Nairobi, Kenya and Washington D.C

African Economies Feel the Pinch of 30 Million Missing Visitors; ‘World Safari Day’ Draws Attention to Industry’s Contributions to African Wildlife, Natural Resources and Local Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND NAIROBI, KENYA (November 25, 2020) – Each year, more than 30 million people travel to Africa to experience it’s wildlife and natural landscapes or conduct business. Many vacations and business trips take place in this busy travel period of late November, marking the start of the high season in African countries and the start of the holiday season in America. African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) today issued a statement supporting African Bush Camps for its new effort to rally support for safari tourism by launching ‘World Safari Day’ – to be celebrated annually on November 25, before African Tourism Day on November 26. 

Tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation in Africa and worldwide. The sector is responsible for 8.8 percent of the world’s jobs – 258 million. The abrupt drop off in tourism in Africa has been detrimental for safari and tour operators across Africa. AWF believes one of the most apparent and urgent readjustments for key players in this sector is to realign their focus to draw in domestic and regional tourists. However, some countries are still experiencing pandemic-related travel restrictions and therefore international travel into Africa will take time to normalize. 

AWF Senior Vice President Craig Sholley said: “The tourism industry has never dealt with an economic blow of this magnitude and duration before. AWF supports safari industry leaders like African Bush Camps. We admire the efforts of our colleagues at ABC and believe that World Safari Day is a positive step in helping to conserve Africa’s natural resources and interconnected local communities that often rely on revenue streams from tourism. This inaugural celebration is important to raise greater awareness and help provide a lifeline to a critical industry that helps support both wild animals and wildlands in Africa.”

“World Safari Day supports responsible safari travel and encourages enthusiastic explorers to choose to travel to Africa,” says African Bush Camps CEO Beks Ndlovu. “It’s another reason for us to remind ourselves and our fellow safari operators to continue doing what we do best, give back to communities, and add value to conservation initiatives and the causes that help to make a positive difference in the lives of those impacted by the industry.”

AWF is working to advance smart conservation finance models that build more robust African economies by incentivizing local ownership and strong governance, while insulating African-owned businesses, including leading safari operators. The future of wildlife depends on prosperous communities that see value in nature and actively seek to protect it because it is essential to their future.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wildlands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science, and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wildlands. 

About African Bush Camps

African Bush Camps is a 100 percent owner-run, African-based safari company designed to delight adventure travelers with authentic safari experiences amid untamed wilderness across Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Operations are always focused on the guests, with 15 luxury tented bush camps and lodges, offering seamless safari experiences with internal flights, food, drinks, and activities included. African Bush Camps promote and influences travel to Africa on a global scale while operating with a strong focus on conservation, and an environmentally sustainable footprint that celebrates the culture of communities in the areas in which it operates. 

Help Support World Safari Day

Visit www.worldsafariday.com and read up on the latest news relating to industry leaders who inspire, safari culture, wildlife, and experiences. For the latest updates, follow @worldsafarisday on Instagram and on Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACTS: To arrange interviews with AWF Senior VP Craig Sholley or Carter Smith, Safari Program Manager, please contact Patrick Mitchell of AWF at PMitchell@awf.org, (202) 991-7508 or Nashipae Orumoy of AWF in Nairobi, Kenya at NOrumoy@awf.org, +254 701 864021.