in the power of tourism to be a positive force in the lives of travelers as well as those communities who host, guide and care for us during our travels. With thoughtful choices and deliberate actions, sustainable ecotourism contributes to the protection of a wider footprint of wilderness as well as to the benefit of more remote communities who live with wildlife.
5 ways safaris should change over the next 5 years
- Greater representation of local communities in the ownership and management of tourism entities
- Next Adventure supports sustainable ecotourism by promoting the most reputable operators as well as camps, lodges and conservancies that are owned, operated and managed by local communities.
- More awareness of safaris as an accessible and repeatable international travel option
- Next Adventure never talks about safaris as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you love nature and the outdoors, if you love animals, wildlife and adventure, there is a lifetime of experiences to be had on safari in Africa.
- Increase in mid-career travelers, families and multi-generational groups
- Next Adventure meets travelers where they are in their life, and we help find the safari that is right for them. We aren’t squeezing you into a scheduled trip or selling seats on predetermined itineraries.
- Expanded safari calendar with more travel during green and shoulder season
- Overtourism is a real concern in sensitive ecosystems. With all the focus on popular peak season safaris, Next Adventure celebrates more sustainable options that take pressure off of iconic destinations while also extending the benefits of tourism to more communities.
- Progress in emerging destinations like Angola, Chad, Malawi and Mozambique
- Prior to the pandemic, Next Adventure was excited to see good quality safaris developing in new areas. It takes a reliable pipeline of local talent, investments in infrastructure and robust market demand to make these destinations a success, and we’re looking for travelers who are ready to take the plunge.
Increasingly, the conservation of wild places and the livelihoods of remote communities rely on tourism, and one of the challenges ahead is how to grow ecotourism in a responsible and sustainable manner. Hopefully, we can inspire the next generation of international adventure travelers to love and explore the wilderness and consider more unique safari experiences.