How Safaris Help Wildlife Conservation

By Sarah Gold March 27, 2024

African Safaris aren’t just life-changing for travellers; they also play a hugely important part in preserving Africa’s wild habitats and creatures. Surprised? Read on, and you’ll learn a bit about the safari industry—which is really more like its own interdependent ecosystem, where every participant fulfils a critical role.

Safari Vehicle

Protecting Parks and Preserves

On the most basic level, safari travellers help wild species simply by visiting the game parks where they live. In many of the largest, most biodiverse reserves, illegal poaching poses a critical threat to wildlife—but the presence of game-driving safari groups is a proven deterrent to poaching activity. The park fees charged for each person who enters a reserve (all included on a Micato Safari) also contribute toward maintenance of the park’s landscapes and waterways, the monitoring of its wildlife populations, and recruitment and training of park rangers and anti-poaching teams.

Embracing Sustainability and Partnerships

Another way that Micato and other safari outfitters work to protect wildlife is by partnering with businesses and communities that prioritise conservation. A growing number of our partner camps and lodges, for instance, now pair luxurious accommodations and amenities with ecological practices like solar and wind-turbine power, electric-vehicle game drives, wastewater recycling, and organic agriculture. Some even run their own wildlife sanctuaries and preservation programmes that directly nurture threatened wildlife species like rhinos and pangolins.

More importantly, an increasing percentage of safari camps we work with have cultivated enduring land-stewardship alliances with indigenous African communities. They typically do this by leasing wildlife-rich land from local communities to establish conservancies or concessions—essentially private game parks to set aside for safari tourism. Such arrangements benefit everyone involved: the native communities, who gain wealth and retain ownership over their ancestral lands; the animals, who get to live their lives freely, roaming, hunting, feeding, and rearing their young. And safari travellers like you, who get to see it all, and be part of the solution.

two cheetahs

Providing Employment and Outreach

The most crucial way that safari tourism aids wildlife conservation is by providing employment opportunities to indigenous community members. In remote parts of Africa, where income sources are scarce, native locals have traditionally relied on herding and hunting (and, yes, poaching) to survive. The safari, industry, however, with its vast network of game parks, lodges, guides, and services, has created thousands of jobs that let them earn and provide for their families—without resorting to practices that harm wildlife.

Just as vitally, many luxury safari operators also run comprehensive education and outreach programmes within safari-adjacent communities. These initiatives not only provide schooling, medical care, and job training for residents; they also reinforce the idea that wild animals, and the ecosystems they are part of, have intrinsic value. And that, by learning to protect them, communities will ensure their own long-term prosperity.
At Micato, this commitment to empowering local Africans is central to our business. For more than 35 years, our non-profit Micato-AmericaShare has offered essential services and advancement opportunities to underserved communities in East and South Africa—including libraries and computer labs, fresh water, and healthcare necessities for women and girls. Our One for One Commitment, which sends a needy child to primary school for every safari we book, is a programme we are especially proud of—and you can be, too.

Spreading the Word

Even once your safari is finished, your contribution to Africa’s wildlife won’t be. That’s because every safari traveller who shares their amazing trip memories with loved ones back home is furthering the cause. By inspiring others to have their own extraordinary African adventures—even in the far-off future—you’ll be continuing to support the remarkable safari ecosystem.

Ready to do your part for African conservation? Contact one of our safari-planning experts today.

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