Sue Watt
Travel Writer

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Responsible Tourism

Lion, Luiwa Plain, ZambiaBelow are links to some of the companies and organisations I’ve worked with in the field of conservation and responsible tourism, which I’m more than happy to recommend:

African Bush Camps - A Zimbabwean safari company offering great experiences in both Zimbabwe and Botswana, helping local communities at grass roots level through its charity the African Bush Camps Foundation.

African Parks - a unique non-profit organisation that assumes the management of National Parks on long leases, working with local communities to achieve conservation, improving local economies through tourism.

African Wildlife Foundation - an international conservation organisation that works across Africa focusing on protection of wildlife and the environment, local communities and sustainable tourism.

Woman, Volcanoes NP, RwandaAkagera Community Freelance Guides - a cooperative of local guides in Akagera National Park, Rwanda, who offer authentic community tours to spread tourism income beyond the park’s gates. They also support a pre-school and have set up their own campsite for budget travellers.

& Beyond – an ultra-luxury tour operator that funds conservation and community projects through its charity, The & Beyond Foundation.

Asilia Africa - An award winning luxury lodge and safari camp operator with beautiful properties in Tanzania and Kenya, Asilia has strong ecotourism credentials and commitment to the natural environment and local communities.

The Batwa Development Project – an organisation run for and by the Batwa Pygmy tribe in Bwindi, Uganda, that aims to improve all areas of life for an ancient tribe evicted from their forest homelands.

Camps International – a UK company that organises volunteer trips in Africa and Asia in close consultation with local communities.

Chilo Gorge Lodge – the only luxury lodge in Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe, it has a long history of working with the local Shangaan community with Clive Stockil, a leading figure in African conservation, as its founder.

Conservation Lower Zambezi – an excellent non-profit organisation funded by lodges in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia, that works with local communities in the buffer zone and helps the Zambian wildlife authorities to protect the reserve.

Leopard, Okonjima, NamibiaConservation Through Public Health – a Ugandan NGO led by the inspiring Dr Gladys K Zikusoka working on improving community health to achieve gorilla conservation around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gibbs Farm – a luxury lodge on a farm in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area that works with local communities and supports research into traditional Maasai healing.

Gonarezhou Conservation Trust – a brilliant conservation partnership between Frankfurt Zoological Society and Zimbabwe National Parks responsible for the running and rehabilitation of beautiful Gonarezhou National Park, south-eastern Zimbabwe

Gorongosa National Park – a project using responsible tourism to help restore one of Mozambique’s most beautiful national parks and its ecosystems.

Great Plains Conservation – a conservation organisation protecting African and Indian wildlife and habitats through upmarket ecotourism.

Guludo Beach Lodge – a barefoot luxury lodge in Mozambique that has its own charity foundation, Nema, to help fund some incredible community initiatives.

Lilac breasted roller, South Luangwa, ZambiaIbo Island Lodge – a unique lodge in Mozambique’s Quirimbas National Park working with local communities to restore traditional silversmith crafts, education and conservation.

Imvelo – a safari lodge company in Zimbabwe that has been working closely with local communities for over 20 years, supporting schools, mobile dental clinics and boreholes, and helping to conserve wildlife.  

Limalimo Lodge – a luxury lodge inside Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia, supporting the local village after which it was named and contributing funds to African Wildlife Foundation which is working to protect the reserve.  

Living with Elephants - a grass-roots charity that has looked after two orphaned elephants for twenty years in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Guests meet the elephants, walking with them and learning all about them, with funds supporting school visits to help children understand their pachyderm neighbours.  

Nyamirambo Women’s Centre & Umituma – A non-profit cooperative in Kigali, Rwanda that now employs over 50 women making beautiful fabric gifts. They offer walking tours around Nyamirambo, Kigali’s oldest sector, with basket weaving and local cookery classes.

Najin and Fatu, Laikipia, KenyaOl Pejeta Conservancy – East Africa’s biggest rhino sanctuary, home to the world’s three remaining Northern White rhinos and an excellent example of integrated conservation that balances tourism, community development, wildlife conservation and cattle-ranching

Painted Dog Conservation – an NGO that tirelessly protects Zimbabwe's endangered painted wolves/wild dogs in Hwange and Mana Pools NPs, along with engaging in community outreach work and education.

Painted Wolf Foundation
– an excellent conservation organisation based in Zimbabwe set up to help fund the protection of Africa's painted wolves/wild dogs

Penduka – a NGO in Windhoek, Namibia focusing on empowering women through employment and support, producing beautiful crafts and fabrics.

Remote Africa Safaris – owners of the beautiful Tafika Camp in South Luangwa, Zambia supporting education and health care in Mkasanga Village through their Tafika Fund.

Responsible Travel – an online portal for thousands of holiday ideas.

Ride4AWoman – a women’s empowerment project in Buhoma near Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, run by the charming Habasa Evelyne, that employs women in sewing, bakery, bike mechanics and tourism with an excellent guest house and café.

Ilha da MozambiqueRobin Pope Safaris – an award-winning safari operator in Zambia and Malawi committed to responsible tourism and local communities.

SACOLA Trust – a community trust in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda that owns the luxury Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, which is managed by Governors’ Camps. Profits benefit over 50,000 people around the borders of the national park.

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary – a sanctuary and lovely eco-lodge on the hills outside Freetown,Sierra Leone that's a refuge for rescued and orphaned chimps. It also works with people in remote areas of the country where chimps are vulnerable.

Thin Cats Thinking – a consultancy aimed at helping tourism concerns to develop effective responsible tourism strategies, led by Amy Carter James of Guludo Lodge.

Tikki Hywood Foundation – a wildlife NGO that rescues and protects lesser known endangered species, and a world authority on pangolin conservation,based in Zimbabwe, it focuses on conservation, education and legislation.

Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary – a small island in the River Moa, Sierra Leone that's home to 11 primate species and rare pygmy hippos, the sanctuary benefits eight local communities that live nearby and works to protect its wild residents.

Tongole Wilderness Lodge - A beautiful lodge in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Central Malawi working with local communities on health, education and conservation initiatives through its charity The Tongole Foundation.

Tourism Concern – a UK charity campaigning for ethical tourism.

Trade Aid – a UK charity that focuses on micro finance for business initiatives through their hotel The Old Boma in Mikindani, southern Tanzania.

Village Ways – a company specialising in walking holidays that benefit remote communities in Nepal, India and Ethiopia

Volcanoes Safaris – a luxury lodge company in Uganda and Rwanda that supports local communities through its Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust

Wilderness – an ecotourism and conservation company that supports communities through luxury safari camps and lodges in Southern Africa.

Lions, Mara North, Kenya

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