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Should we go back to the same places or those which really need tourism revenue?


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#1 Game Warden

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 11:31 AM

How important is it for us, as tourists, photographers etc., to go back to the same camp, (or same area), annually? 

 

Should we, if bearing conservation in mind, make an effort to go to places which really do benefit more from tourism revenue? And two extremes, in terms of pricing, but not in terms of importance for wildlife and wilderness areas are Zakouma National Park in Chad and for instance the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reserves, such as iMfolozi, in South Africa?

 

Can we make a conservation difference by visiting lesser known, or marginal areas and if so, how to attract more tourists to do the same?

 

Let's read your thoughts. 

 

Matt


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#2 Tom Kellie

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 12:37 PM

How important is it for us, as tourists, photographers etc., to go back to the same camp, (or same area), annually? 

 

Should we, if bearing conservation in mind, make an effort to go to places which really do benefit more from tourism revenue? And two extremes, in terms of pricing, but not in terms of importance for wildlife and wilderness areas are Zakouma National Park in Chad and for instance the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reserves, such as iMfolozi, in South Africa?

 

Can we make a conservation difference by visiting lesser known, or marginal areas and if so, how to attract more tourists to do the same?

 

~ @Game Warden

 

In my case, aside from the pure joy of being outside in nature, as unfettered by tedium as possible, the primary motivation for going on safari more than once per year is to observe seasonal changes in both plants and wildlife.

 

My students and I focus on seasonality as one of the primary factors in ecological equilibrium throughout any given year.

 

Therefore it's of the highest value to my research to observe the same trees, same rocks, same waterholes, same tracks, same gullies, season after season.

 

Extended stops are made, changes noted, photos taken. After returning home, the data gathered is valuable for discerning subtle seasonal shifts.

 

For that reason I was very hesitant to visit South Africa, after nine highly rewarding safaris in Kenya.

 

The visit to South Africa turned out to be so fulfilling that a return visit is certain. The warm initial welcome to South Africa by @Peter Connan gave me a positive impression that I'll cherish.

 

Therefore I'm prone to make repeat visits to the same locale without considering other locations.

 

Tom K.


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#3 ZaminOz

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 03:59 AM

@Game Warden

 

If you replace the word "Should" at the beginning of your second sentence with the word "Could" I would be far more comfortable with the proposition. I guess I feel that it is my right to go and spend where I choose for my holidays rather than be "guilt-ed" into travelling to prop up various conservation efforts...

 

If that makes me a lesser person or a lesser conservationist... then so be it...


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#4 Peter Connan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 04:13 AM

I try to see different destinations, and do trip reports (and post photos) on various sites.

 

But this is mostly for selfish reasons, and since I am at the bottom of the spending chain, I doubt it makes much difference either way.


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#5 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 04:30 AM

Sometimes, even the same places will stand to benefit in their outstanding conservation efforts - example., the conservancies around the Mara.  Given the drop in tourism from finicky Western travellers - the conservancies still have to pay their lease to the Maasai and every visitor contributes .........

 

Even if one were to visit the same camps/countries or whatever - doesn't it still help in some way or the other?


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#6 marg

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:16 AM

Most of us return to an area because we have had a great experience and great game viewing.  Most of the places we visit are very involved with the nearby communities and conservation. Without our support it would be impossible to survive. Governments may not be good but the local businesses and the people are different and they need us.  The more time that we spend with the locals, the more that we learn about them and they in turn learn about us and the rest of the world.  There are too many problems in most of these countries that we must do what we can to help not only the local people but also the animals to survive.   Maybe it is not so important to go back to the same place but it is important to go.                                                         


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#7 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:18 AM

PS - I do go to the same camps in Botswana ......... atleast I know the money spent stays in Botswana.  Not something that I can say about Botswana's largest operator.  FYI - check out the Botswana Gazette for more info!!!!


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#8 pault

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 06:16 AM

There are definitely places that I think need and deserve support more than others, whether because of the way they do things and their objectives (models that need to be a success to be copied) or because of their importance as sanctuaries for particular creatures or as part of a larger ecosystem (private areas functioning as important game corridors or buffers, for example). Of course there are other types too - much more variation than people imagine. I want to visit these places - preferably at least one per visit to Africa. I do think about it. My wife is more with @ZaminOz, but since she is married to me, tough!!!  

