Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Connecting with conservation

Pemba Island's Kwanini Marine Conservation area is home to more than
200 marine species

We are proud to represent a portfolio of owner-operated camps, lodges and ground handlers that believe conservation sits at the core of everything they do. This is our second week of sharing conservation travel stories from our partners around the globe, from Kaskazini (north in Swahili) to Kusini (south in Swahili)! Read on to learn more...

Gorilla tourism has been a huge conservation success
Classic Africa Safaris: One of our favorite conservation successes stories is that of Africa's mountain gorilla. While still considered critically endangered, the species' population has rebounded with increased conservation efforts and the advent of gorilla tourism. One special activity contributing to gorilla conservation and available to visitors to Uganda with Classic Africa Safaris is a gorilla habituation experience! One gorilla family is being habituated in the Rushaga sector of southern Bwindi and for the first time ever, visitors can participate. Groups are limited to four pax, who have the chance to trek with researchers and spend 4 hours with the gorillas! Email Hilda for permit availability.

Bale NP's beautiful mountain nyala is Ethiopia's
only endemic antelope. Photo Gretchen Healey,
Travel Ethiopia: Travelers to Ethiopia should be sure to try and budget time for a visit to Bale Mountains National Park. The chance to see it's unique wildlife, including the endangered mountain nyala and the similarly endangered Ethiopian wolf, is reason enough to visit. When coupled with the incredible scenery, it makes is a must-see for travelers. Travel Ethiopia recommends Bale Mountain Lodge, and visitors who stay can feel good knowing that they are helping to protect the largest population of the world's rarest candid (only 500 left), as well as the largest tract of Afro-Alpine moorland remaining on the African continent. Contact Samrawit with questions on how to incorporate a visit to Bale in your client's itinerary.

Visitors to Guacamayas can see a huge variety of flora
and fauna. Photo Tad Bradley.
Maya Trails: Travelers visiting Guatemala have several options for digging in to conservation efforts. For those short on time, a visit to ARCAS and the Environmental Education Center to learn about their various projects, including environmental activities, community development, and wildlife trafficking enforcement will prove educational and interesting. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, Maya Trails can arrange a trip to the Guacamayas Biological Station (2 nights minimum), which offers the best wildlife viewing in Guatemala (and the best place in the country to see scarlet macaws in the wild), along with many active conservation projects. Email Adriana for more information
Guests can also explore trails around Lake Eyasi, canoe,
take village walks and more!
Albatros Travel: Travelers looking to further cultural conservation in Tanzania should consider a stay at Kisima Ngeda. It is a melting pot of cultures whose traditions remain intact, and where guests can experience the daily life of hunter/gatherers the Hadza, as well as their nomadic counterparts the Barbaig. waDatoga also live in the area, and are pastoralists like the Maasai, and it's always interesting to visit the local blacksmith or a Datoga boma. Guests can also venture into the bush to explore with the Hadza. Visitors to Kisima Ngeda are helping these cultures to not only stay alive, but thrive. Ask Albatros Travel how to incorporate a stay as part of a larger Tanzania safari.

Gretchen enjoying a welcome drink in the local Sani village
Tropic Ecuador: Conservation is an ongoing hot topic in the Amazon, with cultural conservation playing an important part in the preservation of the forest. Indigenous Amazon peoples have long lived in harmony with their surroundings, and have waged many battles to keep their home intact. Tropic Ecuador gives travelers a glimpse into what tribal society in the forest looks like today with stays at Sani Lodge. In addition to seeing the wonders of the Amazon (Wildlife! Amazing insects! Incredible rainforest!), travelers get to learn tribal hunting skills, visit a local community, help to cook a meal with hyper-local ingredients, and more. To learn more about this immersive experience, contact Andrea.

Coral reefs in the Kwanini Marine Conservation Area
are healthy
The Manta Resort: The Manta Resort's underwater room has helped to raise awareness and conserve the coral reefs around Pemba Island. Guests at The Manta Resort can 'Snorkel for Conservation.' This activity supports the 1 kilometer Kwanini Marine Conservation Area (KMCA) directly in front of the lodge. The cost is $15pp, and all revenues go to support the KMCA. The 'house reef,' directly in front of the resort, lies within the conservation area. Travelers can experience the vast numbers of marine life and reefs through the clear blue waters of Pemba Island in Manta's chosen snorkeling spots. Guests are taken out with a guide and shown the colorful, vibrant life lying just under the surface. Learn more about this project on the Kusini blog.

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