African Travel, Inc. is offering 95 Make Travel Matter Experiences across all of its 2024 itineraries in 16 destinations.
Each experience is chosen for the positive impact on the wildlife and local communities the company explores, advancing sustainability goals set by the United Nations, according to a news release.
At the same time, the tour operator has introduced two new wildlife conservation experiences in South Africa and Namibia that aim to protect near extinct and endangered animals, including vultures and cheetahs.
In a statement, Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, said guests will “experience conservation firsthand” with their visits directly contributing towards community development and wildlife conservation.
African Travel Inc is supporting these two new wildlife conservation efforts:
Vultures breeding program (Shamwari Reserve, South Africa)
On the 10-day South Africa’s Natural Wonders safari, clients will discover the wildlife kingdom of Shamwari Private Game Reserve with seven lodges and three rehabilitation and education facilities.
The reserve is not only iconic as a safari destination, but also famous for its conservation initiatives.
“Vultures play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and well-balanced ecosystem. However, they encounter numerous human-made threats with some populations having severely decreased by over 90 per cent in the past 30 years with several species facing possible extinction,” the company says.
In partnership with Vulpro, an organization whose mission is protecting African vultures through collaboration and innovation in South Africa, the Vulture Breeding Program at Shamwari Centre opened on January 23, 2024 as part of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre experience.
As Africa’s largest vulture relocation, 160 Cape and African White-backed vultures settled into their new home at Shamwari. Guests can visit the centre during their stay.
Cheetah conservation in Namibia
On a 10-day, Namibia Luxury Train Journey, clients will board the luxurious Rovos Rail, exploring vistas while stopping in Kimberley and Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon.
They will embark on safari experiences in Nambia's Sossusvlei and encounter Etosha National Park’s incredible wildlife and one of the most accessible game reserves in Southern Africa.
Guests will observe giraffe, lion, elephant, lion, leopard and the black rhino in their natural environment with numerous waterholes.
They will also visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)’s Research and Education Centre.
CCF is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to save the cheetah and its ecosystem.
In the past century, 90 per cent of the cheetah population has declined worldwide, the company says.
The centre is located near the city of Ojiwarongo which overlooks the scenic Waterberg Plateau.