The Conservation Champions of Southern Africa
Collected by Marie Frei, AFAR Local Expert
Climate change, human encroachment, and poaching threaten the survival of Southern Africa's wildlife. Government officials, non-profit organizations, and private partners are working together to ensure large swaths of land are set aside in order to reduce human-wildlife conflict and provide wildlife with room to roam. Here are the projects and lodges which are working to make a positive difference in the ecosystems they operate within.
The Mahango Game Park (also known as the Mahango Game Reserve) is a protected area in Namibia within Bwabwata National Park. It is situated at the country's eastern border with Botswana in the flood plains of the Okavango River basin, close to the...
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, 3936, South Africa
&Beyond's commitment to responsible tourism is what initially set them apart (and continues to set them apart) from other luxury lodges and safari tour operators established in the early 1990's in South Africa. Phinda Private Game Reserve in the...
Kleintuin Rd, Simon's Town, Cape Town, 7995, South Africa
If you're spending time exploring the Cape Peninsula area of South Africa, a visit with the penguin colony at Boulders Beach is a must. They made Boulders their home (wise penguins) in 1982 and you'll be surprised by how residential the setting...
Intaka Island, Century City, Cape Town, 7441, South Africa
When plans to develop the Milnerton wetlands area into business and high-end real estate were proposed in 1996, an environmental impact assessment had to be completed to determine how many birds would be disrupted. The developers decided to figure...
Grootberg Lodge isn't just a place to stay; it's an experience, one that is beneficial to the Namibian people, to the land and to the conservation of Namibia's precious wildlife. Built by the World Wildlife Fund and the European Union on one of...
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is a non-profit research and conservation organization dedicated to the facilitation and promotion of sound conservation and management plans for the African lion. They offer opportunities to...
The AfriCat Foundation & Okonjima Lodge are located on a vast nature reserve just south of Otjiworongo. If you're driving around Namibia on a personal adventure, this lodge is conveniently located along the way from the capitol city of Windhoek on...
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana's Okavango Delta wan't my first trip with andBeyond, but it remains the one etched most deeply into my bank of travel memories. If there’s a vision of a Garden of Eden, the Okavango is surely it. A lush endless land where water meets...
Okavango Delta, Botswana
In my mind, experiential travel always involves education, preferably hands-on, in-your-face education. And this experience was exactly that. I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to witness six highly endangered white rhino being released into...
Old Ursula Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Mantis Collection, Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve, and the Nakavango Conservation Program are offering travelers an exciting chance to experience an Elephant Relocation Safari. The authentic, immersive experience provides guests...
Chobe Forest Reserve, Botswana
To get away from the crowds in Chobe, stay at Ngoma Safari Lodge. It's located on the far western edge of the park. The eight thatched roof cottages are completely spacious but cozy and feature decks overlooking the Chobe River. In 2011, the...
1 Rivier Street, Van Zylsrus, 8467, South Africa
Just south of the Botswana border, in the Kuruman River Reserve, you’ll find meerkats so friendly they occasionally jump on volunteers’ heads. Visitors study the effects of the mammals’ cooperative breeding, in which adults help raise each other’s...
Kalahari Desert Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92211, USA
It’s not always easy to find eco-ethical travel experiences that connect you with a region’s natural and cultural heritage in an authentic, responsible and sustainable manner. So I was thrilled to discover Meno A Kwena Tented Camp, a community...
R360, Upington, 8800, South Africa
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was created through the cooperation of the governments of Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. Their cooperation has united several smaller fragmented parks into a larger border-less area for wildlife to roam....
The Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a safe haven for endangered white and black rhinoceros in Botswana. You can drive around the park yourself, book a nature walk, rhino tracking walk, or a safari drive with a professional ranger. In addition to rhino,...
Singita Pamushana, Malilangwe Reserve, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
The opening of Pamushana, Singita's only lodge in Zimbabwe, signified an important turn in Zimbabwe tourism. Political issues deterred travelers from visiting Zimbabwe through the 1990s and early 2000s, but now, the tides are turning. The lodge is...
If it's rhinoceros you want to photograph, you can't miss Ongava Game Reserve just south of the border of Etosha National Park. This private breeding facility has black and white rhino and plays a critical part in conserving this species. When...
Farm Frauenstein 277, East of Windhoek, Transkalahari Highway, Namibia, Namibia
After a week on safari in South Africa, we arrived in Namibia via the Windhoek International Airport and a long, dusty ride in the dark. We were taken to one of the six chalets that would be our home for the next few nights and went to sleep. We...
Heartland House de Beers Avenue, Somerset West 7130, Firgrove Rural, Cape Town, 7110, South Africa
Cape Town has a lot to offer from penguins, wine and immaculate views to and from Table Mountain, but our most amazing and rewarding time was spent at the Cheetah Outreach. We were able to handle and play with young cheetahs and watch feeding time...
Leopard tracking turned into a 5-hour marathon adventure. Gideon, a fabulous guide, was trying to pick up signals from any of multiple free-roaming, radio-collared leopards. After 2 flat tires in mountainous, rocky terrain, we were rewarded with a...
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