In the 1900s safaris where an African hunting expedition. Gone are those days. Most of Africa’s wildlife isn’t where it used to be. In 1960 there were about 100,000 black rhinos alone in Africa today, there are about 5,000 left in the wild.
Today’s safaris are designed with conservation in mind. Africa’s wildlife and eco-system is very fragile and can only accommodate a certain number of visitors. To ensure that the balance is maintained the number of visitors have to be limited one way of doing that is by charging high prices.
High prices also help with conservation as most of the revenue collected is put back into sustaining the eco system.
Most African countries have a tourism policy that promotes ‘high price-low density’ to protect fragile ecosystems from mass human traffic the way Uganda charges $ 700 for a gorilla permits and Rwanda charges $ 1500 for their gorilla permits with only 96 permits available each day in Rwanda.
When there is little to no infrastructure, things cost more everything airports, highways, railway lines and even hotels.
Some of Africa’s best safari lodges and camps are in total wildeness. Staff usually live on the lodge’s premises, which means all meals, laundry, accommodation, uniforms, toiletries, entertainment, transport and medical attention has to be provided.
In addition, many camps offer services like private butlers, babysitters, private guides, birding experts and complimentary laundry, which means additional staff. Then there is the supplies to the lodge which is everything from Food, drinks for visitors, toiletries and more. And this is before we consider ‘behind the scenes’ staff like builders, maintenance men to ensure the generators keep working, anti-poaching units and housekeeping.
Bushcamp Company in Zambia pays for scouts to conduct anti-poaching patrols.
&Beyond, which runs 29 lodges on the continent has a partnership with Africa Foundation to work with the leaders of villages around its properties. The company also supports land and marine life by relocating rhinos and other endangered species to habitats with a low risk of poaching and, most recently, secured three island properties where they can support monitoring and research efforts.
In Mozambique &Beyoud Vamizi’s conservation team is responsible for one of East Africa’s longest standing turtle monitoring programs.