Lions are one of Africa’s threatened species.
Africa’s Big Game, or megafauna, is not only threatened by poaching, animal parts trading or the pressure of a growing population. Agriculture is literally right outside many reserve borders. However, governments are now selling off some of the large wildlife areas that we for decades have thought were protected for the future. Global demand for resources is soaring, and the African continent hosts the last unexploited source of natural resources. In exchange for fast money and investments in infrastructure, countries are selling their resources, often at low prices. Both in short and long term, many of the continent’s natural areas are threatened.
It has repeatedly been proven that when protected natural areas lack tourism, local authorities lose interest resulting in a loss of protection and strongly degraded natural environments.
If no-one visits Serengeti, it won’t be long before there are no Lions, Elephants or Rhinoceros. There is no local incentive to keep these protected areas if there is no economic return, and that is where tourism comes in. These are often poor countries. There are no international banks lining up to loan money for development. However, tourism means large income. Safari and nature tourism run as ecotourism is increasing in importance.
Costa Rica today has more rainforest than in the 1960’s, thanks to the World’s best ecotourism and a national incentive to preserve nature. Ecotourism is the country’s largest source of income.
Many unique areas on Madagascar only remain because they have been visited by tourists, or because they host valuable nature that can be a future resource. Apart from this, deforestation is catastrophic, with only 20 % of the forests remaining. More than half the dry forests and rainforests have disappeared since the 1950’s. This is a catastrophic level, if you consider that between 80 and 90 % of Madagascars species are endemic. They only exist here!
The list can be made longer, and even in prosperous Europe and North America, ecotourism is an important factor for conservation.
That is why we always choose our tours and destinations carefully and put great effort into supporting several unique projects, so that you as a participant actually will be contributing to the conservation effort by visiting and photographing these places with their fascinating wildlife. See below which projects we support.
The Madagascan Ibis only occurs in Madagascars forests. The species is threatened, mostly due to habitat loss.