As one of our most valued partners around the world, the Esplanade team is always excited to hear updates from Wilderness Safaris. Today the update is even greater and more heartwarming than usual – an overview of the support and assistance Wilderness has provided throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to local communities.
The core of Wilderness’s conservation tourism business – and the reason you love to stay at their camps time and again – has been to create sustainable economic opportunity for rural communities living next to Africa’s precious protected areas. Now, when those communities need support the most, Wilderness has provided life-saving assistance in the form of essential relief parcels.
In Botswana, the Wilderness Safaris team has delivered 1,820 food hampers to over 17 settlements since April. This has involved 12 separate delivery runs, comprising over 60 tons of food assistance.
In early September 2020, Wilderness Safaris Namibia distributed 400 food hampers to vulnerable families in the north-west Kunene region, with further handovers planned for October and November. In the Zambezi region, Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, distributed 250 food parcels to vulnerable families, the elderly, and child-headed households in six of its partner communities in August, with further distributions planned for September and October.
Wilderness also supports local communities in East Africa with similar assistance.
“On behalf of the Kasarani community I wish to recognize your good job towards this community. It’s not easy and not everyone can do that kind of act. It was good. May God bless all your endeavors, not only now but also forever. God bless the Stone Foundation by Wilderness Trust and Governors’ Camp Collection Loldia House. Ahsanteni sana”.
-Sam, one of the Lolido Primary School teachers and a respected figure within the community; Kenya
“COVID-19 has affected everyone in the world, and calls for us to collectively assist our neighboring, and most vulnerable, communities. With our longstanding partnership with these communities, we didn’t hesitate to assist in any way possible. While we realize that there is still a long way to go in combating the challenges of the pandemic, we also acknowledge that a little can go a long way. We are extremely grateful for the support of our Chairman’s Foundation to help us to continue making a difference.”
-Sue Goatley, Children in the Wilderness Zambezi Program Coordinator
It warms our hearts – and the hearts of our travelers – that our tourism dollars go toward responsible, community-based companies like Wilderness Safaris. They give back to the surrounding communities in a multitude of ways and have stepped up during this global crisis.
When you are ready for your next safari with us, rest assured that by choosing to stay at Wilderness camps, you are doing good for the world.