African Travel, Inc. Shares Ethical Wildlife Practices for Travelers

African Travel, Inc. (ATI), as part of its commitment to promoting ethical wildlife experiences, has shared its top responsible practices with clients to help create a healthy planet. ATI, The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) luxury safari outfitter, is highlighting three areas where clients can make a positive impact regarding wildlife conservation and the protection of habitats while enjoying an African safari adventure. These include supporting conservancies and their community-centric initiatives, understanding the impact of geotagging endangered wildlife and choosing travel companies with an animal welfare policy.

Here are three ways clients can practice responsible wildlife excursions on their next safari journey: 

Supporting Wildlife Conservation Partners

Private reserves in Africa are working to enhance their ecosystems, community livelihoods and wildlife. Clients can contribute to the preservation of endangered species by choosing safari outfitters that support and promote these conservancies and reserves. In Northern Kenya, guests can experience the conservation efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, East Africa’s first private rhino sanctuary, on ATI’s 12-day “World’s Greatest Show & Safari.” During a guided bush walk, clients can learn how to positively impact the local community and wildlife. Visitors can spot the black and white rhinos in the area, go behind the scenes to see Lewa’s tracker dog unit and learn how the rangers use technology to monitor the rhinos that roam the park. Due to effective conservation efforts and tourism contributions, the black and southern white rhino population in Lewa has grown by 38 percent, which represents 13 percent of Kenya’s entire rhino population living on the Lewa and Borana Conservancy, which spans 93,000 acres of expanded rhino rangeland.

Not Geotagging Endangered Wildlife

While on safari, guests post photos of animal encounters on social media sites, not realizing that embedded within the post or the image is a geotag containing the GPS location of endangered wildlife such as elephants, rhinos and big cats. Poachers use this location data to track animals for poaching. On the eight-day “Under Kenyan Skies” safari, clients spend a day with East Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. Guests can observe a dog-sniffing demonstration, which showcases how the trained bloodhounds track poachers to protect the 57,000-acre conservancy and its species. ATI shares tips on disabling geotagging to allow guests to protect and preserve wildlife:

  • iPhone: Settings > Privacy > Locations Services. You can turn off Location Services entirely or just on your phone’s camera
  • Android: Settings > Geotags disable; or, Settings > Locations > Tap on the green button to turn off tracking completely

Animal Welfare Policy

Clients can protect the world’s wildlife while advocating for the highest standard of ethical experiences in their excursions, free of animal cruelty. According to World Animal Protection, over half a million wild animals suffer in tourist entertainment venues globally. In 2014, TTC established an Animal Welfare Policy in partnership with World Animal Protection and updated it in 2020 to ensure that all wildlife experiences meet the approved guidelines of animal welfare based on the five domains of animal welfare, including nutrition, environment, health, behavior and mental state. Clients can learn about Shamwari Game Reserve’s conservation projects on the 10-day “South Africa’s Natural Wonders.” The journey includes visits to Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, where they can learn and experience the efforts aimed at protecting rhinos, big cats, vultures and other native wildlife species. ATI actively supports these preservation efforts by making donations on behalf of each guest visiting the conservancy.

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