Big five conservation in South Africa

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Big five conservation in South Africa

Environment

The Big Five Conservation Experience is home to vast populations of the incredible 'Big 5' and encompasses huge swathes of beautiful terrain. This project was established to return the natural land to its former glory including the wildlife species that once roamed freely here. Since 1999, the reserve has worked hard to successfully reintroduce native wildlife and flora, taking full responsibility of caring for the area too. To help sustain the environment, for example, volunteers take part in the removal of alien plant species, allowing the natural land to thrive, and therefore providing local wildlife with viable food sources. Additionally, maintenance work on the reserve ensures that the land is safe for animals (such as roaming elephants) and visitors alike.

This project has always stood by sound and ethical wildlife and ecological principles. For this reason, the day-to-day work on the reserve does not permit volunteers having direct contact with the animals.

Community

Whilst volunteering abroad is largely a positive thing, participants must be wise with the organisations they select. There are, unfortunately, a number of organisations who simply want to meet the demand of individuals looking to help, without considering the impact an influx of volunteers can have on host communities (particularly in developing countries.) With that in mind, we are careful to consider all elements of our projects, adhering to the strict Responsible Travel policy and providing volunteer communities that are beneficial to all involved.
This project employs many local people as another way of supporting its host community.

Volunteers should be aware that some organisations operate the fulfil the needs of people wishing to take part in projects such as these which causes an influx of volunteers in some areas which can be detrimental to the host community. We can guarantee that all volunteers taking part on this project will be operating and working responsibly, alongside an informative and helpful selection of staff at the project site, and aiding the team overall in their knowledge and understanding of the animals on the reserve through such activities as game drives and game capture.

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