Impact and Sustainability
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the last five decades in Africa and an important economic phenomenon for many developing countries as well as several developed countries. Over the past several decades, tourism has become a major source of income and employment in most countries and has become an increasingly important factor in terms of economic development. It is also known as the multidimensional employment generating industry in Africa. It forms a rising share in discretionary income and often provides new opportunities for keeping the local environment secured and safe. Tourism has become a central part of the economy in Africa because of its huge prospects. Poverty is also a fact of life for many people in Africa. Many of them are living under the poverty line. Poverty can be mitigated properly if we can generate full employment for the people of Africa. It is, therefore, through the Tourism industry that we can ensure the engagement of huge portions of people in employment and open opportunities to engage local communities in conserving the natural beauty of Africa.
We work with some communities neighboring National parks to be able to benefit from the alternative, sustainable livelihood projects that improve their incomes and their capacity to take care of natural resources we at Wilderness Explorers take responsibility for being part of the sustainability by helping directly through our community-based organizations like creating free and no interest loan schemes to support groups like women improve their local business.
Focusing on the Unique Needs of a Place and its People
Working hand in hand with communities at the grassroots level, Wilderness Explorers Africa puts people at the center of our approach. As we seek to improve the welfare of the environment and wildlife, we are mindful of all stakeholders as we strive to provide solutions to the threats facing wildlife and their habitat.
Equipping People with Tools to become Change Agents
Wilderness Explorers Africa addresses local needs with practical strategies that improve the lives of people, animals, and the environment by introducing sustainable livelihood options to communities located near conservation areas. Sustainable livelihoods like community-managed programs such as beekeeping and woodlot cultivation help community members increase their income and rely less on the forest, thereby reducing deforestation and human/wildlife interaction. Improving livelihoods while protecting the environment ensures that communities can continue to thrive for decades to come, which is essential to our community-centered tourism approach.
Public awareness and environmental education
Building Care through Consciousness and Understanding
If Wilderness Explorers Africa is to achieve real and lasting results in our efforts to save wildlife from extinction, it is essential that we increase awareness and understanding of wildlife and environmental conservation in communities throughout the National parks by passing information through our brochures that are always present in our safari vehicles
Our Responsible Tourism Policy
As a tourism stakeholder, we believe in low impact tourism to conserve Uganda’s/Africa wildlife and heritage for future generations to enjoy. With our understanding and a shared passion for biodiversity, our active Responsible Tourism Policy supported by our partners in conservation consciously and actively aims to protect the surrounding communities and wildlife areas in which we conduct safaris usually.
Our tours are centered around experiencing, viewing, and photographing wildlife, but with as little impact on the wildlife and environment as possible. We also operate tours involving community activities and we aim to ensure they are as authentic and noninvasive as possible for the people involved.
Our operations are almost exclusively managed by a Ugandan staff except for our international partner offices. We are fully Ugandan registered, operating in a legal and tax compliant manner belonging to trade and industry associations such as AUTO, ATTA, and TGFU, and where possible we also share our views to the boards of these organizations to help with guidance within the industry so that others may also benefit from our experiences learned in tourism and environmental conservation fields over the years.
We choose, to utilize facilities for our guests that comply with these low impact areas, fuel-efficient vehicles and boats, accommodation at small intimate camps and lodges with sustainable fuels use. By encouraging our safari guests to act in a responsible way with insight and understanding of local customs to ensure their safari in Uganda/Africa is more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Our future plans
One of our future plans is to establish a trust Fund where each client traveling with us will make a humble contribution towards the Trust income which will be used to achieve the following goals;
- Creating a Present Generation of Conservationists and critical thinkers to counter Human/Wildlife Conflict.
- Promoting and Supporting Sustainable community projects and eco-tourism activities to provide economic growth to the surrounding communities.
- Promoting Staff Volunteer Programs to assist local communities and the younger generation in educational projects.
- making sure that our impact on the Environment within our Operations are ethical, environmentally friendly, and Sustainable.
How you as the guest can assist us?
Participate in the community tourism products we offer, sample local food, and buy local crafts as this helps generate income for those people.
If you wish to make donations, for example, schooling items, clothes, or monetary gifts we would encourage you to do so through our Trust account or organizations we have identified. We can also advise on what would be most useful, please do ask us. An example of one of the easiest and well-received gifts that can be shared by many is a football; exercise books, pens, and pencils brought to Africa and delivered to a group of children at a school.
Some of our preferred future projects and community products that might need support include the following
The Bwindi Hospital in Uganda
Bwindi is the epicenter of tourism in Uganda and has grown tremendously over the years. We believe this hospital project which has been running for some time plays a big part in supporting this large and scattered community and hence support it with annual donations, and often take visitors to see the work that is being done first hand.
Educating Maasai children Kenya and Tanzania
The semi-nomadic Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along with the semi-arid and arid lands of the Great Rift Valley. The Maasai occupy a total land area of 160,000 km2, with a population between half a million and a million people. To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world’s last great warrior cultures. From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai begin to learn the responsibilities of being a man and a warrior. The Maasai are famous for their jumping dance (adumu), performed by the men of the village, who leap into the air to show their strength and stamina as tribal warriors.
Possibly Africa’s most famous ethnic group, the Maasai people are semi-nomadic people located primarily in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. They are considered to be part of the Nilotic family of African tribes, just like the Schilluk from Sudan and the Acholi from Uganda.
Changing the Livelihood of the Mursi tribe Ethiopia
The Mursi tribe lives in the Lower Omo Valley, situated in Africa’s Great Rift Valley in south-west Ethiopia. The Mursi, who number about 4,000, are a nomadic tribe of herdsmen who, over the past few decades have encountered growing threats to their livelihood. Extreme drought has made it more and more difficult for many Mursi families to feed themselves by means of their traditional activities, such as cultivation and cattle herding. Furthermore, the establishment of national parks with fences and roads has seriously restricted the access of local tribes and threatened their natural resources.
Educating the IK tribe of Uganda
The Ik (called “Teuso” by their neighbors) is a small farming and hunting community squeezed between the large, powerful Karamajong and Turkana pastoralist tribes. The Ik have struggled to survive in harsh ecological conditions—droughts and floods. They continue to fight against isolation and marginalization to overcome their difficult circumstances and enter Ugandan national life as a people with their own culture and voice.
The San Bushmen Botswana
There are 100,000 Bushmen in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Angola. They are the indigenous people of southern Africa and have lived there for tens of thousands of years.
In the middle of Botswana lies the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a reserve created to protect the traditional territory of the 5,000 Gana, Gwi, and Tsila Bushmen (and their neighbors the Bakgalagadi), and the game they depend on.
In the early 1980s, diamonds were discovered in the reserve. Soon after, government ministers went into the reserve to tell the Bushmen living there that they would have to leave because of the diamond finds.
Changing livelihood of the Himba Tribe of Namibia
The Himba are a tribe of nomadic pastoralists who inhabit the Kaokoland area of Namibia. The Himba are actually descendants of a group of Herero herders who fled into the remote north-west after been displaced by the Nama.
One of the most fascinating groups of people that call Namibia home is the red clay covered tribes of Himba people. They are most well known for their unusually red pigment that comes from spreading red clay on to their face and hair.
This tradition dates back hundreds of years and is still practiced today. The clay is used as protection from the sun and pests and each application can stay on for weeks. The women of the Himba people also do not wear any clothing on the top of their bodies only the red clay.