 

Tough for me of course I mean. :o

 

For me these places are like vegetables. I don;t eat them because I should (although of course I feel I should) but because I want to; both because they are good for me and because I really like them. Field-fresh nettle salad without dressing (aka nettles) is a very hair shirt sort of thing, but stir-fried snow peas, asparagus and wild mushrooms is a treat. I don't think do-gooders have to be very altruisitic - just a little thoughtful.

 

Anyway I may pontificate more on this topic in my upcoming trip report so I'll say no more here.


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#9 Tom Kellie

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 06:27 AM

For me these places are like vegetables. I don;t eat them because I should (although of course I feel I should) but because I want to; both because they are good for me and because I really like them. Field-fresh nettle salad without dressing (aka nettles) is a very hair shirt sort of thing, but stir-fried snow peas, asparagus and wild mushrooms is a treat. I don't think do-gooders have to be very altruisitic - just a little thoughtful.

 

~ @pault

 

I 100% concur.

 

What you've expressed reflects much of my thinking.

 

I feel no compulsion to visit anywhere, but rather a combination of attraction and curiosity.

 

Every place I visit is like a ripe tomato — well-rounded, flavorful, healthy, and a bit seedy, in the best sense.

 

Tom K.



#10 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:02 AM

I go to places  which  are affordable, accessible , have good wildlife viewing , a good bush feel ,not too crowded  and a safe .

 

given the high cost of airfares I go only once per year

 

I am inclined to find a good area and stay for a while

 

I cannot  afford much high level luxury places 

 

Lewa  is not cheap but I go for the least expensive on offer

 

I recognize that the high cost of Lewa  is a support for their  successful conservation and community support projects

 

creature comforts have zero % rating in my decision

 

not being able to drive means I am less inclined to go to places which are hard to access without your own car

 

There are places I hear of but they are too expensive

 

the degree of political instability associated with west and central Africa makes me wary


Edited by COSMIC RHINO, 14 October 2015 - 07:04 AM.

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Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#11 Tom Kellie

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:11 AM

I go to places  which  are affordable, accessible , have good wildlife viewing , a good bush feel ,not too crowded  and a safe .

 

I am inclined to find a good area and stay for a while

 

~ @COSMIC RHINO

 

That's interesting that you're motivated to visit those places which offer a safe.

 

Do you mean an individual in-room safe, as opposed to a larger, management-controlled front desk safe?

 

I've never yet used the safes at any location I've visited.

 

Valuables are with me, rather than stored.

 

Like you, I enjoy longer stays at the same area. Doing so gives me a more nuanced appreciation of the local environment.

 

When I return to Sabi Sands, South Africa for another safari, three months later, it will be in the same location, but for double the number of nights, in order to more fully experience the plant life and wildlife there during summertime.

 

Tom K.



#12 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:13 AM

safe  in terms of  lack of violence  and threats


Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#13 Tom Kellie

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:25 AM

~ @COSMIC RHINO

 

Thank you for the clarification.

 

Overall safety is a factor which I've felt poorly qualified to assess from my desk in Beijing.

 

In a very real sense, I've placed my trust in God and the safari guides/rangers, feeling that their sound judgment was my best defense.

 

The many recent safaris in Kenya often took place soon after well-publicized security incidents.

 

That didn't deter my visits, as I felt safe at all times.

 

The only times in nearly 62 years that I ever felt unsafe were in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a teenager, during a flare of revolutionary street violence...in southern Utah when several truckloads of rifle firing youngsters were in dust near the highway...and on U.S. 1 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California when I drove past the carnage of drive-by shootings.

 

Nevertheless, your reasonable concerns about personal safety make good sense to me.

 

Tom K.



#14 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:28 AM

the international news is reasonably well  reported  in Australia , I can check African  newspapers , have no internet bar on human rights watch, amnesty international , chatham house , fragile states index etc

 

my first trip involved a whole lot of moving around between places , I was thinking it is better to stay around and see a place, instead of the roads


Edited by COSMIC RHINO, 14 October 2015 - 07:30 AM.

Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#15 wilddog

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:53 AM

I think visiting a place you already know brings a sense of comfort from familiarity with the terrain and the groups of animals e.g. lions, wilddog packs elephants etc. It is almost a cast of charecters going through family changes over years which we like to hear about and see each year.

We may also know the staff well so we can catch up on their news and they know what we like to see and do

However I sometimes feel this is too easy and I should try other places. In January I chose Kenya (after many years ( for 2 reasons. Their drop in tourism and some BA armiles I could use.

I then returned to Mana (my second home) in September.

I have been thinking that Malawi needs wildlife visitors, should I go and do my bit or will I be disappointed?

Given my income is dropping know as full retirement is nearly here it is unlikely I will manage to do 2 safaris a year anymore.

What to do? I certainly do not know yet. It is a dilemma
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#16 Tom Kellie

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 09:26 AM

I think visiting a place you already know brings a sense of comfort from familiarity with the terrain and the groups of animals e.g. lions, wilddog packs elephants etc. It is almost a cast of charecters going through family changes over years which we like to hear about and see each year.

We may also know the staff well so we can catch up on their news and they know what we like to see and do

 

~ @wilddog

 

What you feel is closely akin to what I feel.

 

The staff at the Samburu Sopa, Murera Springs Eco Lodge and the Emakoko are friends.

 

Likewise the elephants and lions in Samburu, the dragonflies in Meru and the cheetahs in Masai Mara.

 

Thank you for expressing that so aptly.

 

I hope that even in retirement your safaris may be both satisfying and frequent.

 

Tom K.



#17 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:10 AM

1 I like visiting a number of places around kruger , differences in  the land and animals with lower transfer cost inbetween

 

2 yes it is good to return to an area and see the differences in the land, animals and people . the staff at Lewa  safari camp are very friendly, even the ones new since my last visit, the place operates for profit then it is donated to the Lewa conservancy


Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#18 johan db

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 11:26 AM

Hari, I haven't been for ages here ... just saw your post about Wilderness Safaris in the Botswana Gazette. Had also a look at their latest financial report and always wondered how IFRS 8 (segmental reporting) is adopted. Where does the revenue (maybe financing and investment) in South Africa comes from and where does it goes to ... given the limited number of bed nights there. Look at the revenue and profit generated in South Africa/Botswana and notice the discrepancy . Tax havens and royalties (not taxable for the receiving party and deductible for the paying party) are not so uncommon to multinationals.  Anyway happens all over the world ... (Luxleaks, ...). Also they are early adopters of IFRS 15 (revenue recognition - agent vs principal).

 

My apologies for the financial technicalities.

 

My 2 questions: how many people can afford to go back to the same hunting spots given the current rates and how many people take environmental issues into consideration while choosing their safari destination??


Edited by johan db, 18 October 2015 - 11:27 AM.

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#19 Tom Kellie

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:07 PM

My 2 questions: how many people can afford to go back to the same hunting spots given the current rates and how many people take environmental issues into consideration while choosing their safari destination??

 

~ @johan db

 

As to affordability of return visits, I have no idea, as that seems to widely vary depending on individual circumstances.

 

I do take environmental issues into consideration when choosing safari destinations.

 

Both in Kenya and in South Africa the choice of safari destination has been directly related to my perception of the prevailing environmental situation.

 

What others may do is unknown to me as it never arose as a topic around campfires.

 

Tom K.



#20 ellenhighwater

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 10:02 PM

Good question, Game Warden.  I know for most people they have limited time and funds and so it's important for them to make the most of their trips. I totally get that.  At the same time, I agree with you that tourists dollars often go further in less developed areas.

I have been lucky enough to be a tour leader so I was actually paid to take people to parks, including some lesser known ones.  One of my favorites is Lake Mburo in Uganda.   While you're not going to have the boatloads of wildlife there that you'd see someplace like the Mara, this park is special to me because of how far it has come.  

A little about the park's history here: http://www.ugandawil...o-national-park

I always felt good about giving this park my money and I was amazed to see over the course of the 5 years I visited it just how quickly the wildlife has come back.


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